Trim and Ornamentation

Trim and Ornamentation

Many of today’s fashions have the addition of decorative trim and ornamentation. While many of the materials used are serviceable, there are many that are not. Click on an option below to learn more about trim and ornamentation.

Sequins are usually circular, shiny discs applied to garments to increase the appeal of the garment. Unfortunately there are many possible problems with sequins depending on the material used to make them and the method in which they are attached to the garment.

Many colored coatings on sequins are only applied to the surface with an adhesive. The adhesive dissolves in the drycleaning process thus removing the color, the dye is then free to transfer to other parts of the garment.

Some sequins are made from a gelatinous material that is affected by heat in the pressing process or even sunlight which causes the sequins to cloud, melt or curl. Plastics are also used in the manufacture of the sequins and these often dissolve completely in the drycleaning solvent.

Sequins are often applied to the garment with a chain stitch which would unravel if the stitch is broken. They are often glued to the garment and may fall off due to friction from normal wear, or the glue may dissolve in the cleaning process resulting in a total loss of the sequins.

Most buttons present no problems during the cleaning process, but there are some types of buttons that should be avoided. Ask the salesperson where you purchase the garment if the buttons are safe in drycleaning. Although there are solvent-resistant buttons, some manufacturers continue to use polystyrene buttons that dissolve in the drycleaning solvent.

Button substances have specific affinities to certain dyes. When the improper dye is used, the button does not absorb or accept it. When moisture contacts the button, the dye bleeds onto the garment. This can occur in normal wear or when the garment is subjected to heat and moisture used during pressing the garment. These stains are often permanent and cannot be removed.

Diamond shaped glass is often inserted into buttons to give a more ornate appearance. The inserts are held in place by a glue that may not be permanent and the inserts could be lost in normal wear or due to the drycleaning solvent dissolving the glue.

Leather is a popular fashion trend used by manufacturers to enhance the look of many garments including jackets, sweaters, and dresses. Usually manufacturers are careful to use trimmings (suede or leather) that do not bleed, crack or lose color. Frequently, the problem of bleeding occurs when there is a dark colored trimming in combination with a light fabric. In such cases, bleeding may occur during normal wear or during the cleaning process. A drycleaning label is not necessarily a guarantee of serviceability. Make the store aware of your knowledge of the problem and the fact that if the trimming is unserviceable, it will be returned.

Raincoats are frequently trimmed with real leather, or leather covered buttons or buckles that lose dye and break in the course of normal wear and routine drycleaning. The problem occurs because the manufacturer used an inferior leather covering. The leather can break apart and lose dye from just friction and rubbing in normal wear. The cleaning process may accentuate the condition.



Shoulder pads create fashion because the look and appearance of the garment is altered. The change to large shoulder pads as a fashion trend has created problems for consumers and drycleaners. Shoulder pads are an integral part of the garment and should be as serviceable as the garment. Improperly manufactured shoulder pads may break up, distort or shrink. Many are improperly fitted to the garment and after one cleaning or launder are totally unusable.


Most beads are made of glass but there are other materials also being used as plastics and wood. Plastics dissolve and wood cracks while loose dye transfers to the garment. Glitter or cracked ice are small, randomly cut, colored pieces of metal glass or plastic, that add brilliance to the garment. Because of random shape and small pieces, glitter is usually glued to the the surface of the fabric. The glitter may detach from the garment in normal wear or the adhesive that holds it may dissolve in drycleaning. Mini mirrors are often clear plastic that have a silver coating, and the adhesive that holds the silver coating dissolves in drycleaning solvent resulting in the loss of the mirror affect.