After a long slumber, your spring and summer clothes will need to be awakened and taken out of storage. Warmer clothing, such as long skirts and heavy jackets can be safely tucked away to make room for the less-inhibiting light fabrics of spring.
How your stored spring and summer wardrobe looks when it comes out of storage has a lot to do with what precautions you took when you put it in.
Sweaters and coats, long skirts, and scarves: all of these items are going to be a little too warm to wear in the spring and summer months to come.
Here are some tips to help you store your garments so they will be next Fall and Winter.
- Clean the garments to ensure that left over body oils or spills don’t attract insects. Insects can sniff out a spot of ginger ale from miles away and they have ways of getting inside your closet or attic.
- Fold and store the garments in a dark, well-ventilated area. Do not store in plastic bags. Many dyes fade if exposed to sunlight or artificial light. This is especially true for silk. Fume fading is caused by a reaction of atmospheric oxides of nitrogen with certain dyes, resulting in permanent color change. Make sure your boxes are stored away from exhaust gases or heating fumes.
- Make sure the storage area is dry. Mildew is more than just an unpleasant odor. It is a fungus that usually develops on soiled garments or items that are stored in damp or humid conditions. Mildew appears as irregular purple, gray, black or yellow speckled stains.
When you get your garments out of storage, check for any of the above listed damages, and then wake them up. Your warm-weather clothing has been sitting in boxes for a few months by now and it’s time to bring them back to life so you can look your best.
Look for small holes, worn areas, and discolored lines on the portions of the garment that had spills or stains that were never removed. The odor from mothballs or crystals is difficult to remove. Try airing the garments by hanging them outside in the shade. If this does not completely remove the odor, cleaning the garments should bring them back into action.
Many people store their clothing in the off-season to keep it safe, but by not taking the proper precautions you could be putting next year’s wardrobe into jeopardy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially since many of the different types of damage that can befall fabrics while in storage are preventable, but irreversible.