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Storing clothes in plastic

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by imageWIS, May 22, 2004.

  1. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    I have to store my winter clothes, such as sweaters, heavy cashmere polo's, etc... in boxes for the summer. Is it okay if I use large plastic boxes (that allow for some movement of air) to store the abovementioned items?

    Thanks.

    Jon
     
  2. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    You might want to think about getting the "space bag," which is a plastic bag that you can suck all the air out of with a vaccuum. You can find them at Linens and Things, Bed Bath and Beyond, and probably the Seen on TV stores. Has anyone else ever tried these? I had a good experience storing my wool sweaters in these things -- saved a lot of space too.
     
  3. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    I have space for the plastic boxes, but will they do long term damage?

    Jon.
     
  4. F4iryder14

    F4iryder14 Senior member

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    I have heard of these things, and I remember one person I talked to said they bought one.  Good way to save space, but the clothes that they put in the space bags came out with wrinkles that were almost impossible to get rid of.  It might depend on how long you store the clothes and what type of material they are, but I would pass on that method.

    Kevin
     
  5. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I never had a problem with wrinkles using the space bag, but I can see how the wrinkling problem is salient with thinner wools if you don't pack them perfectly.
     
  6. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    If air can move through the boxes they should be okay. Just be sure to check for any food spots on any wool items that would attract moth larvae to the clothing, and add cedar moth balls to the boxes. I don't think you'll have any problem. After taking them out a steaming should return them to serviceable condition.
     
  7. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If you have any worries about moths, pop the items in question for 24 hours into the deepfreeze. Cedar wood will not kill eggs or larvae, artic temperatures will.

    I got this tip from someone at the textile department at London's Victoria & Albert Museum, apparently they freeze all textiles when they arrive at the museum. Furniture restorers use the deepfreeze to kill woodworms; there are even some industrial units where you can freeze large items of furniture.
     
  8. hermes

    hermes Senior member

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    i would not store anything in plastic bags

    i do agree with bengal-stripe, the deep freeze is accurate and i have read this from a number of museums that have textiles as well as, of all people, martha stewart

    but you should actually dry clean or wash all your winter wear before storing it away for the season, this way it is clean and free of body oils, perfumes and possible food particles

    those canvas storage bags are a better choice over plastic
     
  9. AskAndyAboutClothes

    AskAndyAboutClothes Senior member

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    image WIS:

    You actually want the storage air tight.

    Storing clothes in airtight containers such as cedar chests or in bags that have been sealed with tape is effective at keeping moth larvae out. However, if clothes were packed with even one egg, larva, or moth hidden under a collar or cuff, the moth larvae will eventually have a feast. This is why it is so important to clean your clothes before you store them.

    Articles to be stored can be packed in tight-fitting containers with mothballs or flakes containing Paradichlorobenzene (PDB) or Napthalene. Neither PDB or Napthalene will repel clothes moths or prevent them from laying eggs -- the vapors from these materials are lethal to clothes moths, but only when maintained at sufficient concentrations. In order to achieve these levels, the vapors must be tightly confined with the items you wish to protect.

    Naphthalene is not very soluble in water, so it is difficult to remove by washing. It would probably be wise to dry-clean any articles that have been stored with mothballs before using them.

    Andy
     
  10. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I have a cashmere sweater that I have worn once -- I got it in January and only wore it one time (with a t-shirt underneath it) this winter. I'm not planning on putting it in "storage" -- I just shift my winter sweaters to the far side of my closet.

    (1) Do I have to worry about moth problems? (2) Should I dry clean the sweater? All the talk about the necessity of cleaning the woolens is concerning me, but isn't it the stock answer here that you should dry clean sparingly?

    If I should dry clean the sweater, would using the Dryel bag be sufficient?
     
  11. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Since I live in south Florida, we are lucky enough not to have too much of a moth problem. But, what I don't understand is this: if I leave all my winter clothing (mostly cashmere items) in a drawer, how is that different from leaving it in a plastic container?

    Jon.
     
  12. hermes

    hermes Senior member

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    even wearing it once, it should be cleaned at the end of the season

    don't bother to dry clean your cashmere, wash it by hand or in the gentle cycle of your machine ...... i've done this for 15 years or so and have had no problems with shrinkage or ruinage
     

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