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How to Care For Your Vintage Clothes - Tips on How to Wash, Store, and Mend

Updated on June 28, 2012
Read on for tips and tricks on how to store, wash, and mend your vintage garments.
Read on for tips and tricks on how to store, wash, and mend your vintage garments.

So you've bought your vintage garment and fallen madly in love with it, but will it stay with you forever? Like with all things you love, treat it with tender loving care and your romance should stand the test of time. Here are some tips and tricks on how to care for your lovely vintage items.

Hand wash your vintage garments and hang them to dry, as long as the fabric is not stretchable.
Hand wash your vintage garments and hang them to dry, as long as the fabric is not stretchable. | Source

How to wash and clean your vintage

1. Should I wash at home or dry clean? It depends. More durable fabrics like cotton, denim, polyester can be washed at home. We recommend hand washing garments with a mild detergent, like Woolite in lukewarm or cool water. In some instances you can pop vintage garments, like denim shirts and jeans, in the washing machine, however make sure to wash it in the delicate cycle using the cool wash setting. For more delicate materials like silk and wool or items you'd like to maintain structure, like a fitted jacket, we would recommend bringing it to your trusted dry cleaners.

2. Wash your clothes less often. Constant washing can put a lot of stress on old threading and fabric. The less you wash the longer your vintage clothes will maintain their color, texture, and size. If an item is really old or delicate, skip washing all together. Air it out and wash only the areas where you perspire, such as the armpits and the crotch.

3. Never use a dryer. Dry your vintage by laying it out flat. You can hang items that you don't think will stretch out, but it's better to lay items like sweaters or swimsuits on a rack or netted suface. Don't line dry your vintage outside. The sun will fade it out.

Make do and mend. Use buttons or appliques to cover stains or tears that are not repairable.
Make do and mend. Use buttons or appliques to cover stains or tears that are not repairable.

How to care for your vintage

1. Vintage garments are incredibly durable. If it's lasted for at least 20 years then it will last for at least 20 more. However, rips and tears can happen to the best of us. If you find a tiny hole in your favorite vintage item, don't fret. Think like the generation before you and make do and mend! The sooner you sew, stitch, or darn the better. Prevent any rips before they get bigger.

2. Is there a stain you can't remove? Be creative. Here's some ideas to get you started. Cover stains with beaded appliques, sequins, or vintage buttons. Another idea is to dye the entire garment in different color.

Store items in a cool, dry place and put them in cloth storage bags.
Store items in a cool, dry place and put them in cloth storage bags.
Keep those pesky moths away with cedar wood rings or blocks.
Keep those pesky moths away with cedar wood rings or blocks.

How to store your vintage

1. Keep it in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing your vintage items in damp areas, like in a box in the basement, where mould can develop.

2. Use a cloth bag to store your garments. Avoid putting your items in plastic. You want the fabric to be able to breathe.

3. Always clean your vintage item before storing away.

4. Store items, that may stretch over time, flat and folded away. Store items that need to maintain structure on a hanger. Some words of wisdom from personal experience - don't hang anything with an elastic band on trouser hangers with clips. Over time elastic bands will loose their elasticity, so keep them stretchable for longer by folding such garments away. Anything with an elastic band may need to be replaced in the future, which can be easily done by doing it yourself or going to your local tailors.

5. Use cedar wood blocks to prevent moths, instead of harsh smelling moth balls.

Comments

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    • CutandChicVintage profile imageAUTHOR

      CutandChicVintage 

      6 years ago from New York City

      I'm glad you found my hub useful! Thank you! :)

    • craftybird profile image

      craftybird 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      I love vintage clothes shopping! So many great things to find! Great tips!

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