Storage guide: How to store vintage clothes?

The fashion industry is one that has seen trends changing every decade. Many contemporary fashion houses are using vintage clothing ideas to the newest trends. But whatever be the reason, it is important that the vintage clothes are stored properly so they can be used for a long time. Vintage clothes are like your antiques, and they should be treated with similar care so they can stay as an heirloom to you from the previous era. Packing and keeping it in your closet just like any other cloth can damage it. Storing it in a bag without proper knowledge of folding can also damage it rather than protect it. 

Here are certain tips that can help you protect them for a longer time.

  • See to it that the wall clothes are not allowed to sit unwashed

Even the stains that look and visible today, like perspiration, can show up as a more prominent stain after years. It is better to remove the stain from the dress as soon as possible.

  • Avoid vacuuming textiles. 

It is seen that many times people tend to run their vacuum cleaners through the dresses so the dust particles don’t set on them and they don’t get dirty. Instead of running your vacuum cleaners through the dress, it is better to take a piece of cloth and rub off the dust from the textile. The fabric, threads, and embellishments that are present on your vintage clothes can get pulled off and get damaged on vacuuming. 

  • Avoid using wired hangers. 

Wired hangers might tend to look more steady and can hold the weight of the dress hanging through them, but using it for a longer period of time can damage your dress. When it comes to storing vintage clothing, it is done such that it stays longer. There are not as many occasions where these dresses can be used; hence their use is more kind of an antique showpiece rather than a dress. Using wired hangers for longer times can lead to the wire piercing through the dress fabric or material due to its weight and ultimately ripping off and damaging the dress.

  • Check the fabric from time to time to avoid pest infestation

When a dress or a fabric is vintage, people normally tend to store it properly and keep it boxed for a longer period of time as it shows no regular use. But it is important that you check the fabric from time to time because such vintage clothes are prone to attract pest infestations which can ultimately damage the whole fabric. If the fabric is checked on time, then even a small pest attack on the fabric can be controlled, and damage can be minimized. 

  • Detergent matters. 

It is often seen that people want to keep their vintage clothes clean, so they start washing those antique clothes with the detergents they use on their regular clothes. Always remember clothes that you use today have different needs. The clothes from yesteryears have to be handled carefully. Soft detergents should be used that will be gentle on them.

What is Vintage clothing

Here are the ways in which vintages can be stored.

If you have a gown that belonged to your grandmother and you would like to properly store it so that your grandchildren can also have a look at what their ancestors wore, then you have to take extra care in storing these clothes. Here are certain ways that you can follow to store your vintage clothes carefully.

  1. Vintage fabrics that you possess have already crossed the test of time, but if you want to store them for a longer period without damaging them, you should look for a suitable place. If you are thinking of storing the textile in a box, then see to it that it is free from any abrasions. Also, take care that the fabric undergoes minimum folding and is not kept under pressure. Try to keep them flat over a surface with minimum to no folding involved. 
  2. Another important point that you should take care of while storing the vintage fabric is low contact. To minimize contact with its surroundings, the fabric should be covered with a piece of muslin cloth or a satin cover, so the first point of contact is the satin cloth and not the vintage fabric. Doing this would prevent the fabric from coming in direct contact with the surface, which means that even if there are small abrasions or rough surfaces, they will not damage the textile. 
  3. The next piece of advice you can follow is to avoid storing it in a place with direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can affect the fabric and can also fade out the color of the cloth. Please keep it in a place where the light, temperature, and humidity are optimum for the fabric to stay. Sunlight can damage the cellulose or animal fibers that most vintage clothes are made of.
  4. You should see to it that the garments to be stored are kept in a flat position. But it is also true that it is not possible every time or for everybody to store the garment in a flat position. So even if you have to fold the garment to store it properly, you should look for natural seam lines or waistlines and accordingly fold the fabric. 

Read this : How to Wear Vintage Clothing ?


So you see, there are so many do’s and don’ts that you should follow to preserve your vintage clothes properly for generations to come. It would be best to keep in mind that these vintage fabrics have already been through a lot, and time has had its effect on them, so there can be slight damage happening to the garment. But it is possible to store these fabrics for a long duration if you follow the above mentioned points. Carefully arranging and understanding facts about how to store vintage clothes can keep your textile saved for a longer period of time.


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