How to Wash and Care for Lace Clothes and Materials
Lace Fabrics

How to Wash and Care for Lace Clothes and Materials

Do you cherish your collection of beautiful lace garments – perhaps some traditional Nigerian lace blouses, dresses or fabrics? Are you unsure how best to care for delicate laces without damaging them? Do you want lacy favorites like agbada robes, aso-oke hats and gele headwraps to last many more years looking lovely?
Then read on for a helpful guide on how to gently wash and properly store lace clothing in Nigeria so you can enjoy wearing or gifting special lace fashions for generations.

How to Wash and Care for Lace Clothes and Materials

How to Wash and Care for Lace Clothes and Materials

Proper care is key when handling fine lacework. We will describe easy steps to clean and extend the life of handmade lace from sorting and soaking to air drying and storage boxes.

Follow these practical laundering, drying and storing tips to safely wash delicate lace garments by hand or machine. Avoid snags and stains, colors bleeding into whites and premature wear. Our lace cleaning advice will have traditional lace agbada or modern lace tops looking vibrant many seasons from now.

How to Wash and Care for Lace Clothes and Materials in Nigeria

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to wash and care for your lace garments in Nigeria.


The first step is to sort your lace materials into piles according to color. Wash light and dark colored lace separately to prevent colors from running into each other. White lace especially needs to be washed separately.

Sorting of lace fabrics

Sorting of lace fabrics

Also, do check all materials for stains and treat any stains beforehand.

Check Labels

Check clothing labels for specific washing instructions. Some lace may be hand-wash only while others can be gently machine washed. Abide by any special care instructions to prevent damaging delicate lace.


Most fine lace needs to be handwashed gently. Fill a sink, tub or large bowl with cool water and add a small amount of mild detergent or soap flakes suitable for delicate fabrics.

Hand washing

Hand washing

Agitate and squeeze the lace lightly to clean. Do not rub, twist or scrub the material.


Drain washing water and refill container with clean, cool water to rinse soap away. Change rinse water several times until water runs clear. Do not wring or twist lace to get out water. Simply squeeze gently.

Shape While Damp

While still damp, gently smooth out lace into its original shape on a flat surface. Use your hands to shape garment pieces as needed. As lace dries, it will maintain the shape it is placed in.


Roll lace in a towel to absorb moisture then lay flat on a mesh rack or dry cotton towel to air dry. Do not place lace clothing directly on wire racks as the impression may stay on the fabric. Dry indoors or in shade, not direct sunlight.

Ironing on Low Heat

Once fully dry, lace can be lightly ironed on low heat using a press cloth. The press cloth protects delicate lace from scorching.



Start with garment inside-out on ironing board and press sections for 5-10 seconds using light pressure.

Check Trims

Some laces may have additional trims like ribbons, buttons or beads. Handwash trims separately and air dry before ironing to avoid damage. Sew trims back onto garment once all pieces are fully dry if needed.

Stain Removal

One important thing to do and take care of your lace fabric is to treat stains on the clothes immediately. Soak in cool water with a small amount of detergent. Gently dab the stain without rubbing. Rinse well and air dry. For more stubborn stains, try soaking in a half water and half white vinegar solution before washing.

Mending Small Holes/Snags

Examine lace for small holes, runs or snags after washing. These can easily be mended with just a needle and matching sewing thread.

Mend small holes

Mend small holes

Weave threaded needle in and out around the hole to close while trying to match the weave pattern already there.

Proper Storage

After air drying completely, fold lace garments neatly and store in clean boxes or drawer sachets away from moisture, heat, bugs and direct sunlight. Avoid plastic bags as they trap moisture. Acid-free tissue paper between folds can help absorb excess moisture and prevent creasing.

Do Not Bleach

Never use chlorine bleach on lace fabrics as it can damage and discolor them. Only non-chlorine oxygen bleach cleaners marked safe for delicates should be used if disinfecting is necessary.

Choose Gentle Wash Cycles

If machine washing delicate lace marked machine washable, choose a gentle/delicates cycle. Wash on cool and never select a hot water setting. Use a mesh garment bag for extra protection during the cycle.

Blocking Lace

Some laces may require blocking – a technique using water and pins to set the shape. Pin dampened lace pieces to a padded surface and allow to fully dry before unpinning. Blocking can repair drooping hems or edges as long as the lace contains natural fibers.

Avoid Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning solutions and machines can be harsh on delicate lace. Only take lace items to a specialty cleaners experienced specifically with lace fabrics. Or stick to gentle handwashing for best results.


Have more questions on safely caring for lace fashions? Share them below.
We hope these everyday laundry guidelines give you confidence to gently clean lace garments yourself and cherish beloved lace pieces for years. With some simple tools, patience and our tested tips for washing, drying, ironing, repairing and storing delicate lace clothing or yardage, your heirloom lace will stay splendid.

Be sure to apply these practical steps for handling lace carefully. Sort properly, soak stains promptly, wash gently by hand or machine, lay flat when shaping damp lace, allow to air dry fully in shade then lightly iron inside-out on low heat.
Follow any special label instructions too. And voila – your lace will look truly lovely for many asoebi occasions to come!


About Mfonobong Daniel

Daniel is a seasoned content writer and the content manager at Ankara. He is a lover of books, creative writing, with a penchant for poetry and music. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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