What Happens to Cloth in Attic Temperatures

It’s a common practice to store old clothes, blankets, and towels in the attic during winter. It might feel like an airtight solution until you think about what happens to cloth in attic temperatures. So what will happen to your beloved old clothes when you put them in the attic? 

Will they stay good for another few years or will they fall apart sooner than expected? Let’s find out. Fortunately, there are some tips you can follow to help make your clothes last longer before tossing them into the attic. 

Depending on how frequently you wear each article of clothing, you can preserve it for as long as possible by storing it in a way that helps protect it from insects and humidity – two factors that accelerate deterioration.

What’s the Ideal Attic Temperature for Storing Clothing?

The ideal temperature in an attic is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees Celsius. If temperatures rise above that level, clothes will start getting damaged. If the mercury drops below 50 degrees, clothes will freeze and might be ruined.

It’s crucial to monitor the temperature in your attic to make sure it stays within the ideal range. 

Even if your attic is naturally cooler than the rest of your house, you can still store clothes there as long as you keep them away from heat and humidity.

To prevent the accumulation of excess heat, it’s ideal to place the clothing in boxes so that air can circulate freely around them.

hanging clothes
Image Credit: widmerscleaners.com

Why is Cloth in the Attic Bad News?

The combination of high temperatures and high humidity is the perfect recipe for damaging old fabrics. These two factors cause fabrics to age much faster.

When water and other impurities from the air settle on the cloth, they start wearing it down which can result in clothing that looks old and tattered. The cloth will also lose its color as a result of the process. 

In some cases, it can lose its color completely, which is why you should never put colored or white fabrics in the attic. You can try to avoid this damage by storing your fabrics in the right way.

Which Clothes to Never Put in the Attic

If you want to extend the lifetime of your clothes, there are a few types of garments you should never put in the attic.

Fabrics like wool, silk, and cashmere are particularly sensitive to heat and humidity, so they should be stored in a way that protects them from these elements. 

These fabrics can be irreparably damaged at temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so you should make sure to store them in a place where the temperature remains below that mark.

Fabrics like cotton and linens are much more resilient, but it’s still better to be on the safe side and store them in a more protected environment.

Signs That Indicate a Piece of Cloth Has Been Damaged by Heat

Clothes that have been exposed to too much heat are generally more prone to getting discolored. There are a few signs to look out for that indicate that your cloth has been damaged by heat. Color fading is a common problem when storing clothes in the attic. 

Usually, it’s accompanied by a yellowish hue that makes the garment look old and worn out. You can prolong the lifetime of your cloth by placing them in an environment with low humidity and low temperatures. 

Another sign of heat damage is discoloration. Even if a piece of cloth hasn’t faded, it can develop patches of dark color, usually brown or yellow. It usually affects darker fabrics more, such as black fabrics that turn tan.

Shrinking and Stretching of Fabric

If you’re lucky and your clothes don’t get discolored, they might still shrink or stretch after being stored in the attic. These issues are also caused by too much heat.

You can prevent them by storing your clothes in a place where they can breathe and aren’t being crushed by other garments. 

Shrinking fabrics can be a deal breaker because they might no longer fit you after a few washes. You should either avoid shrinking fabrics like polyester or choose garments that can be appropriately altered if they become too small. 

Stretching fabrics like cotton and linen often happen because they’re too tightly packed in boxes. You can prevent them by making sure the clothes are loosely packed.

Moth Infestation

Storing fabrics in a place where they’re more likely to attract insects is one of the worst things you can do for them. Moths can be very destructive and can damage your fabric in a matter of days. 

You can prevent this by placing your garments in tightly closed boxes that are difficult to break into. If you notice any signs of moth infestation, you should take action immediately. They reproduce quickly and can cause irreparable damage if left unchecked. 

The best thing you can do is check your clothes regularly for signs of moth infestation. If you notice any, it’s best to take action immediately. Clean your clothes and store them in a tightly closed place where they can’t be easily accessed by moths.

The Right Way to Store Clothes in the Attic

You can help your clothes last longer by taking a few precautions when storing them in the attic. First, make sure that the temperature in the attic remains below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If it rises above that mark, your clothes will start to get damaged. 

Next, you need to make sure that the humidity remains below 60%. If the humidity climbs above that level, fabrics are more likely to get damaged. To prevent this, make sure that the attic is well-ventilated.

You can do this by installing an air conditioner that can be set to deactivate when the attic is cool enough. 

Another way to prevent excess humidity is by storing your clothes in closed boxes with plenty of air circulating around them. It’s best to avoid plastic containers as they don’t let air reach the fabrics.

If you can, it’s best to store your clothes near the roof so that they’re less exposed to heat and humidity. This way, they can breathe and remain cooler.


When it comes to storing clothes, the attic is a common choice among homeowners. While it’s a convenient place to store clothes, it’s important to do it in a way that protects them from heat and humidity.

You can do this by keeping the attic well-ventilated and storing your clothes near the roof where they can breathe. It’s also important to check them regularly for signs of moth infestation.

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