There have been many articles written about the care of petticoats. Some say to always lay the petticoat on its side in a box. Others suggest hanging the petticoat from a hook on the ceiling. There are people who swear by each method, but no one has ever done a scientific test to see which way really works best.
The fact is that everything wears out. No petticoat will last forever. The life span of the petticoat will depend on the number of hours it is worn, the type of fabric it is made of, and the number of times it is washed. There are a few things that can be done to extend the life of the petticoat.
Make a slip bag and carry the petticoat to the hall rather than wearing it in the car. This will reduce the amount of crushing due to sitting and seat belts. Also this will prevent the petticoat from being caught in the car door and getting ripped and greasy. Plastic bags should not be used to store or transport petticoats because they can keep in any dampness and odors. Cloth bags last longer than plastic, they can be pulled closed at the top. Make bags to match the colors of the petticoats and there will be no more searching for the right one. Look under the 'ProjectsSlip Tote Bag' heading for the instructions to make a . Place a dryer sheet in the bottom of the petticoat bag to add a fresh scent.
Don’t wash it unless you have to. Once a year should be more than enough for a petticoat that is worn frequently. The only part of the petticoat that gets ‘dirty’ is the waistband. At hot summer dances it may pick up some perspiration. To reduce this always tuck the blouse into the pettipants so that the waist band of the petticoat is over the blouse, not against the skin. If needed, rinse out the waist band of the petticoat in the sink but don’t get the entire petticoat wet.
Washing the whole petticoat it is a very gentle procedure. Set the washer for the gentle cycle, cold water and only use a small amount of detergent. Put the waist band of the petticoat around the agitator and push the rest of it in evenly. It can also be washed by hand in the bathtub. After washing shake it out and hang the petticoat to dry. It can be fluffed up in the dryer by putting it in on low heat for a couple of minutes. Just allow it to get warm, then snatch it out and shake. Do not walk away from the dryer or it may become too hot.
If the petticoat is getting really limp it may be just worn out. There are several ways that have been devised to revive a dying petticoat. Sugar water, liquid starch, white craft glue, floor wax and hair spray are just a few of the solutions that have been tried. All of those will flake off during dancing and they will become sticky in damp weather. We all want to save money but sometimes it is best to treat yourself to a new petticoat. The only permanent way to bring some life back into a petticoat is with fish line. See the section C.P.R. - Crinoline Petticoat Re-fluff-a-tation.