Sequined clothes and linens bring a bit of sparkle to our wardrobe and homes but they need some special care to keep them shiny and bright. How you care for your sequined clothes depends on what type of fabric is under the sequins, how many sequins are attached and how the garment is made.
How To Care For Clothes With Sequins
First things first, always check the garment label to see what the manufacturer recommends.
Some sequined clothes are machine washable or hand washable. Others are dry clean only. If that's what the label says, believe the label.
If the sequined garment has a stain but is otherwise clean, try spot-cleaning the stain first. If the stain is a non-oily food stain or dirt, mix a solution of one teaspoon liquid dish washing detergent with one cup cool water. Mix well and then use a cotton swab dipped in the solution to remove the stain.
Work between the embellishments to reach the fabric as well as the stain on the surface of the embellishments. Keep blotting with a clean white cloth or paper towel as the stain is transferred. Blot well with plain water to "rinse" and then blot with a clean white cloth to remove water and allow to air dry.
While most sequins will not be harmed by gentle washing, the base fabric or how the garment is made can be ruined by washing. For example, a sequined jacket has inner-facings that give it structure and if they get wet, the jacket will loose its shape. A professional dry cleaner will know how to properly clean the garment.
It also depends upon how the sequins are attached whether with thread or glue. Some glues will melt in dry cleaning solutions. Again, believe the label or ask a professional. Do not use a home dry cleaning kit in the dryer to clean sequined clothes!
Loose sequins? If you see a loose sequin or thread, resist the urge to pull the thread. Instead, make a double knot to hold the sequins in place until you can make a repair or take the garment to a good seamstress.
Hand Washing Clothes With Sequins
Hand washing will be the most gentle method for cleaning a sequined blouse or sweater. Always completely button or zip all closures and turn the garment inside out. Use cool water and a detergent designed for hand washing. Do not scrub vigorously or wring the garment tightly. Too much agitation can bend or break the sequins.
Machine Washing Clothes With Sequins
If you choose to machine wash clothes with sequins, again button or zip the garment completely. Turn the garment inside out so that the sequins are protected. Place the garment in a mesh lingerie bag for the most protection. Always use the gentle cycle with a cold water wash and rinse and a mild detergent. Set the spin cycle on the lowest speed to prevent damage to the sequins.
Drying Clothes With Sequins
Skip the dryer. Never put sequined garments in an automatic dryer - the sequins could melt. If the garment is made from a woven fabric, it can be hung to air dry dry. Knitted items with sequins and any especially heavy garment should be dried flat using a vented mesh stand or on thick towels.
Removing Wrinkles From Clothes With Sequins
Never iron clothes with sequins. Even ironing on the wrong side with a pressing cloth can cause the sequins to melt. If you must remove wrinkles, use a clothes steamer carefully. 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. Allow the garment to dry completely before wearing to avoid creating more wrinkles.
How to Remove Stains and Freshen Clothes With Sequins
For stains, remove any solids with the edge of a dull knife or edge of a spoon. Then dampen a white cloth in water. Work from the outside of the stain toward the center. Use a hair dryer set on low heat or air only to remove excess moisture which can leave a ring. Take stained dry clean only garments to a dry cleaner as soon as possible.
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 sequin finishes. Areas around the collar and cuffs that are not sequined can be cleaned with a white cloth dampened with a water and mild detergent solution. Wipe the inside edges with the cloth until no more soil is transferred to the white cloth. Finish by wiping with a clean cloth dipped in water. Allow to air dry.
How To Replace Loose or Missing 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 (knot will be on the wrong side). Use tiny stitches and reattached the loose sequins.
You can also use fabric glue to reattach. Use the least amount possible and allow it to dry completely before wearing the garment. SPECIAL NOTE: While some fabric glues are permanent, many fabric glues will not hold up to washing; so hand wash the item every time or be prepared to reattach the sequins after washing.