VINTAGE CLOTHING CARE GUIDE
Now you've updated your fashion wardrobe with that perfect vintage piece there's no reason it can't last you a lifetime with the right care and attention. Since we're so hot on living green we'll give you a few tips for looking after your vintage garms and staying eco-friendly in the process.
WASHING VINTAGE CLOTHING:
When you've unpacked your new item the first thing you may want to do, if it hasn't been done already, is wash it. Check the follow tips to avoid any washing disasters.
- Always read care labels. If you wash wool and silk on high temperatures they may shrink or melt. Cotton should be fine on higher temperatures but if you want to stay eco-friendly always wash on a low temp for a short 30 min wash.
- If it's a very old or valuable item you may want to hand wash to prevent causing any damage to the garment.
- Try to keep the amount of detergent down to a minimum. The less detergent the better for the environment and better for your skin as a lot of detergents can be irritating to the skin. Quantities on detergent boxes are often overstated so try and use half those stated on the box.
- Wash all clothing inside out as the rotation of the washing machine can wear the surface of garments.
- Dry clean only means you need to get the item cleaned by a specialist.
- Always use a clothes hanger or hang things up on a washing line. Never use a dryer on garments as this will wear the garment and could also shrink delicate fabrics.
- Bear in mind the less you wash your clothes the less they will wear out over time so try not to wash items after each time you wear it.
STORING VINTAGE CLOTHING:
The way you store your vintage clothes is as important as the way you wash them.
- Always store your clothes in a clean, dry environment away from any light that may fade your clothes. Damp environments can make your clothes go mouldy and smell or even rot.
- Beware of moths which can devastate a full wardrobe of clothes in a matter of weeks. You should check clothing that is left in your wardrobe for long periods of time for any moths. You can also get some anti moth hangers which deter them.
- Use the right size hangers and avoid hanging too many clothes together as this may stretch your garments and make them unwearable. You may want to fold certain items rather than hang in order to keep the shape.
REPAIRING VINTAGE CLOTHING:
If your handy with a needle and thread then you can make your clothing last even longer. Even if you're not you can always enlist the help of a seamstress to lengthen the life of your favourite pieces. Denim is particularly easy to repair as it can be patched.
- Holes can be darned in most fabrics without being too obvious if they are caught before they get too big.
- Use patches to cover worn areas in denim. They are easily ironed on or sewn on if you prefer. Denim can also be darned over to create a nice distressed effect to jeans, denim jackets or even cut off shorts, so get creative!
- Broken zips shouldn't necessarily mean the end of life for your clothing. Although a bit more difficult zips can be replaced in most items. Again a seamstress will have the skill to do this.
- For shoes, broken or lose soles can always be repaired by a good cobbler.
RECYCLING VINTAGE CLOTHING:
When you feel like your favourite vintage piece is finally reaching the end of it's life. There may still be more life left in it yet. Read this checklist to find out
- Can you rework it? Jeans can always be cut into denim shorts for summer. T-shirts and sweatshirts can be cut into crop tops or vests. You can cut worn or stained sleeves off your favourite Levi's denim jacket to create a grungey denim biker vest. The list is endless.
- Re-use the fabric. If you're handy with a needle then you may want to re-use the fabric to make another brand new garment. Quality fabrics are expensive so it's a good way to re-use it and can be a fun project. Check out our YouTube guide to cutting your jeans into denim shorts.
- Pass your item on to a family member if it doesn't fit anymore or you can always swap it with a friend to give it a new lease of life.
- If you decided you can't make a use out of it, you should always try and sell your item on to someone else who may be able to. Ebay, Depop or Etsy can be good market places for the individual seller.
Finally, if you've done all you can then don't just throw your item away, always give your item to a charitable organisation or put it into a clothing recycle bank so it doesn't just go straight into landfill.
For more information about sustainable fashion click here
Or read more about the vintage lifecycle