Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dear Shopping Savage...

Dear Shopping Savage,

I recently bought a fabulous handbag from an up-and-coming new line that uses Chinese brocade - that is silk and viscose - and has wonderful, very vibrant colors. The problem is that it wrinkles easily. I need a way to store it and keep the interface and brocade from wrinkling. Is there a wrinkle retardant? Can I iron brocade and interfacing or do I steam it? I am also worried about how I would handle keeping it clean or removing a stain. The colors are so vibrant I am worried about them fading easily or stains showing up easily. Help!!


Silk Purse Panic


Dear S.P.P.,

Keeping your purse from wrinkling is fairly simple - in theory. When the bag is not being used, fill it with packing paper, bubble wrap or a few pairs of clean socks. This will help maintain its intended shape and reduce wrinkles. (Avoid using newspaper or printed on paper, as the ink has the potential to rub off onto the lining of the bag.) If the purse did not come with a cloth storage bag (also known as a "sleeper") you can use a pillow case to serve as a protector from dust, moisture and light.

Even with this system in place you still want to be prepared for the occasional wrinkle that may occur. You can iron the bag using the silk or delicate material setting, but a steamer would be easier to handle and significantly reduce your risk of causing heat-related damage to the fabric. Depending on how large of an opening the bag has, you want to look at steaming it from the inside. This should release most of the wrinkles and not affect the outward appearance. To avoid burning yourself, invest in a pair of steamer gloves, which may come in handy for future sticky steaming situations like this.

To help combat stains, Scotchgard is safe enough to use on silk, but you will still want to do a color test on a small, inconspicuous spot to ensure it won't alter the bag's overall coloring. In the event that a stain still manages to materialize, these tips on washing silk should help restore your bag back to purse perfection.

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