Tips for Storing Clothes

Once you have learnt all about your own personal style and become aquainted with the colours and tones that flatter you, you will begin to build a fabulous wardrobe, creating a style and look personal to you.  This may take time as you begin to choose carefully and thoughtfully; often clothing will need to be stored to be worn next season, especially if you learn to ‘work’ the sales to your advantage.  Here are some tips to keep your clothes fresh and in pristine condition.

 

 

10 Top Tips For Storing Clothes

  1. Cleanliness: Dry clean and wash, EVERYTHING before it gets packed away
  1. Storage: Pack clothes away in a breathable container packed in acid free tissue or an old pillowcase for example. Don’t leave in plastic or exposed to sunlight.

    Organic Cotton Srorage Bag

    Check as you are going along that you really want to keep the item.  If you love it but are just not wearing it at the moment, keep it.  I have items that are 15 years old and still come out of the closet from time to time.

  2. Anti-Moth: Refresh your out of date anti moth products, throw them away if they have been in the wardrobe more than a year, re-fill lavender bags. There are some lovely wardrobe accessories scented with May Chang, Lavender and Cedar wood; moths dislike all of these!

    Liberty Lavender Bags

    They do, however, love perfume, food stains and sweat. Do not scent your wardrobe with a spray of perfume and ensure clothes put back into the wardrobe for another day are clean.

  3. Spring clean the wardrobe and drawers for the new seasons clothes, take everything out, wash dust and vacuum, light candles and throw the windows open! From time to time I lay out the contents of the wardrobe on my bed for the day.  Moths dislike light.
  4. Hangers: Get the right hangers for the right job, all the same hangers make your wardrobe look like a boutique and if the garments are all level they are a lot easier to see, try the rubber covered non slip hanger or the little chinese knots to present tops from slipping into the bottom of the wardrobe! Choose wooden hangers and do not layer item upon item on one hanger.  It will crush the clothes and you will not remember the garments hidden away.
  5. Shoes and boots: Polish and clean shoes and boots, take to the menders then put in the boot trees and shoe trees and shoe puffs, to keep their shape.
  6.  Repairs and maintenance: If any buttons have fallen off, zips broken, hems fallen down, or clothes that don’t quite fit anymore take them immediately to be altered and repaired. Don’t leave anything in the wardrobe that needs something doing to it, chances are it will not be worn. Always keep a little sewing kit in the bottom of the wardrobe.

    Merchant & Mills Repair Kit

    Sewing on a button is just not that difficult.

  7. Style: Employ the services of a personal/colour stylist to up date your existing wardrobe, a fresh eye will put different items together for a fresh look.  Quite often you will have the makings of a good, comprehensive wardrobe tucked away underneath the layers of acquired clothes.  This is always the case when I complete a wardrobe cleanse for customers.  You will be surprised!

The feel good factor of wool

I took this wool article from the Makepiece web page. Not only is fine wool cosy to wear it fits the feminine form far better that any jersey fabric or lycra.  Not sure? Nip down to Makepiece in Buxton and have a try on – there is no pressure to buy.  I love the fact that wool is stain resistant but also that it is biodegradable! Of course it is! But I had never really considered that factor before…………….

 

Why wool?

Sustainable and lovely!

British wool is a fibre with a clean conscience.  Wool is sustainable – with relatively few environmental issues compared to intensively farmed cotton or petrochemical based materials.

When farmed in the UK we can safely say that there’s proper animal protection and employment rights, not to mention a minimum of road miles from sheep to shop.  Recent legislation limits chemicals that can be used in farming to a minimum.

 

Wool is natural and easy to wear – it breathes and doesn’t get clammy.  In fact, wool can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in water without feeling damp.

 

At the end of its useful life, wool is fully biodegradeable.

 

 

In praise of wool

Just a little article from Vogue Feb 14

Wool – Making its Mark

Signs and symbols inundate our everyday lives, so it takes something special to stand out from the crowd.  The Woolmark is case in point.  Since its inception in 1964, the Woolmark has appeared on more than 5 billion products, from the high street to haute couture.  Much more than just a logo, it is an internationally recognised hallmark of quality – a guarantee that any fabric that carries it has been made with an entirely  natural, renewable and biodegradable resource, Merino wool.

Its consistent high performance, versatility and natural elasticity unsurprisingly makes it a fashion industry favourite too, with many a  designer – from Jonathan Saunders to Richard James – discovering its generous rewards once they’ve got it on the cutting table.  The absorbent nature of the fibres guarantees an intensity of colour that eludes other knitwear, while its ability to be draped and hung, sculpted and pinned in lined with the designer’s vision makes it an essential element of modern, ready to wear, bespoke pieces.

For the wearer, the benefits are endless.  Stain resistant and naturally crease fee, Merino makes for a travel essential – from the international fashion shows to weekends away, we all need something that we can simply slip on and be ready.

With such artisanal heritage and impeccable credentials, no wonder Woolmark is in a league of its own.  In 50 years it has established a reputation worth revelling in.

Silk

Silk is one of the most luxurious fabrics in the world, once worn next to the skin you will never be able to accept another polyester! It is versatile, comfortable and elegant; a practical luxury with a place in any wardrobe.

Silk Dress by East

It was first developed in ancient China and, not surprisingly was reserved for those of great power and importance. Silk is made from the cocoon of the silk worm.  This is, as you can imagine, a lengthy process and explains why the price of silk is so high.

 

Silk worms are raised on silk farms and fed on a diet of mulberry leaves.  When they are a month old they spin a cocoon and these cocoons are sorted by colour, size, shape and texture.  The sorting is time consuming by important as it can affect the quality of the silk strands.

