The NBA season is now underway and there’s a lot in store for basketball fans during the 82-game regular season. There are plenty of reasons to tune in, night in and night out, before the post-season kicks off. The fans are back in the arenas, this year’s rookie class looks promising and there seem to be more title contenders than in previous years. The usual suspects will probably make it to the play-offs without major difficulties (Bucks, Nets, Clippers, Lakers, Nuggets, Jazz), but plenty of underdogs (such as the Knicks, Heat, Warriors, Bulls, Wizards) have not looked this strong in several years, after successful off-season moves.

So, whether you’re proudly wearing your jersey to your team’s home games, keeping it displayed neatly somewhere in the house or safely put away in storage, it’s important to know the ins and outs of storing basketball jerseys. You might own a jersey with your favorite player’s name on it, you might have a couple of throwback uniforms, or you might even be a collector, constantly on the lookout for the most iconic jerseys out there. Whatever the category that you find yourself in, these tips are for you.

The basics of jersey care and what to avoid

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To start off, it is important to differentiate between apparel you use for actually shooting hoops and uniforms that only wear to the arena or to your NBA watch party. However, preserving sports jerseys takes a lot of care and attention, either way – especially if you’re collecting sports memorabilia and want to display it proudly.

While basketball jerseys can be super valuable – emotional value or actual financial value – they are also surprisingly easy to damage. Ultimately, preserving specific jerseys should not be essentially different from taking care of any other clothing item, as it ultimately boils down to maintaining the textile quality.

Thus, it is important to safeguard your jerseys against direct sunlight, humidity and heat. These make the material fade in color, degrade in quality and decrease in value. Mold, rot and frayed stitching are other concerns, should you choose a poor storing space for your uniform.

Storage options, issues and needs

Rolling jerseys (and clothes in general) is tempting, as it allows for easier and more compact storage. However, if you are not sure about the quality of the environment (UV light, heat, humidity), rolling your basketball jerseys might not end up well. In the case of long-term storage, it would be best to have control over the characteristics of the space, maybe making it okay to roll your uniforms. While plastic bags are used quite frequently in this context and while they do keep out UV light, you have no way of controlling heat or humidity.

Since even repeatedly folding a clothing item can reduce its textile quality and its value, the best way to keep basketball jerseys is unfolded and flat. Display cases made specifically for sports apparel can allow for a safe and visually appealing storage and display method. Large and lockable display cases go for around $80 on Amazon, for instance, and they are generally regarded as good investments. Most cases also provide some level of UV protection, along with keeping dust, moths, chemicals and other harmful stuff off your precious memorabilia.

Storing a jersey for decades

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Choosing the right storage method can make the difference between a worn-out unappealing jersey and a crisp uniform that still looks brand new after 20 years. In case you do want to preserve your jersey for more than a few months, you might not want to cheap out. Plastic and more inexpensive storage options in general have the tendency to erode fabric and also leave unpleasant smells after longer storage periods. Look into acrylic display cases for jerseys, as they are affordable and offer protection at the same time.

For a lot of people, basketball jerseys have personal significance, while for others, there is also some material value. Taking care of your sports apparel essentially requires plenty of attention when it comes to storage. Don’t forget that climate-controlled self storage can also represent a good option and StorageCafe can help you with that. Ultimately, you know what’s best for you, so the ball is in your court.

Matei Idu
Author

Matei is a creative writer for STORAGECafé and has an academic background in urban development, governance and linguistics. Making use of these disparate sources of expertise, Matei has now turned towards the real estate industry, after covering the latest trends and projects in urban planning, regeneration and green city initiatives all over Europe. Get in touch with Matei via email.

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