specific problems… frail or fragile

if the item is fragile, but handle-able, such as a very old Christening gown, first place it inside a mesh bag or pillowcase and gently wash by hand. the case will support the fabric of the item.

if an item is not washable such as some beaded brocades, lightly dab it with a slightly damp sponge.

I do not usually launder silk, having destroyed some in the past. I have sent embroidered silk shawls and scarves to the dry cleaner with success.

with an item that is extremely frail and likely to fall apart with handling or washing, I recommend that you either find a conservator or accept it as is and live with it.

not all stains can be removed without destroying the textile. If I can not live with the condition, I usually try to launder the piece, knowing that it may not survive.

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