ok. this is a bit long coz i am so kind of bummed and just wanted to share in case anybody had any suggestions/ similar experiences with washing vintage fabric:
Yesterday I bought a box of 13+ vintage obi for 40$. the minimalist yuppie couple i bought it from had lived in japan for 5 years and were moving/downsizing their stuff. they were awsome and the obi is truly vintage.
i decide to try and wash two. of course i dont choose an 'uglier' one. i go right on and wash two pretty ones that i want to use..the first one came out ok...i used dish soap...i figured it was milder than detergent... a little color bleed. the second one, a beautiful one that has cranes, landscape, gold, trees, leaves really nice one all shades of dark greens...it was so dirty. and i killed it! i wasnt gentle enough. the fabric seemed to have grime in it, the water was all black/brown, there were little bits of dirt i could see forming on the tub (where i washed em).
it ripped and holes appeared in some places... it felt like the fabric was melting! little bits of gold dust were on my fingers. i didnt use any soap.
then i just stretched it flat hung them...the green one i layed on a drying rack.
tried to reasearch what era/period that kind of obi is and i think i may have washed something close to a 100 years old!. i feel terrible to say the least
here they are the next day
the red one