How can you tell if baby clothing is vintage or antique?


I have a large amount of baby clothes from my grandparents and trying to determine which of them are just vintage and which are antique? If you cannot help me could you refer me somewhere to receive this information. Thanks...

  7 answers
  • Flipturn Flipturn on Dec 24, 2018

    What an interesting question!

    My understanding of the terms is that antique refers to items over 100 years old. Vintage is less than 100 years old, and by its appearance (fabric, trims, style, etc., can be placed to being originally constructed during a particular past time period (for example 1940's)

    Whether they are vintage or antique, we'd love to see some pictures of the baby clothes.

  • Typically anything "vintage" is 50 years old or older and "antique" is 100 years old or more. How cool that! Would love to see your collection. Both my parents and grandparents were born in Europe and I have none of that from any of them. You are very lucky! Take care of them and hang onto them.

  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Dec 24, 2018

    most 'antique' would be totally hand made --- hems hand stitched, 100% cotton material; natural bone, ivory or wooded buttons -- no zippers; muted/faded colors; no 'theme' patterns ( bunnies, kittens, etc. ) - some florals, plaids, stripes on a natural muslin fabric; faded; WASH ONLY if necessary ...and don't use anything but clear cold water -- wash by hand -- gently squeezing water thru material -- no not 'twist' or 'wring' lay flat on towels or a screen dryer -- air dry .. no 'fabric softener'; store in white archival tissue paper, laid flat -- do NOT iron.

    button holes hand stitched; lace/crochet work hand done. Boys clothes - wool or heavy weight cottons but wools more common -- or cotton corduroy -- 'denim' was not invented until the middle of the 1800's ...

    Vintage would be more current materials, machine stitching, some synthetic materials and more modern prints; plastic buttons, snaps, rivets, zippers, But they may still have value as collector pieces or doll clothes...

    again, wash only by hand, in cold water.

  • Barbara C Barbara C on Dec 24, 2018

    If the items are obviously old, what does it matter what they are called?Vintage is a tagword for old;so is antique.

  • Jana Jana on Dec 24, 2018

    Would also love to see some pictures! As one of the previous commenters said, I do not have any reminders if my great-grandparents. Also, what a great question to ask in HomeTalk-- very unique and interesting!

  • Donna M Davs-Prusik Donna M Davs-Prusik on Dec 24, 2018

    I have no one to leave these to so sent a message to a far away cousin to see if they wanted them. They responded that they "wanted ONLY the antiques". Seems kind of a paltry issue to me cause anything that came down through family lines is precious to me... SMH Anyway, if they are not 'authentic antiques' there is no reason to send them and I can find someone else who might want them.

    • See 1 previous
    • Excellent suggestion! 😊

  • Donna M Davs-Prusik Donna M Davs-Prusik on Dec 25, 2018

    You are very helpful. will check Threads... The museum, where i live is very picky about taking only items that were used kept by families who lived in the county which i did , nor did my ancestors live here. i plan to check the county where the family farm is located also now that you mention it! Thanks you very much! When I get my computer to upload my pictures I will try to post them... Thank you again!

    • While I do not have vintage or antique clothing, I do have many other vintage and antique items from my relatives. In the same boat as my stepson wants none of these items - a millennial with minimalist belongings. I am going to sell my items eventually, as I have no one to leave them to.

Your comment...