July 2005

How to store winter clothing

For many of us living in the northern hemisphere it is time to pack our winter clothing for the next season. For the rest of us, it is good idea to have the information and use it when the time is right.

First of all, get rid of the items you have not worn for quite some time, or children's clothing that do not fit any more. If they are still useable, donate them to charity and let others enjoy using them. I bet there are many who appreciate useful garments.

The next step is to store clothes after thoroughly cleaning them. Whether stains are visible or not, they will change color and damage the look of your garments. They will become permanent with time. Also, stains on woolen garments attract critter such as moths which will chew through them.

Always wash your clothing properly, especially protein based fibers such as wool. Remember to use the same temperature for wash and rinse to prevent felting and shrinking. Do not wring your sweaters. Remove excess water and let them dry flat thoroughly.

Do not store clothing in plastic bags, as they will retain moisture inside and may cause mildew. Wrap clothing in light colored sheets or pillow cases and place them in a well ventilated dark place such as a closet. Another choice is wrapping them in acid-free tissue paper and placing them in suitcases. Suitcases are not as air tight as plastic bags and will allow garments to breath, yet will keep them away from insects. Do not pack clothing too tightly. It is very important to allow garments to breathe even when they are stored.

The best way to keep away moths is the use of moth balls. However, moth balls have to be kept away from young children, also the smell is hard to take out when unpacking. Try using cedar blocks, and lavender sachets. Keep in mind not to let sachet and moth balls to come in contact with clothing, as they may cause discoloration.

It is a good idea to check your stored garments every now and then to make sure that you have successfully kept away insects and moisture, keeping them ready to wear in the fall.

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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