Clothing Care & Storage


Proper storage and care for our vintage and handmade clothing prolongs the life of the garment for the future.  An investment in the materials and accessories to achieve this goal are well worth it.  I will share some of my own tips on how to provide the care your clothes need before being put in the closet.

Essentials for storage of vintage and handmade clothing

By handmade, I mean clothing the sewista makes for themself.  A garment made from a pattern drafted by the sewista or purchased from a designer, along with fabric and notions, represents a substantial investment of time and money.  Therefore, the right hangers and garment storage essentials should be considered part of that investment.

Padded hangers are a must for all garments.  So are skirt and slacks hangers.  Some padded hangers include skirt hangers.  This is a must when you have to economize on space in a small closet.

I have found that many padded hangers sold on Amazon as suitable for blouses are at times too wide.  They are better suited to coats or suit jackets.  A padded hanger with a slightly shorter width works better for blouses.  There will be less of the hanger extending into the sleeve.

More expensive padded hangers include satin buttons sewn at each end.  The buttons act as a way to keep the garment from slipping off.  It is a nice feature but not essential. 

Acid free tissue paper is a must.  You can use it to fill out the neckline and chest area of the blouse, dress or jacket.  Insert some inside sleeves to prevent wrinkling.

Cedar wood chips or balls are a natural moth deterrent.  Buy a bag and place one or two balls at the bottom of the garment bag.  You can also buy a small drawstring bag to hold the cedar chips or balls.  Place the bag over the hanger before zipping the garment bag closed.

Avoid using plastic garment bags that do not breathe.  The ideal garment bag is made of unbleached muslin.  These are very expensive but worth the investment for a very special garment.  There are also garment bags made of synthetic materials that breathe.  They do not cost as much and are an economical choice for an everyday garment.  Here, too, you can use some cedar chips to keep moths away.  You can also buy a larger drawstring bag to hold any special accessories you use specifically with that garment, such as a piece of costume jewelry, a hairband or pair of gloves, stockings, etc.

Skirt hangers can leave marks on the waistband of slacks or skirts.  I create a cushion out of a white, 100% cotton kitchen towel by folding it a few times.  I place it over the waistband.  Then I place the skirt or slacks into the clips on the hanger.  This prevents any marks or indenting from the clips.

Published by EmilyAnn Frances

I was born and raised in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, New York. I attended Hunter College where I graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English Language Arts. After graduation I worked in various industries such as publishing, fashion, financial services, investment banking, and for government. My passion for fashion was nurtured at the French Fashion Academy where I learned dressmaking, patternmaking, sketching and draping. My enjoyment of dressmaking and family history find a wonderful home here at WordPress. I hope you enjoy both of my blogs.