If your clothes are going into storage, you want them to come back out in the same shape they went in. These practical tips will help to make sure that happens.
Getting things ready for the closet
Before putting clothes into storage you want to take some precautions. For instance:
- Be sure that the closet or storage area has been dusted or vacuumed thoroughly.
- Make sure the clothes have been properly cleaned.
- Line shelves with acid-free paper (available at art supply and framing stores) to help preserve clothing.
- Wrap the clothing in folds of acid-free paper.
- A supply of mothballs placed near the clothing, but not touching it, will discourage insects. Cedar, available in balls or blocks, also keeps insects at bay and smells much nicer.
- Wash your hands before handling the clothes you’re putting into storage.
- Antique clothing or fabrics and garments that have sentimental value should be stored flat, wrapped in folds of acid-free paper and placed somewhere dark and dry.
Special instructionsfor special fabrics
Some items benefit from a little extra care before being put away. Here’s how to prepare and store special garments.
- Fur: Professional cold storage is best for fur; but if stored at home, a fur should be hung on a well-padded hanger in a moisture-free garment bag.
- Linen: Wash and iron linen before storing. Roll rather than fold whenever possible to avoid creases.
- Wool: Brush or clean wool clothing and wrap the garments in acid-free paper. Use mothballs, cedar blocks or cedar balls, or place in a cedar chest.
- Hats with feathers: Store in hat boxes with plenty of breathing room.
- Wedding dresses and long gowns: Hang wedding dresses or long gowns on well-padded hangers in moisture-free garment bags. Long trains can be attached to the top of the hanger with stitched-on ribbon.
- Silk: Wrap silk in acid-free paper, being sure to place extra paper in folds to protect the delicate fabric.
- Quilts: Store quilts as flat as possible. Wrap in acid-free paper, fold and store. Refold often to avoid creases.
- Velvet: Wrap velvet in acid-free paper and roll the garment loosely in the direction of the pile to avoid creases.
Since our clothes spend more time stored away than on our backs, it’s important to keep them stored properly. That way, you favourite pieces of clothing will always be ready when you need them.