Monday, July 20, 2009

When Old Sequins Smell Funny...

vintage sequins
Someone asked about this awhile back. If I wasn't old and lazy I'd remember who or look it up...

Sometimes vintage sequins smell kind of vinegar-ish. This is not a good thing. It means the celluloid is breaking down. I do have some sequins that smell funny, like plastic, but that's not the same as the dreaded "vinegar syndrome."

I would recommend isolating those sequins from your other sequins, thread and cloth. I would also recommend not using them in heirloom-intended handwork. In other words, have fun with them while they last. But don't let them play with their friends. They're apparently contagious.

I couldn't find much on the net specifically on sequins and vinegar syndrome, but other collectors of celluloid stuff, such as old film, had some information that may be useful to us hand-stitchers who like to use vintage materials, especially sequins:


1 comment:

  1. Thanks...that was me! I'm going to isolate those sequins now & check them out. I didn't realize they were celluloid. I do know about celluloid disease as I use to collect Scottie dog antiques & some of the older toys/buttons would sometimes contract this disease actually infect whatever else was in the same display. I guess I thought possibly someone was trying to cheat me by saying it was "vintage" when it is not. I know that some disreputable antique dealers will "antique" paper items using a wash of vinegar to make the item LOOK old. I bought a Texaco piece & was shocked when I opened the bag a year later & the smell about knocked me down. At a conference, we used a black light & you could see imprints of the tongs used to dip the paper into the bath. So I guess I was thinking that was the issue here. I hate to hear that these sequins are diseased. I bought them in NYC at a booth selling vintage sewing items. I'm going to closely look at everything I bought from them as I got vintage buttons also. Thanks so much for the heads up.



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