How to Prepare Your Clothes for Long Term Storage
20 Nov 2014
A Few Things to Think About before putting Clothes into Storage
Winter is definitely creeping in, and we’re slowly getting our scarves and hats out from wherever they’ve been stored. If you’re an organised type, you’ll be thinking about storing away all your summer clothes now; there’s no need for bikinis and shorts any more.
If you don’t store them correctly, then you could be damaging your clothes. Clothes and linen can be damaged irrevocably by mildew and insects, and because you won’t be regularly checking on your stored items, you are unlikely to notice the damage until it’s too late.
Follow these rules for fabric storage and your clothes could last for years in storage.
Before you store clothes, you must make sure that they’re clean and dry. Particles of food, perspiration or dirt can stain over long periods of time and can become very difficult to remove. Dirty clothes can also attract insects.
Wash items according to their instructions, and dry clean any necessary items before packing them away.
Should You Vacuum Pack?
If you’re looking to save space, then vacuum packing is a perfect way to do it. However, there is speculation that over a long period of time, this way of storing your clothes can damage them. The theory is that most natural cloth needs air to retain its structure and integrity, so when you take all the air out, you compress the fibres, and it takes a long time for the clothes to get their shape back.
If you’re looking to store for a few months, then vacuum packing will help you save space and won’t damage your clothes. If you want to store for a longer period of time, or you want to store heirlooms or expensive items, then vacuum packing may damage your clothes and should be avoided.
If you decide against using vacuum packs, don’t use plastic bags or cardboard boxes, and instead use air tight plastic containers. They will keep your clothes dry and stop mould and mildew. Plastic bags will trap moisture and cause mould, and cardboard boxes won’t protect against vermin.
Use Plastic Containers
“Clean, Cool, Dark and Dry”
When storing clothes, you need to make sure that the environment is stable, and ideally no hotter than 23?C with a relative humidity of 55?C. However, this is very particular, and as long as the area is clean, cool, dark and dry, your items should be safe.
To avoid your clothes getting squashed, then make sure that you pack correctly. Store your heaviest clothing items at the bottom of your container and lighter items on top, so that the shape of your garments doesn’t change.
If you need to hang items, then special wardrobe boxes come with a built in hanging rod. Items like suits should be hung, but knitwear will lose its shape, so make sure that these are folded.
If you have any handy tips, please leave us a comment below.