Q: While pressing a dress I noticed staining around the buttons. What caused this?

A: The dyes in the buttons are usually colorfast to drycleaning solvent, but will bleed readily upon contact with moisture or the steam necessary for a finishing operation. Usually, the stains are similar in color to that of the buttons and appears adjacent to where the buttons are attached or in any area that the buttons came in contact with while they were wet with steam from normal finishing procedures. Self-staining such as this can only be prevented by the manufacturer selecting materials for buttons and other trim that are completely colorfast to drycleaning and steam finishing. In some cases, it is possible to restore the item by removing the buttons and removing the transferred color by using protein formula or mild bleach. Remember to test for colorfastness first. New buttons can then be applied. Some of these stains are permanent and cannot be removed.