Hanging VS Folding Clothes: Which Is Right for Your Store?

February 27, 2018

Hanging VS Folding ClothesImage source: Pexels

Is it best to hang or fold garments in a clothing store? You might not have given it much thought, but the way you display your stock can have a huge impact on whether customers buy from your store.

Do your patrons spend a long time browsing, frustrated because they can't find the right size, for instance? Or do they wander in and out before you've even had a chance to say hello? Neither scenario is ideal, but perhaps there is an easy fix. If customers aren’t spending time and money in your store, the problem could be your clothing display

Why displays matter

So, you want your clothes to be easy to see and touch, so that people are more likely to buy them? Great! It sounds so simple in theory, but what does an attractive display actually look like? Visual merchandising is a tricky business, but it comes down to how you arrange and display the saleable items in your store.

There are many different opinions when it comes to store design and display, and whether to display clothes on tables or garment hangers is one that sparks great debate. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each approach.


Hanging VS Folding ClothesImage source: Pexels

Folding clothes: the pros

 Some retailers fold garments to save space, or because they think it looks neat. Here are some of the reasons why folded clothes might be right for your store.

  • They take up less space.
  • You can fit more inventory on your shop floor.
  • Sweaters and pants can be folded quickly.
  • Customers can browse clothes at a comfortable level (i.e., they won’t have to reach up or crouch down).

Folding clothes: the cons

 Despite taking up less space, folded clothes can look untidy compared to those displayed on garment hangers.Folded clothes can also prove more difficult for customers to look at. Here are some of the cons of clothes folding.

  • You will always need to re-fold clothes after customers have browsed
  • Customers can’t see garments without unfolding them.
  • Labels and sizes may not be visible.
  • Customers have to sort through piles of clothing to find the right garment.
  • Folded clothing displays are high maintenance.

Hanging clothes: the pros

If you've ever stepped foot in a clothing store (which we're willing to bet you have), then you’ll know that most retailers hang their garments on plastic or wood hangers. Here are some of the benefits of displaying your stock on garment hangers.

  • Clothing is easy for customers to see and feel.
  • Hangers look more professional.
  • Rails are easy to organize.
  • Hanging clothes will prevent wrinkles and creases.

Hanging clothes: the cons

It's a controversial statement for us to make, but some clothes don't fare well on hangers and should be folded instead. Here's why.

  • Some materials (such as wool and Lycra) can stretch out of shape when displayed on the wrong hanger. Plastic clothes hangers can’t necessarily be used for all garments.
  • Small stores can look cluttered with too many clothing rails.

Seems simple, right? Hangers are the clear winner. However, as we've already touched on, there are some exceptions to this rule. Pay attention here, as displaying a garment on the wrong hanger or folding the wrong piece of clothing could ruin your stock.

Hanging VS folding: other factors to consider

The decision whether to hang or fold the clothes in your store partly depends on the type of garments you stock. For example, heavily embellished evening dresses will require different display techniques than casual t-shirts.

There are other factors at play, too, such as the weight, fabric, and shape of an item of clothing. Let’s break it down.

Fabrics and materials

Different fabrics require different display and storage practices. Hanging the wrong material can ruin the shape of an item of clothing, for example, while folding certain materials can wrinkle and crease them beyond repair.

As a general rule, you should hang clothes made from:

  • Materials treated with starch, such as rayon or 100% cotton.
  • Velvet, raw silk, chiffon or taffeta.
  • Satin and lace.
  • Denim.

You should fold clothes made from:

  • Wool.
  • Cashmere.
  • Heavily beaded or embellished materials.

Clothing weight

As well as the fabric, you also need to think about the weight of an item of clothing before you decide whether to hang or fold it.

Heavy garments like overcoats and suit jackets need to be displayed and stored carefully. If a garment is heavy enough to bend a hanger, you have two choices: you can either fold the clothing or find a hanger strong enough to support it.

Lightweight clothes also need to be handled with care. Items with heavy detailing (such as beading or embellishments) will pool weight to certain spots and alter the shape of a garment. These items should be hung on padded hangers that support their shape.

Clothing type

According to Martha Stewart: “Most garments look best when hung on “proper hangers in closets that aren’t overcrowded.”

This is an excellent rule of thumb to follow, but there are certain exceptions. Let’s take a look at different types of clothing and whether they should be hung or folded.

