Caring for Vintage Clothing

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Caring for Vintage Clothing

Vintage clothing has soared in popularity in recent times because of its timeless elegance. However, taking care of vintage clothes can be tricky because they need some extra TLC. Read on to find out how you can prolong the look, feel and fit of your vintage collection:

Determine wash type: Vintage cotton, nylon and polyester are easily washable. Some blends of silk and rayon might also hold well in a washer but woollen items must ideally be dry cleaned to avoid shrinkage. Clothes with unusual trims (common in vintage clothing) and those made from velvet, vinyl, leather and fur need extra care; it is best to have them cleaned professionally.

Washing your vintage clothing: The safest bet is to hand wash all vintage clothing; take care though, not to wash all your vintage clothing at one go. It is best to wash them separately after sorting them carefully based on colour, fabric and specific care directions (if any) mentioned on the clothing label.

Use gentle cleaning products: Vintage garments are usually fragile and delicate, so use the mildest detergent available. Liquid detergents work better than powders on vintage clothing.

Cleaning stains: Pre-treating is the key to getting rid of stubborn stains on vintage clothing. Apply the detergent on the stain and keep it covered with cling wrap for one or two days. Most stains should come out if they are pre-treated like this.

Rinse well: Soap residue is harmful for delicate fabrics and you must ensure that you rinse each garment with cold water several times until all traces of soap are gone. Thorough rinsing and gentle wringing are crucial for enhancing the look and longevity of vintage clothing.

Dry naturally: Once you’re done rinsing, it’s time to dry. Tumble/spin drying can be harmful for vintage clothing. You want to dry vintage clothes naturally, but never in direct sunlight. Find a shaded zone with plenty of natural air.

Avoid wrinkles: Vintage clothing tends to wrinkle easily so make sure to iron them soon after they’ve dried. Use low heat for synthetic items, medium heat for blends and high heat for linen and cotton. Use padded hangers: These are a necessity for vintage clothing so that the soft shoulder areas do not develop hanger kinks. However, never hang woollens or knit items – keep them neatly folded on shelves instead. Never use wire hangers.

Store vintage clothes properly: Vintage clothes must not be vacuum sealed. Place them instead in muslin (available at most fabric shops) or acid-free tissue. Store them in plastic containers – not in cardboard/wooden boxes – in a cool and dry place.


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