Fashion Fails: Hanging THESE Items Will Cut Your Clothing Lifespan, According to Expert
As the world wakes up to the threat of fast fashion and its contribution to climate change, our focus has shifted to quality over quantity when it comes to clothing. While buying items made to last is an important step forward, however, storing them incorrectly can seriously shorten their lifespan.
The home insurance experts at money.co.uk were keen to share their expertise on the right way to care for your clothing and keep them looking and feeling great for as long as possible.
Fold VS hang
Whether you should hang or fold items depends on closet space, the weight of your items and the material. Understanding if we’re storing our clothes the right or wrong way doesn't often cross our minds, but it’s key to extending the lifespan of your garments. Here are the suggested items for hanging and folding:
Dress (except heavier/formal gowns)
Any item that is prone to wrinkles
Jumpers and hoodies
Slinky/stretchy materials items
Anything with embellishment or heavily beaded
6 key tips for taking care of your clothes
Store your items correctly
It is best to store your items in clean, dry and cool environments that have as little direct sunlight as possible to keep them in good condition. Giving your garments some breathing space will prevent them from fading or wrinkling, which will eventually reduce their lifespan.
Keeping them in waterproof plastic boxes will protect them from dust, mold, moths, and unwanted eight-legged creatures. It is also vital you don’t store them in direct contact with wood, as wood contains acids that are damaging to textiles, especially over a long period of time.
For heavier clothing items, like jumpers, hoodies, and sweaters, it’s best to fold them as hanging can contribute to stretching of fabric.
Invest in wooden hangers. Although a little more expensive, wooden hangers are proven to take better care of your clothes as plastic and wire hangers are the cause of shoulders and necklines becoming stretched out.
Rearrange your wardrobe to fit the season
As we move into summer, it’s time to store away the winter knitwear to make room for your lighter pieces, making it a good time to hoover your wardrobe and give it a once-over with a damp cloth. This will give your clothes some breathing space and remove any dust or dirt that has built up on the inside of your wardrobe. Avoid using harsh chemicals or over perfumed disinfectants as they can seep into the fabrics of your clothes and may cause damage or make your clothes to smell of cleaning products.
For storing winter or summer clothing, it’s suggested to wash but not iron them beforehand; ironing can weaken fibres and encourage items to tear along the creases. It is also better to roll them than it is to fold, as rolling prevents hard creasing.
Air drying is key
Just like over washing, the excessive use of a dryer on your garments leads to shrinking of fabrics and a breakdown of elastic. Air drying on a clothing line or rack is the gentlest way to care for your items.
Not only does air drying prevent the static cling on fabrics and extend the lifetime of your garments, it also uses less energy, saving you money and makes less of an impact on the environment. And if dried correctly you may not need to iron them at all.
Wash your clothes less frequently
Contradictory to popular belief, washing your clothing less often will actually keep, and maintain, your items in better condition.
Machine washing can be harsh and sometimes damaging to your clothes as constant soaking, detergent, and spinning will inevitably wear them out. Unless they smell or are visibly dirty, they don’t need to be washed after every wear.
No wardrobe is complete without a basic or statement dark coloured piece, but when it comes to washing them, they can bleed and fade overtime. Washing dark clothing inside out is your best bet at enduring their lifespan and keeping them in their store-bought condition!
Pay attention to care labels
Care labels are there for a reason and lots of us may be guilty of ignoring them. Paying attention to how your garments should be washed will prevent items from shrinking or becoming discoloured.
Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk said:
“Taking care of clothing is just as important as taking care of jewellery to prevent items from tarnishing. Regardless of whether they are designer or not, our wardrobes are among the most valuable possessions in our homes and to replace them could prove extremely costly. Ensuring you have the value of the items in your wardrobe covered in your home contents insurance is a must, because if your items were ever stolen or destroyed in a fire or flood, you might not be able to claim to replace them.”
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Author: Silvia K. on
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