Preserving & Cleaning Old Reversible Silk Jacket

While cleaning out a closet, I found a jacket my grandmother gave my father at least 50 years ago. The jacket is reversible: one side is sapphire blue with silver sleeves, a white eagle and peach colored flowers (I'm sure the flowers are cherry blossoms so the original color was probably pink). The other side is black with beige sleeves (I'm sure the original color of the sleeves was silver), a white and red dragon, and a white Mt. Fuji. The collar and cuffs are a thick cotton knit but everything else is PURE SILK. The jacket is in great shape except for age discoloration. There are no washing instructions. How do I clean it without ruining the fabric or making the colors run? I've heard too many dry cleaner horror stories to go that route. Would Woolite or one of those home dry cleaning kits work? My dad died a year ago and I remember how striking he looked in the jacket, I really want to preserve it. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Peanuts from Virginia



September 24, 20070 found this helpful

I don't know the answer to your jacket but I would ask a professional dry cleaner. An option might be to take the beautiful parts of the jacket and frame them under glass. I have seen framers such as Michael's Crafts do a beautiful job with such things. That way it would be protected forever with no worries about moths or stains or rips. I have washed silk before using Woolite or mild dish detergent that was also for fine washables and it gets clean but it never looks the same. I would be hesitant to put any water on it if the designs are painted on. If there is embroidery, I would be afraid that the colors in the embroidery thread would run.

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