Connecting to Collections Care Online Community

Fabric Cleaning

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    • #134108
      Caroline Blackburn

      We have a black dress of silk or polished cotton that has mildew stains. What are your recommendations for cleaning the mildew from the fabric?
      Thank you for the help,

    • #134111
      Quinn Morgan Ferris

      Hi Caroline,

      Thank you for the question. Since this topic is outside my area of expertise, I would like to direct it to someone with more information and experience. One of our experts should be able to get back to you shortly.

      Additionally, I would like to provide you with a link to the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, which outlines some basic care information, in case you haven’t already found it. The site suggests how to identify and re-mediate mildew on fabric, and also has good cautionary and safety information.

    • #134117
      Quinn Morgan Ferris


      A colleague who treats textiles provided this additional thought:

      The areas of the dress with stains from mildew have been damaged by the mold/mildew. Therefore, any stain removal treatment will risk causing more damage. It may be best to “live with” the discolored area(s). Alternatively, contact a textile conservator (, who will be able to examine and test the dress and the stains. A textile conservator will also be able to do microscopy to ascertain if the dress is silk or polished cotton. Knowing the fiber is essential for treatment.

      I hope that helps.

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Connecting to Collections Care Forum Archives – 2015 through 2018’ is closed to new topics and replies.