Web Bonus: Tutu Care

Boston Ballet’s Larissa Ponomarenko. Photo by Angela Sterling

(Click here to check out “How to Dance in a Tutu.”)

Cleaning the skirt: Don’t get the netting or the hoop wet! They’ll lose their stiffness. Detach the bodice from the skirt, hold the tutu horizontally and dip just the panties into a large basin like your bathtub. Carefully wash the panties in a mild detergent, rinsing them in clean water. Hang the skirt to dry.

Cleaning the bodice: Spot-clean the bodice by dabbing soiled areas with baby wipes. If you want to wash the whole thing, make sure it’s colorfast and made of a synthetic or cotton material that won’t shrink. Unsure? Take it to a dry cleaner and ask what they would recommend. Some fabric, like satin brocade, needs to be dry-cleaned or it will droop after washing.

Maintenance: After each wear, check the hooks and eyes to make sure they are securely fastened, re-sewing them if they aren’t. Make sure the shoulder straps aren’t losing their elasticity and replace them if needed. Look over the trim and decorations; hand-sew any rips in the net or tacks in the tulle that have come undone.

Storage and traveling: Store your tutu flat on a shelf and cover it with a sheet to protect it from dust and light. When you travel, pack the tutu by laying it flat in a heavy cotton bag with a zipper down the front. A large garment bag is usually big enough, though you can also purchase a custom tutu bag.

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