Compliments of The Laundress
Yes…I think you’re safe to go ahead and store your fall/winter clothes now. For Pete’s sake, it is Easter!
Here are some tips and tricks for how and where to store your off-season “threads.” I retrieved these helpful tips from The Laundress website, a website I use quite often for laundering supplies and “how-to” for my delicate pieces. I respect their advice, and I think you will too.
First thing – Wash and clean everything!
Have you ever thought: It doesn’t look dirty. I don’t see any spots. I think I only wore it once and it was just a short time. JUST WASH IT! Perfume, body products, body oil, food, and dirt show up later and are much harder to get out. This is also true for starch. Do not store items that are starched. All of the above are the feeding ground for bugs.
If you don’t store items seasonally, you should do a thorough re-organization once or twice a year. Clean your wardrobe and drawers for the new season – take everything out, wash, vacuum & re-organize your drawers.
We recommend storing items clean (obviously) and folded well. Delicate items and items prone to wrinkling are best when folded with acid-free tissue. (Acid-free tissue is critical for long term storing – not as important for short term i.e. season to season). Do not hang knits, silks, and synthetics; as you may not recognize these items or they may not fit next season. Fur, leather, and outerwear are best stored hung – if these items are not stored properly, they can lose their natural oils by drying out which are the luxurious properties.
Pack clothes and textiles in a breathable fabric, such as cotton or linen, and with a zipper closure. There are several cotton, canvas, etc. storage containers that come in a variety of sizes to accommodate all your items, big and small. In addition to finding storage containers on The Laundress website, you can also find containers by clicking here. Never store in plastic or cardboard. Plastic bins, cardboard, and dry cleaner bags may look tidy but are not suitable for proper textile storage as they attract and encourage bugs and bug reproduction. Do not use drawer liners or contact paper as the adhesive can attract bugs as well.
Where to Store:
Items should be stored in a clean, cool, dark and dry area. Where is this? Not usually in an attic or basement as humid/damp areas such an attic or basement are optimal environments for moth breeding attacks, mold, and mildew. Extreme temperatures will damage textiles, and direct sunlight will fade and deteriorate fabrics as well.
Did you have water damage or flooding from storms in your area this winter? Unfortunate circumstances can cause adverse problems. Not to worry though, with some patience, items with mold and mildew usually can be salvaged.
Silverfish, Moth, Bug Issues:
There are non-toxic moth products out there, avoid mothballs – which are toxic and deadly – and it is impossible to remove their odor. We do not recommend cedar wood blocks or chips. If you are using cedar wood avoid direct contact with the textiles as they can transfer oil to the fabric which will create stains that are hard to remove. If you’ve been attacked by moths, quarantine the scene! The freezer is a good holding spot with airtight bags (throw away after) while you wash everything such as clothes & drawers in the exposed areas. It is imperative to clean your machine after. Do not go to the dry cleaner or laundromat as you will infest other clothing and the location.
They may be small, but bugs and moths can do big harm to your favorite fall and winter fashions during the offseason. With proper storage and treatment, you can make sure your best pieces last for years to come. And if the damage is done, don’t despair, there’s still hope with the right repairs! And when the damage is done, call for repairs.
Consult your local tailor or dry-cleaner to fix your favorite pieces and don’t leave damaged clothing in your closet. You won’t wear it, and neglected items could easily become a breeding ground for critters. Replace buttons, mend holes and alter clothing that is too big or small. Keep the yarns that come with your knits in one safe spot for the future.
Creature Feature: Silverfish
What are they? Silverfish are tiny light gray and blue wingless insects that can grow to a ½ inch long. Found anywhere humidity levels are high, they thrive in cool, dark, damp locations like attics, closets, baseboards, and bathroom fixtures. And they love to nestle into your warm bulky textiles as much as you do.
What do they eat? Silverfish feast on a diet of starch, sugar, and protein making linen, cotton, viscose, rayon and silk prime targets.
What’s the damage? Silverfish eat the surface of textiles, leaving garments with a shaved appearance. Other signs of damage include irregular holes and small yellow stains.
Remember, what smells sweet to you is toxic to them. Cedar and lavender emit a smell that is noxious to silverfish. Try adding The Laundress Lavender Pouch to your garment storage to drive them away.
Creature Feature: Moths
What are they? Moths are a group of flying insects related to the butterfly and moth larvae that have a big appetite.
What do they eat? Moth larvae have a specific diet and typically pick clothes made from animal fibers such as silk, wool, cashmere, angora or fur, and materials that contain keratin. Keratin is composed of fibrous structural proteins and can also be found in our skin and hair.
Hopefully, you’ve found some helpful tips for storing your fall/winter clothes; therefore, increasing the number of years, you’ll be able to enjoy your fine garments. Thanks for reading and please share.