It is a very exciting time when you decide to wear a professional tutu. You have become a ballerina. Your professional ballet tutu is a major investment as they can be very expensive depending on the design and degree of decoration you choose. Properly caring for your precious tutu investment will give you many years of happy use. If you care for each tutu you buy you will have a gorgeous collection of beautiful iconic dancewear on which to call for your amazing performances and a reminder of happy times spent dancing for the future.
There are so many different kinds of ballet tutus. You may have a platter tutu, a pancake tutu, a powder puff tutu or a longer romantic tutu. The tutu is standard in the ballet world and wearing one is a milestone in many a ballet dancers career. Whatever your reason for purchasing your tutu, be it a recital, or perhaps just becoming more advanced in your class and are ready for tutu work with a partner you must take good care of your tutu if you want it to last.
The problem is that the care and maintenance of a professional tutu is not all that easy: You can’t just throw your precious tutu into the washing machine. But not cleaning a tutu also shortens the life span of the skirt and bodice as the sweat, grime, make up and dust from the environment can cause the tutu fabric to deteriorate. Follow these steps and you will be certain to keep your tutu in tip top tutu shape.
What To Do When Your Tutu Arrives.
When your tutu arrives unpack it very carefully straight away and shake it out to free the layers of Tulle. Hold it carefully by the waist and not by the shoulder straps. Starting with the underneath layers gently run your fingers through the layers of netting to separate them and fluff up the layers. Take extra care if your tutu has delicate embellishments such as rhinestones and sequins which could be damaged or dislodged.
If your tutu is very wrinkled try to carefully smooth it out and hang upside down in the bathroom for about 15 minutes or while you shower to allow the steam to smooth out the creases. Hang it on a large wooden hanger with a straight piece, by pegging the outsides of the panties with pegs cushioned with tissue paper or sponges to stop marking. Don’t hang your tutu up by the crotch or it will over stretch the fabric. If you don’t hang it this way you will spoil the way the tutu falls.
You could also try spraying a very light mist of fabric conditioner mixed with water (one quarter of a cap full) over you tutu first and allowing it to dry. Once again take care not to damage any delicate decorations. If your tutu has any static problems run a sheet of fabric conditioner gently over it.
A tip when wearing your tutu to prevent perspiration and body oils soaking into the fabric is to wear a nude colored camisole under garment which is designed for designed for dancers.
It is important to care for your tutu regularly and after wearing so it will last as long as possible. Here is how to do it:-
First have a look at the fabrics used to make your tutu and the way it is constructed.. There are probably several different fabrics used to make your tutu. Are they washable? Will the fabric shrink or fade on washing? Will the colors run if washed? For example a black tutu skirt next to a white bodice might cause problems if wet.
Uneven shrinkage of fabrics when wet is a problem with tutus. For example if the lining is cotton and the bodice is polyester the cotton will shrink if wet giving a puckered look to your tutu which is not good. Make sure the fabrics and construction of the tutu are not spoiled by over wetting the tutu.
Cleaning A Pancake Tutu
If your tutu has any hoops or metal remove these first as they will rust if wet. If the bodice detaches from the skirt wash it separately if possible. Spot clean the panties by using a bowl of warm soapy water. Rinse well and dry thoroughly. Spot clean the bodice in the areas most affected by sweat in the same way as the pants.
If the tutu skirt does not have delicate decorations attached, swish the skirt in a bath of warm water and rinse well. If you use soap you may well make a frothy foam which will be difficult to rinse so just spot clean any make up marks etc. with mild ‘non -biological’ soap if needed. Take care not to crush the net which will spoil your tutu. Dry your tutu well. If you have any feather trims or any other delicate removable trims make sure you remove these before washing and reattach later.
Cleaning A Romantic Tutu
The pants of a romantic tutu can be cleaned in the same way as a pancake tutu by dipping them into a bowl of warm soapy water. The skirt can be swished thought a bath of warm water, shaken well hung up to dry on a large coat hanger. Dry upside down and hang by the sides of the panties as with the pancake tutu. The bodice can be spot cleaned depending on the fabrics used.
It could be possible to dry clean your tutu but this may caused the net to become softer. Also the glue used to stick on any embellishments might be loosened by the cleaning chemicals. Ask the cleaners for specialist advice on the fabrics before you do with the pancake tutu so you don’t stretch the fabric too much.
If your tutus need steaming to remove wrinkles and creases place them in the bathroom with the hot tap running for about ten minutes.
How to Store Your Tutu
Allow the air to circulate around the tutu and don’t cover with plastic. Always hang upside down or store pancake and platter tutus up side down on a shelf. Cover with a loose fitting fabric dust sheet, such as cotton or canvas and put some little packets of water absorbing crystal or desiccant around the tutu to keep it dry and mould free if stored for a long time. Some people suggest using chemical such as Febrez to freshen up a tutu but I would not recommend this chemical for use on a delicate tutu. Never store your tutu when it is damp.
There are specially made tutu cases for transporting your tutu from place to place whilst keeping it safe, clean and dry. I would recommend one of these to protect your tutu investment on the move.
If you follow the tips here you will have years of life and pleasure from your professional tutu.