Whether you're storing clothing for the season or as a keepsake longterm, proper storage is important so you don't risk damaging your items. We recently connected with the experts on clothing storage at Garde Robe to answer some frequently asked questions on how to keep your clothing in pristine condition!
Garde Robe is the nation’s only service providing museum-quality storage and preservation for couture wardrobes with complimentary on-demand delivery and a Cyber Closet inventory management system designed for organizing extensive wardrobes. Some Garde Robe members store items seasonally; others archive precious, infrequently worn evening wear and haute couture; our members often have multiple residences and are globetrotters, so Garde Robe packs and delivers wardrobes worldwide. Garde Robe catalogs and photographs all stored items so our members can request items for same-day, complimentary delivery or worldwide shipping from their virtual Cyber Closet as if they were shopping online.
Q: What is the ideal way to store sweaters for the summer and protect them from bugs? What is the best way/place to store clothing in the off season to protect from pests and climate?
A: Your wardrobe’s worst enemies are changes in temperature and humidity, sunlight, and material-damaging insects such as clothes moths. Never store your wardrobe for long periods of time in basements, attics or closets where the temperature and humidity levels are inconsistent; in your second or infrequently visited home; or closets with a window or skylight unless they have a UV filter. To protect your wardrobe from insects, always clean your garments before storing them, and purchase inexpensive pheromone moth traps (replace them regularly as per instructions) to catch the male moths and prevent the female moths from laying eggs.
Q: How do you suggest storing keepsake clothing long term? Can a plastic bag be damaging?
A: To keep stored textiles in pristine condition:
1. Wrap items individually in acid-free tissue
2. Find a storage area with steady temperature and humidity to prevent moisture and mold, and no sunlight to prevent fading
3. Use an air purifier to remove impurities that will be trapped in fabric
4. Use only breathable garment bags and boxes (remove the plastic dry cleaner bags as soon as you get home; yes, they will cause fabric damage over time)
Q: Is it okay hanging to hang formal wear in my closet?
A: In most cases, you will be better off storing evening wear flat in an archival box, not on a hanger. Hanging heavy embellished gowns/dresses leads to distortion and stretching due to gravity.
Q: Do I need to take extra precautions for my suede and leather pieces?
A: Leather items (handbags, shoes and garments) are hygroscopic, meaning they absorb a lot of water from humid air and can take longer to dry completely. Be sure to let them dry out and store them in a low-humidity area. Leather items that are exposed to moisture cause mildew and mold. And don’t allow leather/suede items to come in contact with other leather or denim items to prevent dye-transferring.
the NEAT Team