If you live in the North or East of the country, you probably have a whole stash of heavy blankets, jackets and other things you require to brave the cold, cold weather. Sure you’ll be using them regularly during the colder months, but when the temperatures are shooting up, simply stuffing these in your wardrobes is not enough. In fact, you should be taking great care of your woollens throughout the year because they tend to collect dust and microbes due to moisture. They may also become moth-eaten or become duller after being stored away incorrectly. Here are our tips to make them last as long as possible:
1. Clean Up Your Wardrobe
Before you begin organizing, pull out everything from your wardrobe and start fresh. Wipe down the insides completely – Ensure that the shelves are properly dusted, vacuumed and cleaned with a wet cloth followed by a dry cloth, leaving no moisture behind. You should also air it for a day. Line the shelves and drawers with newspapers or chart paper. If you are using plastic boxes, suitcases or metal bins, clean them with a wet cloth and let them dry in the sun. Make sure that you brush your woollen garments lengthwise after every use so that dust does not collect on them and cause dullness.
2. Clean Them Right
Since woollens should not be washed often, you should try and air it out as often as possible – especially if you use these only for a few months and the rest of the year it’s packed away without air circulation. Sweaters, pants, tops, and skirts should be washed only every fifth or sixth time that you use them. Jackets and coats shouldn’t be washed more than twice a season. At the end of the cold months, before packing them away, make sure that they are washed or dry-cleaned. Check the label of each garment to see if it can be washed by hand or need to be dry-cleaned. If you are washing an item, you can roll it in a towel to remove excess water. It’s best to lay your woollens down flat on a towel to dry it rather than hanging them on a clothesline as the wet fabric may stretch it out and cause it to lose its shape. Ensure that they are dried completely before storing since wet spots can become breeding ground for pests and mould.
3. Change The Order Of Clothes
We all tend to have favourites that are kept right at the front of the wardrobe so that they are easy to grab and go. But when it comes to woollens, try and rotate the clothes that are kept in the front with your stash at the back. The reason for this is the same as above – your woollens need to be aired out as much as possible. Every fortnight is a good rule of thumb when it comes to rotating your woollens.
4. Protect Your Woollen Wear
We all know that mothballs, naphthalene or camphor can protect your woollens, but they sure do smell! Chemical-free alternatives are neem, mint and lavender. You could either place dried neem or mint leaves at the bottom of the cupboard or container. If you like the smell of lavender, fill cloth sachets with dried lavender instead. If you don’t have these on hand, put a few drops of lavender or pure neem on cotton balls. Use silica gel packs to protect against moisture. If you can manage to get a wardrobe made of cedarwood, it would be a great solution to protect your clothes from insects (especially moths). Of course, not all of us can manage to get special wardrobes made of cedar made. Instead, you could place a few cedar blocks or chips in your existing wardrobe or containers, but do remember to change them out once in a while.
Once the winter months are behind you and your warm clothes are all packed away as per our tips, don’t forget about them. Check on them occasionally to ensure there aren’t any moths, insects or fungus damaging your clothes. If you are in the market for a great new wardrobe (for your summer and winter clothes), check out some of HomeLane’s beautiful wardrobe designs and be inspired.