This was a beautiful dress last week. Pure silk, 1960s, well-kept by a lovely old lady (now in late 80s) since that time.
It had a good few age spots, so being a pure, lightweight silk, I sent it to my specialist dry cleaner. In case you're not aware, most silk garments can't be handwashed, and are dryclean-only, simply due to the nature of the fabric.
For the first time in nearly 5 years, not only could my dry cleaner *not* save this one...but as you see here, it completely perished.
Dry cleaning will often bring hidden damage to ones attention; this dress looked perfect when I bought it, albeit a little dirty. I'd far rather that I experienced this result, rather than a customer.
As you can see, the fabric has simply disintegrated...it was never going to last. this is not to say that dry cleaning is evil or too harsh...simply that sometimes it must be done (but not all the time!) and as you can see, sometimes it's a fine idea.
Please, don't let this example deter you from dry cleaning- it's often the best solution, with certain garments. For specific advice, please email me- link is in the left sidebar.