Here we’re giving you our best costume care advice to clean your dance clothes.
I met several cases when dancers were afraid to wash their dance clothes. However, it doesn’t matter how we launder our beloved and carefully chosen dance costumes, but sometimes we have to deal with it.
What’s most important, is the fabric type and care instructions on the garment. First, take a look if you find care label in your clothes. That must be sewn in the inside part. There you find basic instructions how to wash, iron, clean that garment. Should it be missing, no worries, there is still a solution to refresh your costume without risking any damage. Just keep reading further.
One important thing is to be aware that not cleaning your costume at all can potentially cause more damage. On one side polyester fabric may smell after several heavy usage, on the other hand it’s not recommended to wash after each use. You have to find the right balance.
Between 2-3 frequent usage of your costume or practicing dress just ventilate it and dry on open air, spread out horizontally.
The most safe cleaning method is hand washing. Wash your garment in cold water (max 30 degrees) with a small amount of neutral liquid detergent. You should also be careful with small details such as jewelled embroidery or sequins. This is best washed by hand individually.
If you want to wash in machine, do it carefully. I recommend you to wash your clothes on 30 degrees, using a short program or any gentle cycle with a little detergent. You can use washing bag to separate your dance clothes, but be sure you wash it with similar colors. After program finishes the wash always take out the clothes promptly. Do not allow clothes to crease in the machine for a long time.
Avoid color bleeding with a few simple tips: use cold water, don’t soak or leave your costume unattended while washing, and remove from the water promptly. Protect against further damage by avoiding abrasion: do not wring, rub or agitate your garment. By adding vinegar to the water we can keep the bright colors of our clothes.
Be careful in case of stretch fabrics! Should your skirt contain spandex (or elastan) fibres, do not use softener while rinse, it can break down and lose the elasticity of the stretch fibres. Simple, use cold water only.
Two more advices:
- Don’t give to dry clean your costume, unless it’s the only possible launder method on the care label.
- Spot clean before washing if needed. Before applying the spot cleaner, test your fabric! Apply the spot cleaner in a hidden area. Make sure the cleaning product you choose doesn’t alter the color of your fabric or dull shine.
Once finished, let’s take a look to the next critical step: how to dry your clothes.
Again, check if your clothes contain spandex fibres or not. Your spandex-based fabric will shrink when exposed to heat! So, don’t put your clothes into the dryer or don’t dry your garment on direct sun. The heat from the dryer will also break down the elastic fibres.
The best drying technique is to blot excess water from your garment by using towels. This may require using several towels. Make sure there isn’t any water dripping from the garment. Then you can hang it to dry or laid it horizontally inside out on a shady place.
Now, it comes to the final step of garment care. The question is to iron or not?
The best way to get any wrinkles out of your garment is to use a steamer. In case of elastic fabrics never use hot iron, it can damage the spandex fibres. If you iron your garment, use low heat and always iron on reverse side.
Store your garments after complete drying. Hang them to avoid wrinkling. Use sponge hangers to keep your costume without seeing the place of hanging. Keep your costumes in a breathable garment bag and protect it as much as possible from the dust.
Following these few steps you will be able to keep your flamenco dress as new.