 

The cocoons are then softened and gradually and patiently unwound.  A single cocoon may contain 400-900 metres of silk strands but these are still too delicate to turn into fabric.  It takes about 3-10 strands reeled together to produce a single silk thread that will then be woven. If you feel uncomfortable about the idea of silk farms take a look at ‘peace silk’.

 

Silk is so pleasing to wear as it is a natural fibre, like wool or human hair but on a much finer scale.  It is very strong and can stand a lot of pressure but it is also very delicate and cannot withstand heavy abrasions.  The protein within silk gives it many of its characteristics such as sensitivity to chemicals, acidity and oil. Many of its natural properties help it to be hypoallergenic (making it good for skin allergies) and resistant to dirt and stains.  Silk allows the skin to breathe and for this reason I say once you have tried silk you will never turn back.  But it is so expensive I hear you say!  May be so, but if taken care of and treasured, handwashed and stored carefully it will last a very long time.  A bit like cashmere, an initial expensive outlay but with tender loving care it will be an investment and oh so comfortable to wear.

 

Care of your silk.

 

Dry cleaning
Care instructions for most for silk items, especially for pure silk, recommend dry cleaning. For dupioni silk, lighter silks like chiffon, China silk, and crepe de Chine, and multi-color or hand-dyed prints, dry-cleaning usually is the best option. For other types of silk, though, while dry cleaning helps maintain the original texture of the fabric, it does carry some risks. Commonly used cleaning solutions aren’t suited to silk and silks can be damaged if placed in the same vat with rougher fabrics. To make sure your silk gets proper treatment, always tell the dry cleaner that your garment is made from silk and make sure they know how to clean silk.

Handwashing
Silk fabric has been produced for over five thousand years, whereas the dry cleaning process has only been around since the 1840s. Clearly, dry cleaning isn’t a must. Even dupioni silk, which is almost always labeled as dry clean only, can be hand washed if the seams have been serged and you don’t mind the fabric losing some of its firmness or color. Although low-quality silk may become rough or dull after hand washing, better quality silk tends to looks better and last longer when hand washed. The natural coating on silk fibers reacts well to warm water, so hand washing also has the advantage of refreshing silk and giving it a better drape. Silk can be hand washed in cool or lukewarm water using a mild detergent such as Woolite, Ivory soap, or shampoo dissolved in the water. Because silk resists dirt and stains, only a small amount of soap should be used. Silk, like most natural fibers, doesn’t tolerate abrupt changes in temperature very well, so stay with one water temperature throughout the wash. Avoid soaking silk as this may fade the dye. To both revive faded or yellowed colors and protect the fabric from alkali damage, rinse the silk in water with a few tablespoons of white vinegar added. While some people prefer a matte finish, this texture is usually a sign of alkali damage, which can eventually make the fabric brittle. The vinegar rinse will minimize this. After the wash and vinegar rinse, rinse the silk thoroughly in cool water.

Machine washing
In general, machine washing is the worst way to clean silk as the agitator and other garments can damage the fabric. Garments made with a combination of fabrics or those that are highly detailed should not be machine washed at all. However, if the instructions for your wash machine state that the machine is safe for silk, there should be no serious problem washing most silks in it. Before washing, make sure there’s no soap or dirt on the inside of the machine that might stain the silk. Place the silk item in a mesh bag or a pillowcase loosely tied closed. Use a small amount of a very mild detergent and wash on a gentle cycle, such as a wool cycle, at a temperature of no more than 86°F (30°C). If you use a spin cycle, keep it as short as possible.

Treating stains
A capful of hydrogen peroxide and or a few drops of ammonia added to the wash will help keep white silk bright and rinsing silk in white vinegar diluted with water will help remove yellowing. While recent perspiration stains may be washed out or dabbed with a tablespoon of ammonia dissolved in half cup of water, older perspiration may be removed with a vinegar solution. Unfortunately, though, perspiration stains on silk, as on many garments, may not be completely removable as perspiration causes damage to the fibers. Remember, silk may be strong, but harsh chemicals can cause permanent damage, so avoid using bleach or any product that contains bleach, enzymes, or whiteners on silk.

Drying
Even if you machine wash, never use a machine dryer to dry any silk as the friction and lack of humidity and can damage the fabric. Instead, roll the silk item up in a bath towel and gently press the water out. Never wring silk. When most of the water is out, finer silk should be hung up to dry, while coarser varieties, such as bourette, should be dried on a flat surface. Keep the garment away from heat sources or direct sunlight, both of which can turn silk yellow.

Pressing
Silk should be pressed while still damp, never when completely dry. If the item has dried, dampen it with water from a spritzer bottle before ironing. To avoid damage, turn the item inside out and iron on the reverse side of the fabric on a cotton-covered ironing board. Use a low setting and don’t use steam, which can leave watermarks. Because many silk garments are hand sewn, take care not to apply pressure to the seams of the garment.

Storage
For long-term storage, keep silk in a cotton pillowcase or other material that can breathe. Avoid plastic, which traps moisture and can cause yellowing and mildew. Silk, like other natural fibers, is a favorite with moths, so store cedar chips or balls with your silk to keep the bugs away.

Silk may be considered a luxury, but caring for it properly doesn’t cost much in terms of either money or time. Gentle washing, drying away from a heat source, and storage in material that provides air circulation is all silk really needs to stay looking good. Care for your silk garments well and they’ll keep their original softness and sheen for years.