The Town and Country Guide to getting your wardrobe ready for Autumn

The Summer is unfortunately over for this year and it is time to get your cold weather clothes back into your wardrobe.

This is our five step ‘how to’ guide for housekeepers to make sure that  hats, jumpers, cardigans, coats etc. are all clean and ready to go for when the cold weather starts.

1. Make sure everything is clean and fresh…

Ever taken clothes out of winter storage and noticed they have a musty smell? To tackle ‘the smell’, wash clothes at their recommended temperature and add one cup of white vinegar per load of laundry to the washing machine drum. This should kill off any mould spores and tackle the musty smell. In future, you can try to prevent the odour by freshly washing and completely air-drying your clothes before you store them in vacuum pack bags.

2. …including your coats!

For wool, tweed and cashmere, you should brush the coat with very soft bristled brush or lint brush to remove any surface dirt. Then hang on a sturdy broad hanger and fasten up buttons between uses. You should store coats in an area with good air flow and avoid keeping them next to dirty items as wool absorbs other dirt and odours. Keep coats out of direct sunlight or the colours could fade. If there are any spills down them, blot immediately but don’t rub! This could push the stain deeper into the pile, and cause abrasion on the surface.

To spruce up a leather jacket, apply a leather conditioner in a circular motion. This will prevent the leather drying out and cracking. Leather jackets should always be hung up after wearing to keep its shape. If there are water stains on your jacket, dampen a white cloth and dab the stain working in a circular motion.

3. Beware of clothes moths

We’ve all been there… you take out  a favourite winter jumper only to find some ominous small holes. This is probably because the storage area has been infiltrated by the dreaded clothes moths that create havoc among our woollen clothing. Moths love the dark, usually hiding at the back of wardrobes and drawers, in undisturbed places. If you find evidence of these jumper-nibblers, you should empty, vacuum and wash out wardrobes and drawers, before killing the larvae by washing everything at the highest recommended temperature. For clothes you can’t machine wash, like delicates, pop garments into a plastic bag and freeze for at least 24 hours before carefully defrosting.

4. Don’t forget hats, gloves and scarves

When the weather gets really cold, then it is hats and gloves needed to keep warm. Knitted accessories often get overlooked when you’re doing the laundry but they need washing just as much as clothes do. Hand-wash or launder them separately on a delicates cycle and either air-dry them or tumble-dry on a low heat setting. For expensive accessories, such as luxe scarves, it’s best to take a trip to the dry-cleaners.

5. Remember to pamper those sweaters

Knitwear is a stable in any winter wardrobe, so it’s important to keep  jumpers looking smart. Always read the washing instruction label. High temperatures and harsh chemicals will damage wool fibres, so hand-wash knitwear in tepid water or on a delicates spin cycle in a laundry bag. Fine knits like cashmere should really always be hand-washed and never tumble dried. Make sure to dry your knitwear flat, to avoid stretching a favourite jumper into a dress!

Older knitwear can suffer from bobbling after storage – these tight, fuzzy balls form when friction causes the fibres on the surface of a garment to rub together. To remove the bobbles, use a single-blade razor to gently shave away pills, using your free hand to keep the garment flat. Use the least amount of pressure possible so you don’t damage the structure of the fabric. Collect up the fluff you shave away using adhesive tape.

More info at Good Housekeeping