Caring for custom made costumes
Your new custom costume can withstand a lot of wears without having to wash, however when the time comes that you need to clean your costume, here are a couple tips.
Dry Cleaners use harsh chemicals and/or high heat in the process. While some custom costumes can be dry cleaned, we often do not recommend dry cleaning as we can't guarantee that the costume will withstand the process and come out looking as it should.
We recommend hand wash as a safe way to clean your costumes. Luke warm or room temperature water with Woolite will work perfectly fine. Dawn and water is a perfectly fine method as well as long as you don't use more than a drop. Since Dawn is highly concentrated, you don't want a water that is overly sudsy with bubbles as soap residue will dry and makes your costume feel crunchy or rough. If you get too much soap or Woolite in the water, drain water and rinse thoroughly. Soap will not damage your costume but left to dry causes stiffness in the material.
If it is not practical for you to hand wash a costume, costumes may be put in the washing machine on a Cold/Gentle cycle. We do not recommend putting your costume in the dryer for most circumstances - some costumes can withstand a non-heat cycle but largely we recommend hang dry or air dry. Any costumes that contain glittered fabric should be washed separately as loose glitter will come off a garment and get on everything else. Glittered costumes we recommend hand washing and not machine washing as too much aggitation in the cycle will make the glitter designs fall off completely.
Standard Industry Cleaning
We also recommend the theatrical/ballet/stage production method of caring for costumes that are beaded, heavily detailed or too bulky to put in the wash or dry clean. A solution of 50% cheap vodka and 50% water and put in a spritzer bottle to get rid of body odors inside the costume and bacteria. If you need a stronger solution you can up the vodka to 75% and 25% water.
Wool shrinks under high heat, it can be washed in a washing machine, but let it air dry or hang dry.
Best to use the standard industry cleaning method for these types of costumes.
If a sequin or bead falls off on a costume note that there may be a chain of beads on that same thread. It is important to knot the thread immediately to prevent further beads or sequins sliding off. Once the thread is knotted, you can trim off the excess thread and stitch matching beads or sequins to fill in the design that was damaged. If not, you can knot the thread and send it to us to repair.
Washing machine on gentle or handwash. Use handwash if the satin is glittered.
Same as satin.
Other fabrics contact us for care instructions.
Care of custom designed Shoes
Protecting your heels
We recommend using SoleMates to protect your heels from grass stains and from abrasion from walking and getting caught. They can be purchased from our store. Any shoes made from leather will need to have leather protectant spray applied to guard against rain damage. Leather protectant spray is available at any Shoe Repair Shop and in most common retail outlets where leather goods are sold. Shoes made of satin can be sprayed with Meltonian Water and Stain Protector to guard against dust and stains. Meltonian is a brand that is often found at Cobbler's shops, Shoe Repair Shops, and online.
Care of Items that are painted and are made of wood or plastic
Items that are painted are painted with acrylic paint and have a sealer on them. If you chip or damage the paint job in your custom item, you can choose to send it to us for repair, or touch up the paint. If you are unsure of the paint or brand used in creating your item, please contact us so we can direct you.
Care of Items with Crystals
Items created with crystals attached are cared for much like glittered items. Do not expose anything with crystals to areas with high heat (i.e. you will not want to take them to the dry cleaner or put them in the dryer). The result of putting costumes near or in high heat will loosen the glue and the crystals will detach. Note that items that are glittered or crystalled and are on stretch fabrics will have crystals fall off as worn and the fabric stretches as the mobility places aggitation on the glue and fabric. Replacement crystals can be purchased at any time from our shop to keep your garment looking new and as wear and tear happens on your costume.
Styling or Restyling Wigs
All our wigs can be sent to us for restyling. Most restyling fees are $30 per wig, and increases depending on the complexity of the wig style, volume of hair, and current state of the wig.
If you would like to restyle yourself, wigs can be washed with a wig shampoo (available online by many suppliers) and then allowed to air dry or hang dry. Do not attempt to style a wig that has wet hair. Once dryed, it can be restyled and lasts for many years.
Wigs can be styled using a wig safe hair spray or using hot rollers. Since most of our wigs are heat resistant, they can also be used with a curling iron on the lowest setting, however we do recommend hot rollers as a preferred method. If unsure about the heat level, test your iron on a very small section of hair that will not be noticeable if damaged. If the fiber melts, it cannot withstand the level of heat you applied. Touch ups can also be done by using a spray bottle of water and wetting sections of hair for restyling. Allow to dry and then style back into place and spray with hairspray. This can be extremely helpful if you end up with wispy strands getting in the way or becoming loose after wear.
Crinolines and Hoops
Crinolines or slips are mostly made of nylon and netting. They can be machine washed and we recommend they are air dryed afterwards. This is particularly useful if your hems or underpinnings become dirty during wear. If your netting becomes damaged, such as getting your heel stuck and ripping, the only thing that can be done is to cut away the damaged netting. Sometimes if the rip occurs on the outer layer, a hem can be repaired, but most likely it is better to cut it away or replace the crinoline.
Hoops have metal or steel boning and cannot be machine washed unless you remove all the bones (which is tedious and a pain). Bones will rust if wet so you cannot immerse it in water. Therefore spot cleaning is the only option and air dry.
Corsets also have metal boning and so we reccommend the same process as hoops for cleaning. Corsets cannot be soaked in water just the same as the bones will rust and the rust will come through in the fabric.