When the temperatures dip in the fall and winter clothing retrieved from it’s storage location, were clothing items wrinkled and smelly? Improper off season clothing storage is to blame. Off season clothing is stored for months at a time, during those months the clothing can develop deep set wrinkles and absorb odors if it’s improperly store. Store off season clothing properly so the garments will look and fit exactly as remembered when retrieved from storage with these tips.
Clean Off Season Clothing Before Storing
Wash clothes or have them dry cleaned before storing. If food or beverage stains are left on clothing, the enzymes in the stain can destroy the fabric. Pests will also be attracted to the food or beverage spills on the garment and destroy the fabric. The same holds true for deodorant, perfume and sweat. Clean off season clothing before storing.
Store off Season Clothing in Steady Temperatures
A location that has extreme temperature changes, like an attic, cellar or storage unit, will cause clothing fibers to contract and expand with each temperature change. After months of storage in extreme temperature changes, the clothing will become misshapen and no longer fit properly.
Skip Moth Balls and Use Cedar Blocks
Moth balls will prevent the moths from destroying wool suits, and moths balls will kill and/or repel other fabric eating pests, but the smell of moth balls is almost impossible to remove from clothing. Use cedar blocks instead of moth balls to prevent pests from feasting on stored clothing. Wrap small cedar blocks in tissue paper and placed them with off season clothing to repel pests. If the cedar smell is objectionable, it can easily be removed by airing out or washing the clothing.
Store Off Season Cashmere in the Freezer
The best place to store pricey, off season cashmere is in the freezer. Fold the clean cashmere sweater (or other cashmere garment) neatly and place a small piece of cotton batting into the center fold to absorb moisture. Place the cashmere sweater into a large Ziploc bag, press all the air out of the bag and seal securely, then place in the freezer for off season storage. The steady cold temperature will keep the cashmere fresh and kills all pests before they can devour the cashmere.
Fold Knits for Off Season Storage
Knit fabrics fare best when folded and laid flat for off season storage. Knits remaining on hangers for months will become misshapen. Fold knits and store in dresser drawers, closet shelves or in an acid-free plastic box (cardboard boxes can discolor the knit fabrics). Placing sheets of acid-free tissue paper between the folds of the knit garment will prevent wrinkling during off season storage.
Don’t Store Off Season Clothing in Dry Cleaner Bags
Dry cleaner bags trap moisture and degrade over time. Remove dry cleaned clothing from the dry cleaner bag and hang in fabric garment bags that have air holes. Cover special occasion dresses with a cotton pillow case before placing into a garment bag to prevent dust and light from reaching the dresses, both of which will cause color fading.
Place off season blouses, jackets, dresses and pants on hangers, then store inside a fabric garment bag. Hang pants by the waist on clip-type hangers to prevent stretching during off season storage.