How to Wash and Preserve Vintage Clothing
HOW TO CLEAN & PRESERVE VINTAGE CLOTHING
Step 1: Clean
For fabric to last it must stay clean. Often stains in older clothing will show up as age spots in the fabric over time. So having perfectly clean fabric is key.
- Fill a bowl with warm water and 1/2 TSP of Unicorn Fibre Wash or Beyond Wash
- Gently Lay the Antique Fabric in the bowl of water and let soak for 10 minutes
- Remove the Fabric from the water.
- Open a large dry towel and lay the Fabric on one side of the towel.
- Fold the towel over the Fabric.
- Gently roll up the towel and press to remove water from the Fabric.
- Unfold the towel and lay the Fabric flat to dry.
Step 2: Dry
We recommend air drying for fabrics that you are planning on preserving. Simply lay your fabric flat to dry. When it is completely dry (does not feel cool to the touch) you can store it. Do not iron or press the fabric before storing.
Step 3: Wrap with Paper
We recommend using only acid-free paper (you can find this paper online or at craft stores) to wrap your fabric to protect it while in storage. We recommend only using white paper, as colored paper can leak dye if it becomes wet.
Step 4: Wrap in a 100% Cotton bag
Although antiques may be stored temporarily in vinyl bags, these bags can degrade over time. Plastic bags can trap moisture or crack, causing pests, odors, or mildew to ruin your fabric. In order for fabric to survive the years, it must be able to breathe. Storing the fabric in all natural cotton is the best long-term storage. A natural white pillowcase makes a great bag for storing old fabrics.
Step 5: Store in a Closet
Heat and humidity can cause fabrics to mold or discolor. Store your fabric in a cool dry place, like a closet. Don't store other items on top of the fabric.
Step 6: Pass it on
Storing your fabric correctly can help it survive the years. It is normal for some yellowing to occur in the fabric over time. If this happens, soak the fabric in a gentle 1/4 TSP Power Scour solution in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes and lay flat to dry.