Oil Stains On Silk

Dear Andy,
I just bought a black silk dress last week and wore it for a wedding last weekend. The dress has two layers, with the outer layer being a very thin, almost gauze-like silk. I accidentally sat in something that left three dime-size oil stains on the back side of the dress. I followed some poor advice to spot clean the oil stains with cold water and a hint a soap using a cotton swab. This method of spot cleaning not only did not remove the oil stains, but it also appeared to have faded the material. I can’t tell if it is soap residue, water staining, or a fading of the original black color. I brought it to the dry cleaner and they couldn’t really do anything. What exactly happened? When I was spot cleaning the dress, I did not see any color bleeding.
What can I do to fix the dress? Can it be dyed? I haven’t been able to find a dry cleaner that is willing to try to dye the spots. How could I dye it myself?
Thank You!!!

Dear Deb: This is a question for our resident dye expert: Jennifer. Without further ado…..take it away Jennifer. Good Luck, Andy

Dear Deb,
I really don’t know what happened. If I had to guess, I would say that the dye ran or moved around locally. I have had this happen with a piece of silk chiffon that got partially wet – there is a noticeable water spot or line on the wet part which I think is dye moving. It also could be soap residue.
I personally have good luck with Stainstick on oil or grease spots on silk. Of course, this method also involves washing the entire piece or garment, & doubtless your dress is marked dry clean only.
I will refer this matter to Sherry at www.fabricdyeing.com. See what she says. I don’t recommend that you try to dye it yourself. Black is a hard color to dye anyway & the construction of your dress would have to withstand warm water & some agitation.
Best of luck.

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