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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Storing Garments

I recently had a customer send me a message through Facebook about some mysterious holes that appeared after he had his suit cleaned.  He actually had three cleaned but only one had the holes.  He was baffled because he stored all three suits in the same garment bag for approximately the same amount of time.  The store manager sent the suit off for analysis, and it confirmed what she expected – insect damage.  But he didn’t understand.  Why did only one suit come back with mysterious holes?  Why did the holes show up after the suit was cleaned?

Many times holes due to insect damage don’t appear until after the garment has been cleaned.  That’s because the fabric was likely weakened by insects, then the agitation the garment received during the cleaning process caused unbroken but weakened fibers to break.  We’ve shared tips on properly storing garments a number of times over the years, but with the upcoming change in season, we’ll all be putting away those heavier-weighted garments in lieu of lighter fabrics.  The last thing you want is to pull out a garment next fall only to discover that it has been attacked by insects.  Let’s review the proper way to store out-of-season garments:

•    Wash or dry-clean every item before storing.  Even if it doesn’t look dirty, moths find invisible stains, body oils, and perspiration and will feed on it. 
•    Avoid hanging knit items, sweaters, and other stretchy garments that could stretch and become out of shape.  Instead fold them and place all folded garments in plastic containers with air-tight lids.  Steer clear of using cardboard boxes or paper bags because moths and other insects can get inside plus they cannot keep water and moisture out.
•    Hang suits and coats on cedar hangers and store them in garment bags.  Never use our poly bags to store your clothes long-term, which will suffocate your clothes and possibly cause staining or mildew issues.  Our poly bags are designed for short-term protection only.  Be sure to use hangers with wider bars when hanging pants to prevent creases at the knees. 
•    Clothes can become stale smelling when stored away for some time.  Use cedar chips or lavender and rosemary sachets to help keep your garments smelling fresh and to help ward off insects.
•    Store your clothes in a cool, dry, clean place; never store your clothes in a cold basement or hot attic.  Extreme temperatures could damage your garments.

If you have questions about storing out-of-season garments, call any one of our locations and talk to a manager.  We are always glad to answer any questions.  If you are short on storage space, you can always store your out-of-season garments at any A Cleaner World.  Taking proper care of your fall and winter garments now ensures they will be ready for you to enjoy next year.

Click here to find out how to store clothes at A Cleaner World.

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