Fashion & Trends

How to Care for Your Delicate and Vintage Garments, All the Products and Tips

I’ll always remember my first classic blunder. I took a 1950s shirt with 3-D floral gildings to a run-of-the-mill dry cleaner round the nook. It was returned to me with its chiffon over-layer in shreds and my beforehand thriving silk buds have been rumpled, drooping, and wilted—like a flower mattress dug up by the neighbor’s canine. I solely had myself to blame, actually. I ought to have recognized higher. I didn’t talk to the cleaners that this prime was as previous as their granny and it ought to have been dealt with with the utmost care. But largely, I ought to have recognized that the garment mustn’t have been dry cleaned in any respect.

Fashion is fragile. Consider that of all the extant objects from bygone a long time housed in museums, the most care is taken in the conservation of vogue and textiles. While oil work stay eternally on the partitions of a museum’s everlasting assortment, vogue departments restrict the show of clothes to six months solely. Of course, vintage that isn’t housed in a museum is supposed to be worn and cherished, but it surely does require a stage of care.

For this, I reached out to New York-based storage and vogue archivists Garde Robe. The firm helps to retailer, keep, and care for valuable collections of vogue (classic included) assembled by people and establishments. Garde Robe’s Doug Greenberg helped to stroll me by means of his finest practices of vogue storage; plus he provided some important merchandise that can assist maintain garments wanting nice. All this, under.

Garment Bags

“All hanging pieces should be stored in breathable garment bags. Muslin and polypropylene (ppnw) garment bags are protective and can be washed in most cases, so they last a long time. Never use the dry cleaner bags for storage—in fact, take them off immediately when you bring them home from the dry cleaner. They can damage clothes.  Or better yet, bring re-usable garment bags to your cleaner so the cheap plastic bags don’t end up in a landfill.”  

The Butler’s Closet garment covers


“Never hang stretchable fabrics such as knits, bias cut, and heavily-embellished, heavy garments because they could get distorted. Store these items flat in a breathable garment box or folded with acid-free tissue to avoid creasing. You cannot use the same hanger type for every article of clothing in your closet even though that may be aesthetically pleasing.  There are specific hangers that are best for certain types of clothing, so be sure to always choose the appropriate hanger. For example, broad-shoulder hangers for heavier coats, pant-suit hangers with clips for slacks, and padded hangers that provide cushion for delicate items. When in doubt, store the item flat instead of on a hanger. No wire hangers, EVER!”

Hangerbee wood core padded hanger

Acid-Free Tissue Paper

“No luxe closet is complete without ample acid-free tissue.  Use the tissue to eliminate creasing, pad shoulders, stuff sleeves and/or handbags to maintain their shape. Tissue is also helpful for separating items in a crowded closet or storage box. Be sure to use tissue to separate embellished/beaded items from other items that could snag as well as to avoid dye transferring of leather, suede, and denim pieces.”

Snow White acid-free tissue paper

Wash and Stain Bars

“Couture-level garment care experts are few and far between.  Your average dry cleaner has no business handling expensive and delicate designer RTW or couture.  The best dry cleaners clean many items by hand and use different solvents and machinery for different fabrics; most dry cleaners use only one cleaning solvent, which may or may not be the best for your particular garment. Some solvents are better for the environment than others, but in some cases, those “green” solvents don’t clear closely dirty objects very nicely. Before you entrust a cleaner with a valuable garment, ask them about solvents and cleansing processes. Do they provide a selection of solvents? Do they clear by hand? Do they outsource their leatherwork?  These are good questions to ask.  Depending on the place you reside, you might be higher off working with an out-of-area, couture-level cleaner that does delivery.” For at-home touchups, Greenberg recommends The Laundress’s wash and stain bars. 

The Laundress 3-pack wash & stain bars

A Steamer

“Steaming is a great way to release creases and eliminate wrinkles. Use distilled water in the steamer for best results.  The heat from irons is harsher on fabrics than steam. Ironing is safe for flattening sturdier fabrics like cotton that can handle the higher temperature. Steaming and ironing will damage silk, velvet, leather, suede, and metallic embellishments. If you have a fashion emergency and need to steam wrinkles out of a delicate garment, try putting muslin between the steamer and the garment to lessen the impact. In general, leave these items to garment care professionals. Knowledgeable dry cleaners often remove buttons/embellishments before cleaning and then reapply them each and every time. That’s why the very best cleaners charge considerably more. ”

Steamery Cirrus No. 2 steamer in black

Beeswax Bars

If your garment has a steel zipper, first off, it most actually predates 1965 as plastic zippers got here into recognition in the late Nineteen Sixties. Secondly, it’s sturdier and much less susceptible to getting warped with age however generally it might probably get caught. Apply a little bit of beeswax to maintain issues working easily.

Beesworks yellow beeswax bars

Purse Pillows

Want in-shape-looking purses? Keep them match with purse pillows. These from Fabrinique are available a wide range of sizes. Tissue paper can even do the trick however a handbag pillow is far simpler to take away than a number of wads of balled-up paper.

Fabrinique purse pillow inserts

Distilled White Vinegar

Should you want to deodorize a chunk of clothes, fill a twig bottle with 90% water and 10% distilled white vinegar. Mist the resolution throughout the garment and air it out. Smoke and thrift-shop odors will raise in the course of.

365 Everyday Value, natural distilled white vinegar

Underarm Dress Shields

An underarm guard (formed like a shoulder pad, but it surely’s for your underarms) or any undershirt for that matter will add a protecting layer to keep away from staining and perspiration marks that are tough to clear.

Kleinert’s pin-in underarm gown shields

Red Cedar Blocks

Cedar blocks aren’t efficient towards all moth infestations, however they do thwart the progress of the insect. Place a pair in your closets and drawers and change when the blocks lose their piney scents. For extra intense preventative measures, choose up some Moth prevention traps. 

Kilocircle purple cedar blocks

MothPrevention moth traps

Shoe Tree 

When not in use, males’s leather-based sneakers could be saved with shoe timber. Leather Spa makes a superb pair in cedar. Women’s sneakers, which frequently characteristic extra selection in fashion and fabrication, are more durable to discover shoe timber for, however they do exist. For trickier shoe shapes, there’s all the time tissue paper. 

Leather Spa males’s cedar shoe timber

Lavendar Sachets 

These sachets gained’t extend the lifetime of your wardrobe however they’ll have your closet, and drawers, smelling fantastic.

ElizabethW lavender hanger sachet pure linen

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