Wednesday, 4 April 2012

How to make clothes last longer.

This is just a quick post because I have a tuna pasta bake in the oven. It will be done soon so I can allow it to cool and then batch freeze it for another day.

Whilst I was waiting for the pasta to cook I did some ironing and I came to think about how vintage clothes seem to last so long. I know the material is better quality and is made to last (no such thing as disposable fashion in the make do and mend era!) but the previous owners must have taken some care over their clothes, especially when you think about how expensive new clothing was before easy mass production.

My nan has given me some top tips over the years about how to look after clothes so they can last and i'm going to share them with you.

  1. Wash clothes when they are dirty- do not put them back in the wardrobe or leave them to fester at the bottom of a laundry basket
  2. Wash clothes only when they need washing- most stains can be removed by gently patting the area with a damp cloth- never rub! 
  3. Leave clothes to air whenever possible- never take something off and put it in the wardrobe
  4. Use bicarbonate soda or fabreeze to freshen up clothes- putting clothes through the washing machine can be really damaging to the fibres.
  5. When you do use the washing machine never fill it right up- it won't get your clothes clean and it will stretch the fibres of the items.
  6. Bras and knickers last longer if washed my hand- just make sure you use a detergent that is suitable for hand washing and won't damage the material, especially if you have posh undies.
  7. After you've washed an item hang it up to dry. I use coat hangers and try to avoid putting clothing directly on to radiators as the heat can stretch elastic fibres. 
  8. Turn clothing inside out when ironing and always follow the instructions on the label. 
  9. Store clothes inside out- this means that any dust that lands on the garment won't impact it
  10. Use suitable coat hangers- you need something that is sturdy and supports the clothes else wise the shoulders won't sit correctly. 
  11. Don't stuff your wardrobe full of clothes- you're less likely to get mould on your clothes if air can circulate properly
  12. Do any repairs as soon as possible after the damage is done- if you delay attaching that button you will probably lose the button which means you'll either have to hunt high and low for a matching button, or discard the item.
  13. Secure buttons with a dab of clear nail varnish. 

So there you have my nan's top tips- have you got any tricks up your (long living) sleeve?

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