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Taking Care of Your Performance Costume

Posted by Deborah Nelson on Tue, Oct 01, 2013 @ 15:10 PM

We use top quality fabrics and trims. It is the nature of costume fabrics and trims to be fragile to cleaning. We cannot be responsible for your improper care.

  • It is the nature of Lycra® (especially lightweight and satin Lycra®) and chiffon to snag. The snagging is not noticed from performance distance and will not cause the fabrics to run. Prevent needless snagging by being careful.
  • Perspiration can be a problem. Consider wearing a cotton T-shirt under a costume or wearing dress shields or underarm perspiration pads. Some deodorants can interact with the fabrics causing discoloration. Change deodorant brands or use the shields. We recommend Hollywood Garment Shields.
  • The new “surface-printed” holographic print fabrics CANNOT be dry-cleaned and do launder well. Never machine wash. Spot clean or gently hand wash, with extra care.
  • Costumes are NOT street clothes & should NOT be cleaned after every performance. Once per season is customary.

Spot cleaning costumes should always be your first choice in taking care of soiled costumes. Air out your costumes for perspiration problems. Use FRESH AGAIN® spray to protect your costuming investment.


  • Have one person in charge of costume care for your group. DO NOT allow home storage.
  • Launder your "care swatch" that we have provided to you. If it comes out OK, then proceed with testing one of your costumes. If this first costume comes out OK, then proceed with the remaining costumes. Test spot cleaning on this “care swatch” also.
  • Again, your first choice should be spot cleaning and airing out of your costumes. Our general care instructions for solid color costumes only: Wear and launder with care - this is a costume, not streetwear. Spot clean whenever possible. Hand wash in cold or warm water with a mild detergent. We recommend FRESH AGAIN® Laundry Detergent. RINSE OUT - DO NOT SOAK! Rinse and hang up to dry. Wrinkles will hang out. DO NOT PRESS SEQUIN TRIM. Press fabric with a cool iron, only when necessary. Hand washing can cause bright colors to "run" into white, especially red. Spot cleaning should be done, being careful to get only the spot area wet and allow to dry without touching the other color. Multi-colored costumes & those made of severaldifferent fabrics, sewn together are harder to launder properly – consider spot cleaning only.
  • Dry cleaning is possible with a reputable dry cleaner. We have seen many ruined costumes by dry cleaners that have used the incorrect dry cleaning solution or too much heat that have "melted" the sequins or have stripped the color from them.
  • A NOTE ON SEQUIN CARE - "Special care must be exercised - do not allow perfume, deodorant, hair sprays or alcoholic beverages to come in contact with sequins. If garment (sequin area) should become dampened by water or perspiration: do not place garment in an airtight bag or plastic bag. Dry garment in air - do not use heat. Instruct cleaners to dry without heat and do not use steam or press." Instruct the dry cleaner to follow the sequin cleaning instructions on the label.

If you have ANY questions or concerns - call or email during our regular hours or check our costume care articles.

By Deborah J. Nelson - Head Designer for Satin Stitches® Ltd

Tags: Costume Care Tips


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