Tuesday, September 13, 2016

This Winter Might be the Best Thing for Your Vintage Clothes

I keep reading predictions in the media that this winter will bring the  strongly anticipated La Nina, the absolute opposite of an El Nino winter in Chicago. What does this mean to us? Icy storms, lots of snow and a heavy helping of frigid air. 

Although, this prediction of a 2016 winter deep freeze might be the best thing for our vintage clothes.

The famous fur that Carrie Bradshaw wore.
I had first acquired this knowledge when I went to go visit my client for a White Glove Pickup in a gorgeous Ukrainian Village apartment in Chicago. The type of building with the huge front porches and colorful flowers tumbling down the side. My client was consigning her mother's items and immediately when I walked into her apartment, I could see that this woman had exquisite taste. I was excited to see and learn about her mother and the stories of how she collected these clothes.

It was then, as we were rifling through her furs, fine wools and leathers that my client mentioned to me that her Mother used to "freeze" her furs. I chuckled and then listened intensely as it sounded non conventional do to this, however I am always excited to learn new things, especially about properly caring for finer clothing.

She told me stories about how her mother would in the dead of winter hang her finest items out in the open cold air and freeze them. Although, her neighbors might of wondered what she was up to, she was rather smart as it was an effective way to rid of dust mites and moth larvae.

See no matter how meticulous you are with your items, especially vintage, you are always running the risk of these little buggers ruining your clothing. Freezing kills the mites and larvae in an effective, inexpensive and green way. 

You might not even know you have them, but if you have inherited Grandmas clothing, shopped at an estate sale, thrift store or even are just known as a clothes hoarder (admit it, you can't let go of your favorite sweater from college)... chances are good that you have them. Well stuffed closets of even contemporary clothes offer a perfect, dark habitat for dust mites and moths.

The most effective way to freeze these pests is to hang your clothing outside, for at least eight hours (sun helps) and have the humidity in the air be under 60%. Or you can choose to fold your items into the freezer and keep them in there overnight,just be sure not to pack it too tightly.
See this on your clothes? Chances are you have a moth problem.

Other effective ways for combating these pests is to make sure your items are clean
before storing them, as moth larvae LOVE soiled garments. Store your clean clothing in plastic bags in a cool room. Central heat and a warm rooms makes for a welcoming habitat for these pests.

Also, a thorough spring cleaning at least once a year will help maintain a pest free environment. Our Grandparents generation had the right idea by literally cleaning out, scrubbing and dusting every part of the house. Make sure to take out all clothing, shake it out, open windows, dust and clean out drawers and closets. 

I can't tell you how many times I have been on a White Glove Estate pull where I find the likes of vintage Christian Dior, Emanuel Ungaro and similar destroyed by moths and mites and wanted to cry. I hope that sharing this knowledge keeps your valuables damage free to enjoy for many more years.

Ciao for now!
Christine Sanderson
-Le Thrift Consignment


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