Art of Adornment
|Vintage inspired Victorian, Gothic, Steampunk & burlesque jewelry and accessories. Satin, velvet & lace rhinestone chokers. Skull cameo pendants, beaded necklaces. Antique silver button covers, cufflinks, brooch pins. Crystal chandelier earrings. Thigh highs, tights, evening gloves, folding fans.|
Art of Adornment Ebay Store: Costume Jewelry Care
JEWELRY- Cleaning & Care
of our customers have expressed concern regarding the components
used in our jewelry (due to allergies, etc.), as well as how
to clean and maintain the products they buy here. This page
serves as a quick-reference guide so you'll have the answers
right at your fingertips!
to jump to:
General Questions About Our Jewelry
Fabric Chokers - Cleaning & Care
Plated Metal Jewelry - Cleaning & Care
QUESTIONS ABOUT COSTUME JEWELRY
Have Metal Allergies. Am I Going To Have A Reaction?
allergies are common (in about 12-15% of people), although
many with allergies can wear nickel for a few hours without
problems. Any metal components which are known to contain
nickel or any other substances that commonly raise health
concerns have been noted in the product description. We offer
upgrades to sterling silver parts on many of our metal jewelry
products - click
here for details!ls.
Does "Plated" Mean?
Plating is a process where one metal
is applied over another in a thin layer, usually by using
an electrical current to bond the two metals. This is done
for three reasons: 1. to protect against corrosion or scratches
(rhodium or nickel plating), 2. to resist discolouration or
tarnish (rhodium or gold plating), or 3. to reduce cost since
a product made with a thin layer of precious metal (such as
silver) over a less expensive base metal (such as brass) costs
much less than a solid piece of precious metal. Plating is
not as durable as solid metal however; it will eventually
wear away with continued use (where it rubs against the skin
mostly) to reveal the base metal underneath, a process which
can take 1-10 years depending on how frequently you wear it
and how well you care for it. Hence this is why plated jewelry
is much less expensive than solid precious metal; its shorter
lifespan is the sacrifice you make.
Rhodium is a silver-coloured precious
metal from the platinum family that is highly scratch- and
tarnish-resistant. It has a slightly less reflective finish
than sterling silver which makes it a great compliment to
antiqued silver jewelry, since antiqued finishes are darker
in colour and less reflective. We use a lot of rhodium-plated
components in our jewelry for both these reasons. Also, rhodium
is usually safe for people with sensitive skin since it does
not contain nickel (which is known to cause allergic reactions).
Is The Difference Between "Silver Plate", "Sterling
Plate", and "Solid Sterling"?
"Solid sterling" means that
the metal content of the entire component is .925 silver with
a .075 additive, usually copper (almost pure silver). "Sterling
plate" means that this high quality of silver has been
layered ("plated") in a coating on top of a base
metal, usually steel or brass. Solid sterling will
usually be stamped with a hallmark ("925"); sterling
plate will not have a hallmark since it is only a layer
over another metal. Since sterling silver is rather expensive
(and fairly soft, as metals go), plating it over a hard base
metal gives the component greater durability at a lower cost.
"Silver plate" is a general term and means that
a silver alloy (actual silver but often with very cheaply-made
components it is blended with nickel or tin) has been layered
over a base metal. Our silver-plated components do not contain
nickel and are most often actual sterling plate.
the Difference Between "Antiqued" and "Antiqued
Normal polished silver is bright and
shiny, and very white in colour. "Antiqued" silver
is slightly more steel-grey in colour, with the deep areas
in the design darkened (by use of a pigmenting agent) and
the raised areas still shiny. "Antiqued oxidized"
silver has been treated with a chemical that actually changes
the surface of the metal; it has a a rich all-over matte finish
("patina"), is steel-grey in colour, with the deepest
areas in the design significantly darkened to imitate considerable
Crystal Contain Lead? Is It Dangerous?
Crystal beads and rhinestones are usually
about 30% lead. You cannot absorb lead through your skin -
it is only transferable through inhalation and ingestion.
Thus, crystal should not be handled by children since they
often put objects in their mouths. Lead is present in many
other household objects (pewter, plumbing pipes, dirt/soil,
fine glassware, etc.); always wash your hands after handling
these objects, and never drink from a chipped or cracked crystal
Kind Of Quality Can I Expect?
Better than you probably think. Our
prices are rather low for artisan designer accessories, but
this does not imply poor workmanship. We simply do not believe
that designers should inflate their prices just to be pretentious.
