My good customer, Linda, recently purchased a vintage 1940's rayon suit from me. Linda was thrilled with the suit because it fit her perfectly. She took it to her favorite dry cleaner, whom she trusts with all her vintage garments. Sadly, the suit did not survive.
During the war years, garment manufacturers often had to make do with inferior quality fabrics and notions. This particular suit had pretty clear plastic buttons that complimented the white chiffon ruffles nicely.
Linda's dry cleaner didn't think the buttons were a problem, and so did not cover or remove them. Unfortunately, they melted during the dry cleaning process and made holes and stains on the suit jacket.
Linda asked me to share this with all of you. Please, please always remember to cover or remove the buttons from your fine vintage garments before having them cleaned. Older buttons, especially those from the war era, were not made to withstand the chemicals and heat of modern dry cleaning. By taking the time to protect your garment, you'll save yourself possible vintage heartache.