As with all vintage clothing, caring for a vintage blazer requires both preventive maintenance and proper cleaning and repair. Often, the manner in which a piece of clothing is stored will effect its condition. Material is also a consideration, as different fabrics require different types of cleaning and storage.
Vintage blazers can be made out of a variety of fabrics, including, but not limited to, cotton, wool, leather, fur, silk, or synthetic materials. A vintage blazer will also have a variety of accents, such as buttons, zippers, trim, and beading. Not all vintage clothing is properly labeled, so you may have to take the blazer to a professional to find out what material it is made from. Either a dry cleaner, tailor, or shop owner who has experience with vintage clothing should be able to help you.
A few basic storage guidelines are applicable to all vintage clothing, regardless of material. Store the clothing folded, in a dry, dark place. Attics and basements are not usually climate or moisture controlled and do not make good storage areas. The extreme variations in humidity and temperature can cause fabrics to dry out, fray, and mold.
You may be tempted to hang your vintage blazer, but this can put pressure on the shoulder seams, causing them to weaken and burst over time. Heavy, beaded pieces are especially prone to tearing if they are hung. Fold your blazer carefully, and place it in a storage container which is not air tight. Do not pack it in with too many other items, which can cause creasing. If you must store your blazer by hanging, use padded hangers to cushion gravity's pull.
Natural fibers attract moths, which damage clothing by laying eggs that hatch into the larva that eat clothing. Lavender and cedar repel moths. Moth balls are not recommended because they have a strong odor that clings to clothing and may not be safe for inhalation.
When you wear your blazer, take extra care. Try not to drop food on it or brush it against a dirty or wet surface. Remember that the seams of vintage clothing are easily torn, so you may not want to wear your vintage blazer if you will be doing anything that will put a lot of stress on the seams and material.
If you do accidentally stain the blazer, immediately treat the area. You can use baking soda, talcum powder, or cornstarch to reduce dampness and limit the extent of the stain. Have the blazer cleaned as soon as possible.
Typically, you should neither machine wash nor hand wash a blazer. If it is made of wool or lined, machine washing would probably shrink the fabric. The blazer should be dry cleaned by a professional. A beaded blazer should be spot treated only. Leather and fur blazers require special care, as they cannot be dry cleaned.
A professional should press or steam the blazer so that it retains its original shape. Even though it is less expensive to press the garment yourself, you might burn or stretch the fabric. It is better to have a professional take care of your blazer to ensure that it is wearable for many years to come.