How to Care for Your Vintage Clothes
Ever bought a vintage dress, or even thought about buying one and then not known how to care for it? Well fear no more, we’re here to give you 3 quick handy tips for keeping your vintage clothes lovely for many more years to come!
First things first, unlike modern clothes, vintage clothing is often made of higher quality natural fabrics such as silk and wool, despite their many advantages such as drape and feel they can be a little more delicate with ironing. Plus ironing is so boring!
Fear not! One of the best things we can possibly recommend for vintage and high-end clothing in general is getting a garment steamer which have many advantages, firstly they’re quicker and much easier than ironing and can be used on any fabric without any damage (barring leather and suede which don’t wrinkle anyway) and yes that includes silk chiffons and dry-clean only items.
They’ve saved us much time and worry about getting iron shine or burning holes in fabric. We bought only the best for our vintage, the Fridja F1400 in colour ‘Marc’, which is used by the likes of Berlin Fashion Week and The X Factor and cost us around £140 (http://fridja.com/product/marc-f-1400-professional-garment-steamer/) but you can get cheaper ebay ones that do the job just as well, but have less settings on for about 25 quid, about the price of a good quality iron. Did I mention how much I despise ironing?
This is possibly the most debated subject surrounding vintage clothes and we will definitely write a longer more detailed post on this later but here’s a quick summary.
Many vintage fanatics don’t agree with machine washing any items, but there are exceptions that can be machine washed if done carefully. Thick polyesters and similar synthetics from the 70’s onwards can often be washed without a problem. If a fabric feels strong and it says on the labels that it can be machine washed it probably still can be, just try to keep it on a cool wash and don’t put it in the dryer.
This is probably the best way of washing and is definitely recommended for pre 1960s vintage clothing, just make sure to avoid hand washing ‘dry clean only’ garments as they might be more likely to shrink and the small amount the dry cleaners might cost, should save you money in the long run if you shrink the dress by washing. However, if you’re careful ‘dry cleaning recommended’ garments and silks, cotton and synthetics can be washed. Make sure when washing silk to hand wash in COOL water. Here is a handy guide on washing vintage clothing (http://vintageclothing.about.com/od/alterationcare/tp/cleaning_vintage_hub.htm)
If in doubt why wash at all? Any odours can be taken care of with a quick steam and an airing and to get rid of any bacteria on your clothes, leave your clothes in a freezer for a day or two - killing all the germs on them. Issey Miyake is known to do this, and who are we to question the master of pleats? If you think about it, how often do you wash your heavy winter coats? Not very often I’d bet.
- How to deal with pesky moths
Moths, moths, moths!! Something vintage fans and sellers alike hate with a passion (yes I hate them more than ironing) they have fabulous taste and always eat the best clothes. As with life, prevention is the best cure when it comes to moths and no I don’t mean stinky mothballs, lavender and cedar wood work just as well at making moths stay away. For some reason moths hate these delicious smells and you should take advantage of this! Pack up lavender in cloth bags and hang them amongst your clothes, you can find these in most gardens, as lavender is very popular or you can buy it ready bagged from pound shops or supermarkets. Cedar works just as well and you can get cedar hangers or but these usually stop working after a while so be sure to replace them regularly.
If you do get moths you can find many moth traps on eBay to get rid of the males so they can’t reproduce, then put the clothes in the freezer for a few days as it kills off the eggs before they hatch, as it’s the babies that eat the clothes not the adults.
And there it is! A quick summary on how to care for your vintage clothes, we’ll definitely be going more in-depth on these issues later, but for now that’s all folks! Enjoy wearing your vintage and feel peaceful in the knowledge that it’s easy to care for.
If you’re planning on buying some vintage to take care of be sure to check out our site - http://www.zeusvintage.co.uk