The lovely thing about vintage clothing is that it has survived this far, so naturally you would like to prolong its life even more! Knowing how to care for your vintage purchase is essential in prolonging its life and ensuring further years of enjoyment! Below are a few main pointers on caring for vintage clothing:

  • Always use padded or wooden hangers instead of wire hangers as gravity can cause rips to the seams over time or result in misshapenness.
  • Fold or roll fragile materials such as silk instead of hanging, wrap in acid-free tissue to avoid bleeding of colours and store flat.
  • Don’t store vintage items in warm environments such as cellars as warm, damp environments can result in mildew forming.
  • Store vintage in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight to avoid fading.
  • Most vintage garments from before the 1960s were not intended to be washed in a machine and should be hand washed or dry-cleaned. For very delicate items, the best thing to do is to not wash at all and to just air the garment.
  • Always wash at 30 degrees to limit damage to fibres.
  • Dry-cleaning your vintage clothes is recommended to remove musty smells such as cigarette smoke or mildew, but in cases where this is not possible, a mixture of white wine vinegar and water or cheap vodka and water sprayed onto the garment and left to air dry usually does the job. Alternatively, these mixtures can be added to boiling hot water in the bath or shower and the garment hung above to absorb the steam overnight.
  • Always dry clean silk, wool, velvet, and any garment with beading.
  • …’A stitch in time’ really does ‘save nine’, so be sure to have any holes or tears repaired immediately!

For a more in-depth explanation on how to care for vintage clothes, check out our blog post: How to wash vintage clothing and care for vintage and retro items.