Essential Tips for Clothing Storage
Lecturer, Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Clothes require care not only during their use but also while they are stored. The weather is not the same all the year round, hence the need for specific fabrics for specific weather conditions necessitates the storage of clothes not needed at the particular time. If large number of clothes are there, a small room or store can be used for the purpose, otherwise a cupboard, wardrobe or a shelf can also be used.
A good storage space should have certain desirable features:
- It should be clear, dry and free of humidity.
- It should be well lighted and not very dark.
- The shelves should be in plenty and smooth. These should not be too high because it becomes difficult to store the clothes.
- The shelves should be deep.
- They should be covered with paper.
- Drawers can also be used to store clothes and are safer as compared to shelves.
- If a cupboard is used, the door should be properly closed.
- The storage space should be dry, insect free and away from dust and dirt.
Steps of storing clothes:
- The clothes must be dust free. They must be brushed, pocket must be emptied, and exposed to sun before storing.
- The garments that require washing must be washed before storing. Those require dry clean must be dry cleaned.
- Airing must be done in boxes or cupboard as well as clothes before putting away.
- Clothes must not be kept in damp condition. Moisture causes mildew which may damage the clothes. So storage must be done in dry condition.
- The cupboard or storage box must be lined with paper or old clean cloth sheet.
- The storage space must be sprayed or dusted with an insecticide to prevent damage from insect, moths etc.
- Repellents such as tobacco, dried neem leaves etc. can be used in the storage. Napthalene balls and Odonil etc. are quite effective. Even camphor is considered to be useful.
- Newspaper can be used for wrapping woolens as moths dislike printing ink.
- Fumigation (smoke) with poisonous gas like hydrocynide is also useful. Though it kills moths, it is very dangerous and requires special handling. This is done on large scale.
- Clothes must be packed up tightly in one area for example coats, over-coats at one place, cardigans and pullovers at one place, sarees at different place etc.
- New white cloth must be wrapped up so as to avoid yellowing, if they are to be stored for long time.
- If clothes are to be stored for long time, one must keep changing their folds as some clothes can crack at folds.
- It is better to pack each article of clothing in polythene bags separately before storing.
- Never store starched clothes for a long time.
- Store sparingly used articles in on topmost shelves. Place very heavy ones in the lowest shelves, for comfort in handling them.
- Drawers can be placed in sunlight occasionally to remove moisture and all insects.
- Soiled clothing items must never be stored, for it has many disadvantages. The stains may become set and permanent it is more easily attacked by moths, insects and mildew.
- Mend all tears before storing to prevent it from getting larger.
How to prevent odors in stored clothes:
- To remove stubborn odors, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the laundry load.
- Pack clothing in opaque plastic bins with tight-fitting lids, if possible. Plastic bins are better than cardboard boxes because insects and rodents can chew through cardboard easily.
- To remove odors also used tobacco, dried neem leaves Napthalene balls and Odonil etc.
- Sprinkle some baking soda inside each shoe to absorb odors and prevent new ones. Baby powder and fabric-softener sheets also work.
- Put coffee grounds, baking soda, cedar chips or white vinegar in a bowl, then set the bowl inside the storage area near your clothes. Alternatively, fill an old sock with charcoal briquettes, then set it on the closet floor or on a shelf. All of these things absorb odors well.
Proper care and maintenance of clothing adds beauty to the wearer and prolongs the life of clothing.