The Top 10 Ways To Care For And Retain The Value Of Vintage
While dry cleaning is the easiest method,
and the only one recommended for rayons and velvet, (YOU don't
have to do any of the work!), for those of you who want to do it
yourself, here's a tip: Try a commercial product called "Orvus"
(purchase it at a ranch supply store).
careful when using Woolite or something similar, as it contains
chemicals that can contribute to the deterioration of vintage clothing.
Wash and rinse, rinse, and rinse again. When it comes to appliances,
again, common sense is a necessity. Wash on "delicate" at a warm to cold
temperature, and hang on a drying rack, never in the dryer. There are
also several good books out with tips on cleaning, such as "Second Hand
Chic" by Christina Weil.
Provenance (who previously owned it) is
important, especially on early garments.
that has photos or proof of original ownership adds to the value.
Collectors who just love the sentimental, nostalgic aspect of collecting
vintage clothing especially desire it.
Never store in heat, such as an
fastest way to throw your investment down the drain is store items in
intense heat. While that may kill certain critters, it also kills your
clothes, especially fur.
Do not store in plastic bags-ever!
many times have I found a beautiful suit from the 1940s in someone's
attic, only to have the plastic bag melded to the disintegrated buttons?
Aaacck! Case closed!
An air Ionizer works great at getting odors
out of otherwise clean clothing. Just put the clothing in a
fairly sealed room with the machine for a day or so and it will smell
just like a thunderstorm came through. Especially good if it has a smoke
- do not put items with rubber or elastic, or vinyl in with the
ionizer. It will cause those materials to disintegrate! Also seems to
mess up Patent Leather.
Fold sweaters and delicate lace items
carefully for storage - do not use hangers.
put on a sweater and find that you have 4 shoulders? Or a lace dress
from the 20's that no longer HAS any shoulders? Fold, don't hang, these
Hats can be stuff with acid-free paper, and
stored in trunks or boxes.
hold up quite well and using acid free paper to stuff and loosely wrap
will keep them nice for another 100 years. Store in a cool, dry place.
Alternatively, displaying them in an area where the sun won't hit them
is also acceptable.
Fur coats should be dressed every few years
and stored in a cedar closet or cool dry place - not the attic or the
needs a cool environment. Check with a furrier for frequency of dressing
to keep your fur in tip-top shape.
Never iron velvet - steam from the inside
and brush as you go.
has a thick nap that can be ruined by pressing with an iron. Dry
Cleaner is my first choice. If you must do it yourself, follow
instructions as above.
Always steam rayon on the inside -
otherwise shiny spots will appear.
is another tricky fabric. You, again, should let a dry cleaner do it.
But if you insist on doing it yourself, steaming from the inside while
pulling fabric slightly taut will give it a flawless finish.