Painted Bird Vintage Boutique

Caring for your Vintage Beauties

We want you to get the most out of your vintage clothes so knowing how to care for them is essential.

With the right care, storage and a bit of TLC, your vintage garments will be worn for generations to come! Here are some tips I use when caring for my own vintage pieces.


Storing vintage clothes

Keep vintage garments in a dry, dust-free place away from direct sunlight to avoid fading and deterioration of fabric.

Hang up vintage garments to dry out perspiration instead of leaving them in a hamper until wash day.

Use wooden or padded hangers. Wire hangers can ruin the fabric at the shoulders and cause rips over time.

Fold fragile silks, knitwear and beaded items carefully instead of hanging them.

PLEASE, do not store vintage garments in plastic bags or plastic storage containers as the fabric needs to breathe. If you would like it covered for protection, take an old pillowcase and cut a hole for the hanger at the bottom seam and slide it over as a sustainable garment bag!

Washing vintage clothes

Read the care labels when available and follow the washing machine instructions. Most up to date washing machines offer sensitive and delicate settings.

Check for loose seams, holes or fraying before washing to avoid damaging the garment further.

Hand-wash or dry-clean vintage garments. Most vintage items pre- 1960s are non-machine washable. If the fabric is very old or delicate, good airing can often remove odor without damaging the garment. You can always put items in the freezer overnight if you have the space – this kills any bacteria (and bacteria is usually what causes the smell).

Wherever possible, if you decide to put items into the washing machine, turn the piece inside out and try to use a delicates bag for added protection.

Use a specialised gentle washing detergent for spot cleaning. We use Martha’s Wool Wash available at any supermarket.

Hand-wash or dry-clean silk, wool, velvet and any garment with beading. Please make sure your dry cleaner is experienced in vintage fabrics. Some beading may dissolve if it was gelatine based.

Hang vintage garments on a drying rack instead of drying them in the dryer.

Attempt to wash your vintage garments less to avoid damaging the garment from repeated washing. This is also better for our environment!

If you have dreaded clothing moths we suggest putting your item in the freezer for three days to kill any possibly of further damage. This seems to work for us, but sometimes they can be pretty ‘pesky’ to get rid of once they are comfortable!

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