So, you’ve just purchased your perfect Vintage outfit and would like tips on how to keep it in great condition.
Firstly, and most importantly, make sure when you purchased you vintage garment there are no holes, damage or/and stains. Its best to avoid these problems rather than buy hoping they can be repaired. Of course, if its your dream dress or an absolute bargain, it can’t hurt to put your faith in the clothing gods and attempt a fix.
It is very important that you hand wash a majority of vintage clothing, there is nothing worse then you popping it in the washing machine or dryer only to end up with a shrunken sweater or tie-dye skirt that was once striped. Hand wash, gently with cold water and it is not suggested to colour dye unless the certain material can be dyed. Keep an eye out for care label instructions; this can make your job a whole lot easier. Care labels were first introduced in the 1970′s so it’s quiet likely you’ll spot one in your purchase. Of course if you’ve bought yourself the perfect 1950′s tea dress then it’s always better to be safe than sorry – have the item dry cleaned or hand wash and dry lying flat. If your item looks at all like it is comprised of a woollen fabric then be extra careful not to be to rough with when washing; wool requires a tender hand-wash or better yet leave it to the dry-cleaners.
You must be weary of fabrics that may not be colour-fast, particularly if it has sections of embroidery (the tread colour often runs). Best thing to do is to colour test small section of the fabric to see if the colour stains warm water. After you have colour tested, to be safe, wash in cold water and add salt to the mix to help fix the dye.
You may find stains on your vintage clothing because it does have considerable history. Common stains include; blood, grass, food and rust areas (if the garment includes silver/gold/metal). Do not despair, there are a number of things you can do. First of all, try soaking over-night in a laundry detergent (remember to colour test first before doing this). If your stain is stubborn, there are a number of stain removal products that can be applied directly to the stain such as: stain goes, bleach (for whites) and even Windex. I highly recommend you Google the specific remedy for what the stain appears to be, eg. grass stain which are greeny-brown, blood or rust stain which are brown etc.
When storing your garment, it should be stored in a breathable container; for example store in a containers with no holes, preferably plastic to help keep out mice and insects. When placing the garment in your closet, its a good idea you put it on a wooden coat hanger or even plastic. Do not use metal! It is highly suggested that you do not use a metal coat hanger, especially if the garment is garment is heavy. Metal coat hangers do tent to rust which may have a effect on the garment and due to their fine, narrow structure, can ruin the shoulders of your treasured vintage item in a matter of hours.
Hope these tips will help you on the quest for vintage perfection.