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How best to store your woollens?

As the chill fades away, here’s how you can pack and preserve your woollens for the next winters.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2012 00:55 IST
Roma Arora

Winter on its yearly ebb might be making you anxious to doff the thick layers of woollens, but before you dump your warm wraps remember you’ll need them again. Hence, store the woollens and winter gear with care protecting them from their foes — moisture, moths, mildew and molds.

Keep in mind that the storage method for your garment varies from fabric to fabric, for example, a knitted sweater should be stored with naphthalene balls, while fur coats and delicate pashmina shawls should not be as their material instantly absorbs the smell of the mothballs.

There are many such tips and fixes. Here’s an easy yet effective storage guide to keep your woollens secure for seasons to come.

Shoe care
1. Use your old magazines/tissue paper to create supports for your knee-high leather boots. It stops forming of wrinkles in the leather and maintains the shape of the shoe. Avoid using newspaper, as it leaves print marks on the surface.
2. Take your winters shoes and boots to a shoe repair shop once in a year before you put them away for summers. Heel cap repair, shoelace replacement, waterproofing, etc, should be done before you store your footwear.
3. Brush your footwear with shoe brushes designed specifically for different materials like suede and leather. Brushes are available at most leading footwear stores.
4. Use shoe bags or washed muslin to wrap your leather shoes and boots in. It protects footwear from scratches.
5. You can also place a shape holder inside the shoes. This helps the shoe maintain its original shape.

By Swati Modo, shoe designer

Woollens
1. Dust and dirt can dull the appearance of your woollens. Hence, brush woollen clothes lengthwise to remove surface soil that could become stains later, before packing the woollens away.
2. Lay clothing flat on a bed or towel for an hour as woven garments need to be exposed to fresh air to remove cigarette, food, and everyday odours.
3. Woven garments should be hung on shaped or padded coat hangers, while knitted clothes should be gently folded and stored in the drawers or on the shelves of a cupboard.
4. Place mothballs inside the storage package or scatter them in your cupboard. Also, you should periodically check your woollens and replace the mothballs regularly.
5. Food stains and body oils attract moths, so ensure that the clothing is clean before packing it. Use moth repellents, but do not place them directly on the garment; wrap them in a muslin cloth.

By The Woolmark Company

Shawl storage
1, Cashmere and pashmina shawls should be stored in an airtight zip lock polythene bags to protect them from harmful moisture and the silverfish ants. Also, pashmina shawls should not be stored with naphthalene balls or cakes as they will absorb its smell.
2. Silk scarves and shawls should be wrapped in muslin and should be hanged in padded hangers. Keeping them in a pile might damage the crease and finishing of the shawl.
3. Cotton stoles should be ironed properly and hung on hangers so that the creases don’t become permanent spoiling the flow of the fabric. Iron the cotton stoles using mild heat setting and a protective cloth.
4. You can also use neem leaves slipped between layers of shawls or stoles.
5. Always dry clean your shawls. They are too fine to take any kind of wringing or rubbing.

By Amit Jain, Shingora shawls

Fur maintenance
1. Store the fur coat and jackets in a cold, dark storage area. Humidity can result in the oils to bleed out of the fur and cause the leather to dry out, which can cause moulting; direct light can fade the fur.
2. Hang the coat freely; don’t try to stuff too many in a closet. Use a padded hanger. Hang the coat by its shoulders and leave room on either side of the coat because fur needs to breathe to stay supple and healthy looking.
3. Cover the coat with cotton garment bags or cotton sheets, and not plastic (the fur needs to breathe). Remove the coat from the bag every three months and dust it well.
4. Make sure that you remove all jewellery, accessories and pins from the coat before keeping it away. To avoid sagging and bulging and help maintain the shape, empty pockets and remove belts, close zips and buttons.
5. In case the coat is wet, let it dry in a well-ventilated room. Do not use artificial drying techniques on fur as they might cause hair breakage.

By Rishi Raj, fashion stylist