Clothing Storage Tips

If you live in a climate where there is more than one season, you should store off-season clothing carefully to avoid damage from insects, mildew and mold. Be sure to wash and dry all garments thoroughly before storing. Do not store clothes in plastic bags or airtight containers. Rattan trunks are perfect for storing clothing, as they allow the clothing to breathe when air circulates through the rattan. Here are a few tips for safe storage of different types of clothing.

  • Leather and suede should be stored in a closet that is cool and well ventilated. The garments are best covered with white muslin that’s been washed. Supple leather garments should be laid flat and padded well with white tissue.
  • Rayon should also be stored flat. If the garment has to be hung, pad it with white tissue and cover it with clean, white muslin.
  • Linen garments should be rolled. If you feel you must fold them, be sure to refold often to avoid fabric from becoming permanently creased. Always cover with white muslin that’s been washed.
  • Knitted and silk fabrics should always be stored flat. If you feel you must hang these garments, be sure to pad well with white tissue and cover it with clean, white muslin.
  • Garments made of metallic fabric should be rolled with clean, white muslin or tissue paper separating each layer.
  • Fur garments need to be stored in a cool, dark place. Cover fur with clean, white muslin. However when storing fur, professional cold storage is best.
  • Wool should be thoroughly cleaned, padded and wrapped in white tissue. Add mothballs to the storage area to prevent moth damage.


More Storage Tips:

  • When storing garments, use a chemical desiccant to absorb moisture and prevent mildew. Do not let the desiccant touch the garments. Examples of chemical desiccant are calcium chloride or silica gel.
  • Reduce dampness in closets by tying pieces of chalk together and hanging them from a support post or from the ceiling.
  • If the weather in your area is cool and dry, be sure your storage areas are well ventilated.
  • Always store garments loosely so they can breathe and air can circulate. Never use fabric finish or starch on garments that are to be stored.
  • Protect clothing from wood acid by lining dresser drawers with an acid free shelf paper or quilted fabric. Never use wallpaper remnants or gummed shelf paper. The backing will attract insects to your clothing.
  • Always clean garments that are to be stored. Insects are attracted to drink, food and perspiration.
  • Areas where garments are stored should be dark and clean. Light fades colors and attracts insects.
  • Never store clothing in a cold basement or hot attic. Extreme temperatures will damage your clothes.
  • Cotton, linen, silk and wool are all natural fibers. Always store these in a well ventilated area.
  • To rid garments of wrinkles when they come out of storage, put them in the dryer on the fluff or air dry cycle that has no heat.
  • When adding mothballs to a storage area, place them in an old sock so they don’t touch the garments.
  • If you’re using moth crystals, put them on the adhesive backing of duct tape and hang them in the storage area.

Use the tips in this article to safely store all of your off-season clothing. Storing garments correctly will help your clothing to stay beautiful for years to come.

By Mary M. Alward
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