For many people, the hunt for the perfect vintage item is as thrilling as finding the item itself. However, while looking through thrift store shelves and garage sales and finding the perfect piece to add to your collection is a great experience, vintage collectors also need to understand that these special items need special care, and simply washing them or wiping them down like you would a regular item isn’t enough to keep them at their best.
This is especially true when it comes to vintage clothes, as the years would have undoubtedly affected the integrity of the fabric of the items. There are many factors that could affect the quality of your item, as even exposure to direct sunlight could end up fading the patterns on your clothes. Taking care of your items shouldn’t be that hard, however, and I have some tips for you.
The first thing you need to take note of is the type of material the item is made from, as each material must be attended to in a different way. For example, just as everyone knows, cotton tends to shrink, so one needs to air dry it if possible. Leather, on the other hand, needs to be hand-cleaned with leather care products, testing on an unnoticeable spot to make sure the garment isn’t damaged by a product that’s too strong, and then air-dried. Products made from silk are extremely sensitive, so it might be best to leave them to dry-cleaners who will have the appropriate tools and products to ensure that your garment gets the best care.
A general tip, however, is to avoid washing vintage goods if possible. The exposure to water and heat can really damage the fabrics of the garment, so sometimes it might be best to simply air the item out. If you really want to get your items dry-cleaned, it’s best to find a reputable dry-cleaner who knows how to handle vintage goods. It’s also a good practice to remove the buckles and buttons of your vintage items to ensure that they don’t get damaged or lost while the item is being washed.
When it comes to storing your vintage items, make sure you fasten it up, snapping buttons and buckles into place so that the item hangs in the shape it’s supposed to be and doesn’t get deformed. Avoid wire hangers and use covered wooden hangers so the acid content of the wood doesn’t seep into the fabric. If you have a heavy garment, roll it up and don’t hang it to avoid stressing the fabric, and keep your closet away from direct sunlight!