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How to wash and care for Acetate fabric

Updated on by Sarina

Most people think that they do not have any acetate fabric in their wardrobe, but if you have any tailored garment or a nicely lined dress or gown, you probably have. Most store-bought coats, jackets, skirts, and dresses have acetate as lining. Many of the low-cost shiny gowns and costumes these days maybe made of acetate. Acetate fabric is made out of man-made fibers made from cellulose and they are widely used in the garment industry than many assume.

The main complaint about acetate fabric is that it is not long-lasting. Acetate is a slightly problematic material in the area of maintenance because it tends to get damaged fast. Still, many shoppers ignore this because it is a cheap material that looks alright. And if washed and maintained right, it can last because it cannot be attacked by moths, mildew etc., unlike natural fabrics.

There are some pitfalls you should not fall into if you have acetate garments. If you can avoid this, you are good, and the garment will be good too

Caring for Acetate – what to look out for


Keep away from chemicals and alkaline substances

There is one thing that I read everywhere regarding acetate –  Keep away from nail polish remover containing acetone. But this is not the only thing that should be kept away. Acetate should never be in touch with spot stain removers, acetic acid containing products, phenol, and other chemicals.

Alkaline substances are substances with a ph value of more than 7. These include baking soda, caustic soda, and such materials regularly used in cleaning. Keep away.

Avoid Water damages

Water can cause water stains on acetate; it also causes the color of the garment to run.

Avoid Staining materials

Avoid all staining materials – this is true for all clothes- you would do better to avoid all stains; but it is true for acetate than any other fabrics; even alcohol can stain your acetate fabric.

And, you cannot spot clean it with any chemical solutions. And if you use aggressive materials, you risk damaging the look of the fabric. If an acetate garment is stained in a conspicuous place, consider it gone.

Avoid heat

Though acetate is said to be resistant to flame ( the fibers are supposed to shrink from flames), high heat from a very hot iron can damage acetate fabric, when in contact. If exposed to very high heat, the fibers melt, like a true blue synthetic material.

Avoid long exposure to sunlight

The bright and varied colors of acetate fabrics can fade if exposed to too much sunlight. Generally, acetate is not susceptible to UV rays of sunlight, but the color can fade.

Quick questions on acetate care

Can I wash acetate fabric?

Most acetate clothes are marked Dry clean only. If it is satin acetate, better give it for dry cleaning. The soft smooth surface is delicate too. Washing at home and the agitation it involves can mar the surface of the fabric.

If you are handwashing any acetate fabric, use mild detergents, and then after rinsing, do not wring to get water out.

Is it ok to machine wash acetate fabric?

I prefer to hand wash acetate. Most of the acetate fabric you have in clothing will be as lining – and this will be a garment you may give for dry cleaning or strictly handwash. But if it is a pure acetate skirt or gown, hand wash it for it to last.
And if you want to machine wash, use a laundry bag and keep it inside – the way you wash delicate clothes and lingerie. This way, the agitation inside the machine would not cause any harm. And do not dry inside the machine- dry it in your good old line.

Would acetate shrink if washed?

Acetate generally does not shrink. But if it is a blend of acetate-rayon, it would shrink because rayon fibers shrink.

How to get stains out of acetate?

It is tough to get stains out of acetate – if you use spot cleaners, you may fade the fabric in spots. You can try to dry clean the stained clothing. Do not even think of boiling it in water to get the stains out like you would a cotton fabric.

Does acetate wrinkle easily? How to get wrinkles out of acetate clothes?

Acetate wrinkles quite easily. But the use of high temperatures to remove these wrinkles can damage them. The fibers will melt and stick to the soleplate. Use a low temperature with your iron and that too on the back while slightly damp, Or else use steam pressing. Steam pressing is the best for acetate fabrics.

If you want to iron from the front of the fabric, use a pressing cloth.

Related posts: Acetate fabric; Fabric dictionary; Make a laundry bag for washing machine.

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