How to Wash and Care for Clothes With Sequins

How to Clean Sequined Clothes

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Sequined clothes and home accessories decorated with sequins bring a bit of sparkle to our wardrobe and homes but they need some special care to keep them shiny and bright. How you should care for your sequined items depends on what type of fabric is under the sequins, how the sequins are attached, and how the garment is made.

How to Wash Clothes and Home Accessories With Sequins
Detergent Gentle
Water Temperature Cold
Cycle Type Gentle
Drying Cycle Air-dry only
Special Treatments Hand washing or dry-cleaning preferred
Iron Settings Do not iron

Project Metrics

Work Time: 10 - 60 minutes

Total Time: 1-24 hours

Skill Level: Intermediate

What You'll Need

Supplies

  • Gentle detergent
  • Cool water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Cotton swab
  • Paper towel

Tools

  • Large sink or tub
  • Washing machine
  • Mesh lingerie bag
  • Drying rack
  • Clothes steamer (optional)

Before You Begin

First things first, always check the garment label to see what the manufacturer recommends. Some sequined clothes are hand or machine washable; others are dry clean only. Even if you are experienced at doing laundry, believe the label.

While most sequins will not be harmed by gentle washing, the base fabric can be ruined by washing. For example, a sequined jacket has interfacings that give it structure and if they get wet, the jacket will lose its shape. 

It also depends on whether the sequins are attached with thread or glue. Some glues will melt in dry cleaning solutions. A professional dry cleaner will know how to properly clean the garment. Do not use a home dry cleaning kit in your dryer to clean sequined clothes.

Instructions

  1. Spot Clean Stains

    Rather than washing, try spot-cleaning stains first. Mix a solution of one teaspoon dishwashing liquid with one cup of cool water. Mix well and use a cotton swab dipped in the solution to remove the stain. Work between the sequins to reach the base fabric as well as any stain on the surface of the sequins.

    Blot the area with a clean white cloth or paper towel as the stain is loosened. When the stain is gone, blot the area with a cloth dipped in plain water to remove any soapy residue. Finish by blotting with a dry white cloth and allow the item to air dry.

    If the stain is oily, you may need to use a dry cleaning solvent. Follow the product directions carefully and use as little cleaning solution as possible. 

  2. Freshen Sequined Items

    To freshen a sequined garment, use a fabric freshener spray only on the inside of the garment. Never spray the sequined areas because the spray can dull the finish of the sequins.

  3. Hand Wash Sequined Clothes

    Hand washing is the most gentle method for cleaning a sequined shirt, sweater, pillow or blanket.

    • Button or zip all closures and turn the garment inside out.
    • Fill a sink with cool water and one teaspoon of a gentle detergent designed for hand washing.
    • Completely submerge the item and swish it through the water. Do not scrub vigorously or wring the garment tightly. Too much agitation can bend or break the sequins.
    • Allow the item to soak for at least five minutes.
    • Drain the soapy water and refill the basin with clean water.
    • Rinse the sequined item until no suds remain.
    • Gently squeeze out the water.
  4. Machine Wash Sequined Items

    • Select the gentle cycle and cold water temperature. Set the spin cycle on the lowest speed to prevent damage to the sequins.
    • Add a gentle detergent. Do not use bleach or fabric softener.
    • Button or zip the garment completely. Turn the garment inside out so that the sequins are protected.
  5. Air-Dry Sequined Items

    • Skip the dryer. Never put freshly washed sequined garments or home accessories in an automatic dryer because the sequins or glue could melt.
    • If the garment is made from a woven fabric, it can be hung to air dry.
    • Knitted items with sequins and any especially heavy garment should be dried flat.
  6. Tackle Wrinkles

Never iron clothes with sequins. Even ironing on the wrong side with a pressing cloth can cause the sequins or glue to melt. If you must remove wrinkles, carefully use a clothes steamer. Steam on the wrong side and keep the steam wand at least twelve inches away from the fabric.

You can also remove wrinkles from sequined clothes by hanging them in a steamy bathroom for 30 minutes before wearing them. Allow the garment to dry completely before wearing to avoid creating more wrinkles.

Repairs

Loose sequins? If the sequins have predrilled holes, they can be reattached with thread. Use a very thin, fine needle and a thread that matches the sequins. Tie a knot in the thread and draw it up to the surface from the wrong side of the fabric (the knot will be on the wrong side). Use tiny stitches and reattached the loose sequins.

You can also use fabric glue. Use the least amount possible and allow it to dry completely before wearing the garment.

Warning

While some types of fabric glue are permanent, many will not hold up to washing; so hand wash the item every time or be prepared to reattach the sequins after washing.