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CRAZYBUBBA
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Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by CRAZYBUBBA »

Hi guys,

I'm a budding collector of vintage t-shirts and I've been buying some really cool unique stuff over the last couple month. I was wondering if anyone had any tips with regard to how to store t-shirts to avoid them from dying an early death, drying up, etc. I'm currently hand washing them VERY VERY gently and storing them in little plastic envelopes.
Have vintage Elvis tees? Let me know!

jimmyj
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Re: Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by jimmyj »

I use an extremely gentle soap called, SOAK - all you do is use a tablespoon of it and some lukewarm water. You're not even supposed to agitate the garment in it, just leave it for 15 mins and take it out...no rinsing is required either.

Then either flat or hang dry it, although flat can be safer, it doesn't put any stress on the garment.

As far as bags, as long as you have no moth problem and it's not in direct sunlight or in desert-like climates...a drawer is okay.
Jimmy J

Johnny65
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Re: Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by Johnny65 »

No washer or dryer!

Hand wash and natural drying only. 8-)

CRAZYBUBBA
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Re: Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by CRAZYBUBBA »

Yup, I'm definitely drying them flat. I've got a thing for super thin tees and I'm terrified of putting them on hangers.
Have vintage Elvis tees? Let me know!

Frank
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Re: Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by Frank »

i'm a fan of beating them up, wearing them out, and fading them to perfection, personally

however to maintain long life, i'd go with Woolite Black or Dark or whatever it's called for dark shirts and hand wash them and line dry them- just like you would with jeans that you want to preserve.

jimmyj
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Re: Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by jimmyj »

One thing I recently discovered is framing a t-shirt - these frames have UV blocking glass, and you don't need to cut the shirt - great way to preserve it: https://www.defunkd.com/how-to-frame-a-vintage-t-shirt/
Jimmy J

maxvintage
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Re: Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by maxvintage »

I read something awhile back that said air is important for vintage and antique clothing, airflow prevents dry rot. You want to avoid zipping them in plastic bags or sticking them in airtight containers.

jimmyj
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Re: Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by jimmyj »

Doesn't plastic eventually break down and become toxic? I've been paranoid about that since I stored my comic books in plastic sleeves and was then told years later they end up doing more harm than good and I had to get special "mylar" sleeves that didn't break down. :shock: But that was probably mylar marketing?

Ya, I think as long as it's in a dark, dry place, away from moths, you're good.
Jimmy J

maxvintage
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Re: Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by maxvintage »

Mylar is good and archival, but you want the cotton to breath. Check out how big institutions and museums store antique clothing. It's all in archival boxes with archival paper wrapping the garments.

jimmyj
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Re: Vintage T-shirt Storage and Maintenance

Post by jimmyj »

Truth. I have a friend who has a vintage clothing rental business and 60% of it is stacked in boxes on shelves. I'll take a photo next time I pop by.
Jimmy J

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