Vintage clothing is a hot commodity, with people worldwide coveting pieces from decades past. But what many people don’t know is that vintage clothing requires a little extra care to look its best.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of proper garment care for vintage clothing offered by the laundry cleaning service so that you can keep your clothes looking great for years to come.
The Problem with Vintage Clothing
There are a few key things to remember when caring for vintage clothing in London:
- Deterioration of delicate fabrics due to harsh washing/drying methods
- Colours may bleed from one fabric to another.
- Speciality care instructions may be hard to find for older pieces.
- Shrinkage can occur if the washing method is incorrect.
- Ironing may cause the fabric to stretch or tear.
- Stains may be hard to remove from delicate fabrics.
How to Properly Care for Vintage Clothing
The first step to caring for vintage clothing is understanding that different garments require extra care. For example, cotton dresses will need more laundering than woollen sweaters, and silk blouses will need special attention due to the delicate fabric.
To help you get started, here are some general tips for garment care:
- Wash clothing in cold water with a mild detergent. Avoid using fabric softener, as it can damage the garment’s fibres.
- Do not roll clothes in a towel; instead, place them in a mesh or lingerie bag to avoid stretching or damaging the fabric.
- If possible, dry clothes in a low heat setting; never put them in the dryer.
- Store items in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight.
- If a garment shows signs of wear, such as holes or tears, do not wear it and instead donate it to a charity or clothing store.
What Type of Garment Care is Recommended for Vintage Clothing?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as vintage clothing will vary in care requirements depending on age, style and origin. However, proper garment care generally involves regular washing, air-drying and storage in a cool, dark place. To optimise the lifespan of vintage clothing, it is important to follow specific guidelines for each type of garment.
While most vintage clothing can be washed with mild detergents and left to air dry, delicate or high-quality fabrics may benefit from hand washing with specialised treatments. It is also advised to avoid using hot water or bleach when cleaning vintage clothing, as these chemicals can damage the fabric. When storing vintage clothing away, choose a cool and dark location and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or strong odours.
While there is no definitive answer to how to care for vintage clothing, following specific guidelines and using safe cleaning methods will help keep your garments in optimum condition.
Recommendations for specific types of vintage clothing
There are a few things to remember when caring for vintage clothing if you’re living in London. The importance of proper garment care for vintage clothing in London offers some general advice and then breaks it down further by specific type of clothing:
- Woollen Clothing: Wool must be kept dry, preferably stored in an airtight container or a cool, dark place. It will also expand and contract with changes in humidity, so be sure to monitor the condition of your woollen regularly. Regular brushing is recommended to remove surface dirt and dust mites. If necessary, spot treats with a mild detergent and water before washing. Wool should never be placed in the dryer as this can cause it to shrink or lose its shape.
- Cotton Clothing: Like woollen fabrics, cotton must be stored gently and kept away from direct sunlight or heat (excessive heat can damage delicate fabrics). Once wet, cotton should be allowed to air dry (avoid using the hairdryer) slowly. Check the condition of your clothes regularly – they may need pressing if they’ve been folded for a long time or haven’t been worn recently. Brushing is not recommended as it could remove too many fabric fibres – use a soft brush instead. Cotton should always be washed by hand and dried on low heat to preserve its colour and condition.
- Silk Clothing: Silk is delicate and will not tolerate mishandling – be especially careful if you’re trying to clean it yourself. Handling silk carefully will prolong the life of your garment. Machine washing is not recommended, as it can remove too much fibre and cause the fabric to become brittle. Always wash silk garments by hand in cool water with mild soap. Hang to dry if possible, or dry on low heat.
- Rayon/Nylon Clothing: Rayon and nylon are also very lightweight and can be harmed by direct sunlight or high temperatures. Like other delicate fabrics, store them properly – preferably in an airtight container or inside a clothes rack. Washing nylon and rayon clothing by machine is not recommended as it can damage the fibre content. Hand wash jeans in lukewarm water with a mild detergent, using your hands to agitate the fabric until it’s fully clean. Tumble dry on low heat if possible.
Proper garment care is an important part of vintage clothing preservation in London. Following a few guidelines, you can help keep your clothes in top condition and ensure they look great for years. Keep these tips in mind as you go about preserving your clothing:
- Wipe down dirty areas with a damp cloth or brush.
- Remove dust and stains with mild detergent and water.
- Let garments air dry if possible.
- Protect them from harsh sunlight and wear a hat or sunglasses when necessary.
- Store your vintage clothing in a cool, dry place.
Following these tips can keep your clothing looking great for years.
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