Mother of pearl buttons adds a touch of sophistication to any garment. However, when cleaning these buttons, you need to exercise caution. Dry cleaning mother of pearl buttons can be tricky, and if not done correctly, these buttons can easily break and chip.
Mother of Pearl is an iridescent (showing luminous colours that seem to change when seen from different angles) substance that forms the lining of the shells of some molluscs, such as oysters and abalones. The lining of the shell is made up of microscopic plates of calcium carbonate that are stacked like bricks. These plates reflect light, creating the iridescent effect that makes mother of pearl so desirable.
If you know that your garment has some mother of pearls button, inform your dry cleaner about it. It is not always easy to see that they are mother of pearls.
It is essential to protect the mother of pearl buttons during the dry cleaning process.
A protective fabric can be stitched to cover them, or a heavy-duty foil added around them or they can be removed entirely before the cleaning and put back after the cleaning. The second option is the safest! We also need to remember that already damaged mother of pearl buttons are more likely to break during the dry cleaning process.
With the proper care, you can enjoy the beauty and elegance of mother of pearl buttons for years to come.
Here at Farthings Cambridge and Farthings Trumpington, we can help with your garments. If you are ensure of how to care for your mother of pearl buttons, come and see us. We are based at 143 Milton Road Cambridge CB4 1XE and 1 Anstey Way Trumpington CB2 9JE.