Sunday, December 9, 2012

When Imperfections Are Perfect...

I am sharing this post, not to be criticized, but so that other folks may learn from my mistake. 

I had purchased an amazing 35x120 silk shawl from a lady in England.  It was in almost perfect condition with only a couple of snags, but there were also a couple of stains, and they bothered me.  I wanted it to be perfect!  So, I checked around and found the highest ranked Dry Cleaner in Orange County.  I talked with them about my vintage shawl and what I wanted cleaned.  They assured me at length that it was certainly something they could take care of.  I left feeling reassured and confident that when I picked it up in three days, it would perfect!  Now, I know that vintage clothing, in most museums, is never really "cleaned" per se, more spot cleaned if a cleaning is even needed.  But, I thought to myself, this shawl is in such great shape it should be able to survive a mild cleaning with our modern products.  I was very much looking forward to picking it up!
In retrospect, I can not stress to you the level of my dismay when I returned to pickup my vintage shawl, only to see it in tatters.  Apparently the heat techniques just fried the silk to brittle nothingness.  If you flicked it with your finger, it would shatter or tear.  It literally was falling apart in my hands.  I was so saddened by the destruction of this gorgeous shawl, I could not even write about it for a couple of months.
So, today I can say that I wish I had been happy with my lovely vintage shawl just the way it was.  That it's tiny imperfections were what gave it that authentic look and feel.  I wish that I could have simply realized that this shawls imperfections were perfect just the way they were, then I might still have it with me.     

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