Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter Garment Care

Even if you live in Southern California, you know that wintertime can be cold and wet. While we might not experience the blizzards of the midwest, wintertime in SoCal can mean damp, cold, foggy mornings and evenings. The extra moisture calls for extra garment care, especially when it comes to natural fabric and fibers, such as leather, suede, and wool.

This article from the Charlotte Observer offers some sound garment care tips. To add to your arsenal of information, here are some more tips to care for your wintertime garments:

Moths and other bugs love animal fibers. Bugs are attracted to food, perfume, perspiration, etc. Make sure all clothing is clean before hanging or storing in a closet. To deter moths from damaging your garments, place cedar balls in garment bags and closets.

Use mothballs sparingly. Mothballs have a distinct scent that is often permanent, even after dry cleaning. Mothballs are designed for use with long-term archival and shouldn't be used with garments you plan on wearing in the near future. If you choose to use mothballs, wrap them in layers of tissue paper to avoid contact with the fabric.

Leather & Suede
Leather is hygroscopic, which means that it readily absorbs moisture. After wearing a leather or suede jacket (or pants, gloves, etc.) after a humid, rainy, or damp day, allow them to air-dry completely in an open room before storing them in a closet. These items take up to a day and a half to dry thoroughly. And, as the article mentions, never store leather or suede in non-breathable plastic bags or in damp areas of the house, such as the basement or attic.

Because fur requires lots of room to breathe, it's best to store these items in a closet with extra space, or take advantage of storage and valet services such as Garde Robe. Garde Robe is a high-end storage company that takes museum-quality photos of your garments, catalogs the items on the website, and then stores everything in a climate-controlled environment.

Bottom Line: Taking care of your winter garments ensures that you'll have many, many years of use. If you ever have questions about cleaning or caring for a garment, call your professional dry cleaner for guidance.