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  • Writer's picturehouseofchenelle

How to Care for Your Vintage Clothing

Maybe you are new to shopping vintage or maybe you have a small collection already but either way, you need to keep reading so your vintage wardrobe can stay in pristine condition and last you a lifetime.

First let's talk about what to do when you get your vintage pieces home. The first step is to sanitize and deodorize your items. You can surprisingly do this with vodka! Just fill a spray bottle with vodka and spray your garments from front to back. This will kill any odors and clean the item without having to wash it. However, when you do wash your items, I recommend doing it by hand. Always check the care instructions tag before doing any laundering.

Tips for Hand Washing

  1. Make sure all buttons, zippers, etc. are closed prior to washing.

  2. If the garment is stained, research how to remove it first and make sure not to put heat on it because heat sets the stain.

  3. Use a clean, preferably white basin or tub so you can easily see the residue coming off the garment.

  4. Start with hot water to dissolve the detergent, then add cold water and then submerge the garment and slowly push and pull through the water.

  5. Once the water becomes yellow, drain and repeat until the water is clear (usually 2-3 rinses).

  6. Gently squeeze excess water from the garment, then lay flat or hang to dry and never use wire hangers because they will stretch the garment and possibly leave rust stains.

Fabrics You Can Hand Wash

  1. Pure Silks

  2. Rayon

  3. Cottons, linens, and polyester blends with embellishments and/or embroidery

Once the items have been cleaned and dried, it's now time to get the wrinkles out. Although, you can iron vintage garments depending on the fabrics, I highly recommend steaming your garments. You can invest in a professional steamer or purchase a portable one from your local Target or Walmart. Steaming is a more efficient and effective way to press your garments plus most fabrics can be steamed without incident. Now that your garments have been cleaned and pressed, it's time to store them.

Tips for Storing Vintage Garments

  1. Store items in a cool, dry place. Dampness can lead to mold and mildew and heat can cause discoloration in clothing.

  2. Never store vintage in plastic bags because it needs to be able to breathe. Old sheets/pillowcases are the perfect alternative.

  3. Fold heavier pieces such as sweaters and anything with beading.

  4. Fur garments should be stored in a cedar chest or closet.

  5. Keep items away from direct light so they won't fade.

  6. Lavender is a good scent to keep pests away if you are storing in an attic or garage but just make sure to have it near and not touching the clothing.

Rest assured that all items that are listed for sale on our site have been sanitized, steamed and properly stored. Check out our new listings here!

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