Our wardrobes are one way in which we define ourselves, but what if our wardrobes were at risk? This week, we’ve discovered there are many every day external factors which can determine the fate of our clothing and when it comes to caring for our favourite apparel pieces, temperature-controlled storage options are becoming increasingly popular. Even celebrity and fashion icon, Harry Styles, has recently revealed he uses the service in a secret London location to maintain his wardrobe and most loved looks.
Founded in London in 1969 and named after the legendary P.G. Wodehouse character, the quintessential ‘gentleman’s personal gentleman’, Jeeves, we asked London’s luxury dry cleaners Jeeves of Belgravia what exactly is temperature-controlled storage and why it’s essential to protecting our clothing. A temperature-controlled storage is a location dedicated to maintaining your garments at optimal temperatures and conditions to reduce external damage. It is recommended that clothing should be stored in conditions that do not exceed 23°C and at 40% relative humidity to keep them in their best condition.
“To provide the finest conditions, we store our garments at 18°C and at 40% relative humidity,” explained Will Lankston, Jeeves Operations Director. “We also have moth prevention visits once per month and clean everything before it goes into our storage facilities in order to ensure no nasties accidentally tag along! When you store things in a controlled environment, you remove heat and moisture from the atmosphere through the use of a dehumidifier/air conditioner. This process deters pests, so you limit the risk of moth damage while simultaneously helping to preserve the garments. Temperature control is also particularly important with garments produced from natural fibres such as leather or fur. They will dry out in the heat and this can cause them to crack over time. This is the same reason you should never dry wet leather shoes on a direct heat source.”
So why is temperature-controlled storage so important to storing our beloved items?
“Think of it like this,” Will explained, “virtually all food is best stored in a cool dry place, and you are only expecting that to last for a couple of weeks or months at most. You want your favourite garments to last a number of years, so it makes sense to follow the same principles!” Storing clothing in a cool, dry environment is essential to maintaining clothing – as it helps to reduce humidity and moisture, two key drivers for bacterial growth. Jeeves has even found in some of their international locations where humidity is high, such as Singapore or Manila, clients regularly arrive with clothes that have grown mould simply from being stored in an uncontrolled wardrobe due to warmth and humidity! Heat isn’t the only external danger to your clothing, moths and pests such as mice are known for also wreaking havoc on our wardrobes. This is why controlled conditions are so ideal, as these pesky pests favour high humidity and moisture levels. Not only for the rich and famous anymore, temperature-controlled storage is a great way for anyone with a beloved wardrobe to protect their most valuable items. For more information on the service, you can visit in store or enquire at Jeevesofbelgravia.co.uk.
6 tips for best storing your clothing at home
1. Don’t pack your wardrobe or drawers too tightly. It is important that your clothes are allowed to breathe between wears. Overpacking your wardrobe or drawers can result in creased clothes but can also damage delicate materials like silk.
2. Store your garments in breathable garment covers. This helps to protect against moths and also provides some protection against creasing.
3. Place moth repellent sachets in your wardrobes and drawers and replenish them regularly. Wool and cashmere are particularly high risk but moths will go for any natural fibres.
4. Ensure your garments are clean before storing them for any extended period of time. Moths are attracted to natural oils found on the skin, so storing clothes that have been worn places them at higher risk.
5. Always remove your garments from the plastic wrapping that they often come back from the dry cleaner in. It is important for your clothes to breathe and in humid places, this plastic wrapping can cause mould to develop. A number of dry cleaners are moving away from this single use plastic wrapping in favour of reusable garment covers.
6. Avoid hanging delicate silk garments and knitwear on hangers as this can cause them to distort. If the garments have hanging loops, use them or alternatively, fold them and place them in a drawer or fold them over a hanger bar.