You worked hard to buy the clothes you’re wearing. So you must make sure these closet gems are well-preserved and stored well for future occasions.
Unfortunately, many elements destroy fabrics and ruin the most precious of clothes. The key is to figure out a way to keep these destructive elements—like molds, bacteria, moths, termites and cockroaches—away from your clothes.
Veteran fashion designer Marianne Martin, who will soon open her shop, NouVelle Haute Couture, in Robinsons Alabang, Robinsons Galleria, and Robinsons Manila, shares her best practices in keeping the clothes she designs and wears in mint condition.
It pleases Marianne no end when a customer said she can pass on the clothes she made to her daughter 18 years after.
Besides sticking to classic lines, Marianne does the following to preserve hers, and her clients’ clothes:
1. Store a big chunk of charcoal in an old stocking and put it in the closet. Charcoal acts as instant dehumidifier. It absorbs moisture which breeds molds and mildew and damage clothes. It also removes foul odor from fungi and is affordable.
2. Air dry clothes instead of ironing them. Ironing can ruin fabric color. Air drying is also earth friendly and less costly because it uses less energy. The sun’s ultraviolet rays disinfect clothes naturally. This gives clothes a clean, fresh scent, prevents wear and tear and lengthens their lifespan.
Never put clothes made of delicate fabrics, like silk, lace, chiffon, thin cotton, and those with beads or embroidery in the washing machine. It will damage them.
3. Blanch, or soak clothes in powdered detergent overnight. This prevents fading and loss of texture. Blanching also gets rid of surface dirt and microorganisms and makes colors brighter. Soak clothes in fabric conditioner the next morning. Gently squeeze and air dry.
4. Never put clothes made of delicate fabrics, like silk, lace, chiffon, thin cotton, and those with beads or embroidery in the washing machine. It will damage them. Dry clean them instead.
5. Store clothes you won’t use for a long time in boxes to preserve the fabric. Add a piece of charcoal wrapped in disposable plastic to absorb air moisture. Puncture three to four small holes in the plastic wrap to let air flow and keep molds from forming.
6. Clean clothes before storing them. Deodorants and scents may create fabric stains. Creepy insects adore dust and dirt. Don’t iron clothes before storing because you’ll do so before wearing them anyway.
7. Store clothes you won’t wear for a prolonged period of time (e.g. evening gowns) in a suit hanger, and put them in garment bags. This is also a way of avoiding wrinkles. Open the garment bag zipper now and then to let air flow.
8. Watch out for loose buttons and beads, dangling threads and other issues. You don’t want to do repairs on the day you’re supposed to wear certain clothes.