One thing I use for wee smells (pets and boys) is WHITE vinegar. cheaper than apple vinegar and not coloured. Mix with water and spray on. Works on sweat but don't know about smoke
I'm fascinated by this thread! I've often seen second-hand costumes for sale at festivals and fairs, but I've been reluctant to buy them because of the fusty (or even funky) smell that hovers over them. I worry that it would smell a lot worse when I get hot while dancing. Some of these suggestions are great!
Luckily the fashion here in Australia seems to be for plainer costumes with a lot less beading. As a relative beginner, I am still just at the hip-scarf stage anyway, although I'm sorely tempted to buy a proper costume just for the fun of wearing it!
I tried to make sure my skirts and harem pants were at least hand washable and I basted thin felt or cotton into my bras and hip bands so I could replace the linings when they got too soiled. It's a bit of trouble, sure, but still less work than making a new costume. In a pinch, I could even handwash my coin bras (VERY GENTLY!!!) because I never used the kind of fabric stiffener you see in many bras and hip bands that dissolves upon contact with water.
Yeah it could easily be from the metallic beads. Sometimes things just have a funny odor.
Originally Posted by Azeeza
I don't think it was you, I think it was the fabric itself.
Originally Posted by Tarik Sultan
Years ago I got some gorgeous printed crinkle lightweight satin from an import store. I brought it home and it smelled a bit like a wet dog.
I washed it & dried it. If you stuck your nose right in and snuffed hard the odor was still faintly there, but really not noticeable. I thought it would eventually air away. I left the fabric on a chair in my project room. The next day was super humid and muggy, and the whole room smelled like a wet dog.
Spread it out, sprayed with with vodka, let it dry. Again the smell was almost but not quite completely gone. Put it in an old pillowcase so it wouldn't accidentally contaminate anything else and stuffed it in my fabric stash. Years later I pulled it out. The wet dog smell was as strong as ever.
Gave it the old vodka squirt again, and used it to make a ghawazee coat. Got loads of compliments on the coat, but I always freshened it with fabrezee, vodka, or white vinegar before wearing it.
Then one day I wore it to an outside festival. The clouds rolled in, the sky grew dark, and it started to drizzle. As soon as the first few drops of rain touched the coat, the smell began to ooze from the fabric...
Oh I'm so sorry to hear this. The destruction from a fire is terrible, my mother's house partially burned when I still lived with her back in the early 80s. The fire was not in my room but in a different part of the house.
Originally Posted by Wulpsie
All the furniture, curtains, everything out in my room had an oily, sooty coating. The bedclothes, rug, curtains, etc. had to be trashed. The furniture had to be either stripped and refinished or painted. Luckily the clothes inside the closet and dresser drawers didn't get coated, just saturated with a smokey smell. I washed everything with two cycles (ie, run the washer a full cycle, leave the clothes in, add more detergent and wash again), then hanging them outside in the sunshine to dry.
I'm not sure what direct sunlight would do to the beads. I'd suggest a good fabreeze or vodka spray, then hang them outside in light shade on a breezy day.
Last edited by Shanazel; 09-25-2008 at 02:18 PM.
Reason: combine posts
I know what you mean.
There have been times where I've purchased silk tops from stores and they smell funny. I'm not sure if it's a chemical that is applied to the silk when the top was made or what.
Also, one time I purchased a costume from a fellow dancer and it smelled gross, like an old Middle Eastern meal or armpits or something. I soaked it twice in cold water and laundry detergent. The smell never went away, but the sequins started to separate and the beads started to lose their luster. I've not worn the costume once and this was three years ago. It's not quite so smelly, but there still some funk on it.
Another time I purchased a caftan and the pits were smelly. Learning from my above mistake of soaking in water, I used Febreeze, over and over and over again, letting it dry in between. The smell is still there, but not as bad as before. I've not worn this piece of garment either.
You could try smoking it with incense! A friend of mine suggested it for me and it worked...