« Jaeger wool corset, 1890s | Main | From the Archives: Duvelleroy fan-bag »

November 12, 2014

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Clare

It's lovely!
I've always wondered how these dresses were cleaned. From what is said about water damage, I assume they were not washed. But if they were worn with minimal underwear, they would need frequent cleaning, as modern dresses do. Were they dry-cleaned? Would the pleats stand up to that?

Joanna

Great question, Clare! The pleats would definitely not stand up to water, but because dry cleaning processes were so different in the early 20th century, it's difficult to say if it would have been safe. I was not able to find any original cleaning instructions, but there is evidence that some cutomers sent their dresses back to the Fortuny atelier for repleating after cleaning, or when the pleats began to loosen from wear. I hope that helps!

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