How do we keep prices low? Products are sold direct from our
private studio, so there are no middlemen, no storefronts
to maintain, and no expensive overhead costs. We do all our
own web/graphic design, packaging, shipping, website maintenance
and marketing. We buy high-quality components wholesale, so
the savings are passed on to you. We are also extremely selective
and check each piece carefully for flaws - we would not sell
anything we would not be proud to wear ourselves!
Do You Get The Metal Choker Parts & Other Components?
Can I Buy Some From You?
Sorry - a great chef never reveals her
secret ingredients! Check out our About
Me page for where to buy great new & vintage components.
CHOKERS - CLEANING & CARE
If you are rough with your jewelry even
the most sturdy pieces can scratch, snag, or break - avoid
casually tossing your choker in your purse or jewelry box.
You can fold it neatly and store in a re-sealable plastic
bag (we often ship chokers in these bags, keep them!), lay
it flat in a covered tray so it won't get dusty, or hang it
up by the clasp/chain.
Wrinkled or Folded Satin and Velvet
Press satin chokers from the back using
the lowest steam setting. Do not let the iron touch any metal
or glued components. Velvet chokers can be steamed: (if you
do not have a steamer, set your iron to the lowest steam setting)
hover over the velvet, making several slow passes, avoiding
any metal pieces or glued components. Gently tug on the choker
for 10 seconds while it cools. If there are any "crushed"
or folded areas, lightly brush the velvet back and forth with
Stretched-Out, Folded or Wrinkled Lace
Most can be shrunk or tugged back into
shape with a mist of warm water. Place the choker face down
on a towel and mist with a spray bottle until lightly damp.
Remove from the towel and leave it somewhere warm to dry flat,
face-up. Arrange any out-of-shape areas by tugging in those
spots only. Don't pull on it horizontally or you will stretch
out the length (leave it slack) and weaken the ends where
the metal clamps attach.
All of the ribbon and lace materials
we use are colour-fast and washable, but still require care.
Generally, cleaning should be a last resort since you risk
making water stains, puckering the ribbon, and creating "worn"
marks - so don't do it until absolutely necessary. Dip a cloth in very diluted
mild detergent (the same type you use for lingerie/delicates),
dab gently, and allow the choker to dry flat in a warm place.
dab with a cloth or wipe gently; do not scrub or you may
pull it out of shape.
gently brush the cloth back and forth in a long sweeping
motion across the length of the ribbon, even the clean areas
of the velvet to ensure you don't make a "worn"
dampen ALL of the exposed satin equally or you could get
watermarks when it dries; will likely require ironing afterwards
(use lowest steam setting).
Getting Rid of Odours:
mist the back with fabric refresher spray (eg. Febreze). If that doesn't help, fill a sink with cold water and a capful of mild detergent. Drop the choker in, swish back and forth and leave it to soak for 10 minutes. Rinse carefully under a cold tap and allow to dry flat face-up on a towel. DO NOT tug on the choker while soaking wet! The fabric at the ends will have softened and could become loose where the metal parts attach if pulled on. Allow to dry completely, then if it needs some re-shaping or ironing follow the instructions above.
detailed info on how to select, wear and size fabric chokers?
Read our Ebay
METAL JEWELRY - CLEANING & CARE
(This includes the metal parts on our fabric chokers as well
as necklaces and earrings.)
Plated jewelry requires a bit more "TLC" than solid
precious metal jewelry. The plated surface is not as durable
as solid sterling or gold; since it is merely a layer it will
eventually wear away with continued use (where it rubs against
the skin mostly) to reveal the base metal underneath, a process
which can take 1-10 years depending on how frequently you
wear it and how well you care for it. This is why plated jewelry
is much less expensive than solid precious metal; its shorter
lifespan is the trade you make.
Storage & Care
It is easy to make your plated jewelry last longer. If you
wear it only periodically (only a few times a month and/or
for only a few hours at a time) and avoid contact with household
cleaning products, perfume and alcohol-based products, potting
soil and gardening activities, talc, and abrasive surfaces
such as granite, steel wool and sand paper, it should last
5-10 years. Hang up your necklaces and earrings rather than
casually tossing them in a jewelry box or else you risk scratching
any beads as well as metal parts.
You can further protect your plated jewelry by periodically
painting clear liquid lacquer specially designed for protecting
metal (or even clear nail varnish if cost is a factor) to
surfaces that touch the skin most frequently.
Avoid contact with abrasive chemicals as they
will damage the plating and ruin the darkened finish of antiqued
components. Instead wipe with mild soap and water - DO NOT
use chemical cleaners, anti-tarnish agents, or "impregnated"-type
polishing cloths. We recommend the SELVYT® brand 5"
x 5" washable polishing cloth or a piece of plain chamois
leather - these are safe on metal surfaces as well as crystal,
glass, acrylic and other costume jewelry components.