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Hi everyone!

I am wondering what is the best way to sell vintage fabric, should you wash it or leave that to the person purchasing it?  I have a few pieces that have some sort of liquid "stain" that would come out with a wash but I'm not sure if that would turn off fabric collectors.

Thanks for any advice or opinions.


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Replies to This Discussion

I sell lots of vintage fabric.  I generally do not wash it unless is smells like smoke or is heavily stained.  Do keep in mind that your buyer wants a piece of fabric that can be used immediately in their project.  If you wouldn't put it into your stash with the stain or smell, you should improve it by washing it.  But you'll have to note that you washed it, or if you don't, that there are stains and you're leaving it to the buyer make the choice on how best to clean them.

I think it also depends on what type of fabric it is

I also sell lot of vintage material.. Chintz. should not be washed as it will take the sheen off of it.. I learned this the hard way and ended up with a bold of stinky yet adorable pink rose patterned that i used for wall paper at my shop. adorable.. yet as Chintz with sheen. so much more valuable.. learn your fabrics. and how to care for them. it will help your profit line big time in the end.

good luck


I agree. Some fabrics should not be washed.  However if I come across a wool or other delicate fabric with stains or smell, I don't buy it.  I'll likely have too much into it after I have it professionally cleaned to make a profit.

Thanks so much for all the wonderful advice!  You two have been so helpful, it is appreciated.   One of the stained fabrics seems to be a rayon blend and the stain is large so I'll try washing it and see how it turns out, I'll let you all know how it turns out.  Thanks for pointing out to note that the fabric is washed or not, I probably would have over looked that.

So sorry to hear about your experience with the Chintz, but what a wonderful idea to use it as wallpaper!

I am learning more about fabrics daily, do you have any suggestions of sites that might be good to check out on fabrics?


Hi Tonya. Try these out. For starters. Hope they help

Hi Nancy,

Thank you so much, I'm going to have a look right now.


I may be a bit of a germaphobe, but having vintage fabric around that's not been washed -- is well,  icky! And to think of all those dust mites LOL . I collect, and sell, antique and vintage lace, and thank goodness I have a strong background in textiles as I thoroughly clean my pieces.  The other risk is mold that is sometimes hard to detect, but if you bring a piece in and it spreads, yikes, then you have a problem.  It spreads through spores.  JMHO


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