You should hang:

  • Pleated skirts and dresses.
  • Dress pants.
  • Blazers and suit jackets.
  • Slacks/casual pants.
  • Jeans.
  • Blouses and shirts.
  • Outdoor jackets and overcoats.
  • Suits and formal wear.
  • Dresses.
  • Skirts.
  • Formal pants.

You should fold:

  • Knitted sweaters.
  • Casual t-shirts.
  • Beaded garments.


Hanging VS Folding ClothesImage source: Pexels

Store layout

It goes without saying that you need to consider the size and layout of your store before deciding on a display method. If your store is very small, for example, you need to be careful of making it look too cluttered, as this will put customers off immediately.

If you’re short on rail space, prioritize your bestselling stock and use space-saving plastic hangers. Just make sure there is always a sales assistant to ask for more sizes.

You could also combine the two techniques to save space by hanging some clothes and folding others. Just be careful not to fold garments that could crease or lose their shape. You also need to bear in mind that hanging too many items on a single rail will crush your clothes.


Hanging VS Folding ClothesImage source: Pexels

Hanging VS folding: the right hangers make all the difference

Of course, it's not enough to say you need to hang certain clothes and fold others – anyone could tell you that much. It also comes down to the hangers you use. At Mainetti, we know that hangers play an integral role in presenting and preserving an item of clothing– whether it’s displayed on a shop floor or in a photograph.

Let’s take a look at the different hangers we provide – including wholesale wooden hangers, plastic hangers  and swivel hangers– and what they’re used for.

Wooden hangers

Our wooden hangers have a clean, minimalist look and come in four different color choices: Natural, Walnut, Black and White. Many retailers use wood clothes hangersbecause they are both stylish and durable. Wood hangers bulkare also highly affordable.

  • Jacket hangers: Space-saving and robust, our jacket hangers are perfect for blouses, sweaters and jackets of all shapes and sizes.
  • Suit hangers: Our suit hangers have a locking bar to keep your formal garments in place. Great for suit jackets and pants.
  • Shirt hangers: These shirt hangers have precisely-cut notches on either end for hanging strips. Great for blouses, shirts and lightweight jackets.
  • Top and bottom hangers: Perfect for pantsuits and other top-and-bottom sets. The sliding clips on the lower bar will accommodate different pant sizes, while the upper notches are great for holding straps or handing strips.
  • Bottom hangers: Our bottom hangers have adjustable clips for different sized pants.
  • Dress hangers: Ideal for dresses, shirts and blouses, our cheap wooden hangers have deep notches either end for hanging strips and dress straps.

You can buy wooden hangers in bulk from our website to accommodate a range of different garment types and sizes.


Hanging VS Folding ClothesImage source: Mainetti

Swivel hook hangers

Our swivel hangers are ideal for circular rails and ergonomic displays. They are available in either black or clear.

  • Top hangers: Our plastic top hangers with notches come with a coordinate hole, where you can insert the hook of another hanger to make a top-and-bottom set.
  • Heavyweight top hangers: These hangers are made for heavyweight items, such as jackets, dresses, blouses and swimsuits.
  • Bottom clip hangers: Our plastic bottom hangers with clips are available in either black or clear for smart pant storage and display.

Acrylic hangers

Our modern-looking acrylic hangers are both space saving and durable. They have chrome-plated hooks and clear acrylic and Lucite finish, making any display look smart and contemporary.

  • Suit hangers: Our thick and durable hangers come with metal clips to accommodate different tops and bottoms.
  • Jacket hangers: Contemporary jacket hangers for storage and display.
  • Top hangers: Our acrylic hangers come in different sizes, 15” and 17”.
  • Bottom hangers:These hangers are perfect for pants and skirts, with adjustable grips for different sized garments.

Air-tech hangers

Our air-tech hangers are virtually indestructible. Scratch-resistant, durable and beautiful, they are the premium choice for clothing stores around the world. 

  • Top hangers: Ideal for tops, jackets and shirts. These hangers are strong and durable with notches for hanging strips.
  • Bottom hangers:  Luxurious design, with the look of wooden clothes hangers.  Our bottom hangers come with adjustable clips for skirts and pants of different sizes.

Plastic hangers

Our space-saving plastic hangers are affordable and highly durable. Plastic hangers in bulk  are also one of the most affordable options for storage and display.

  • Top hangers:  Our top hangers come in sizes 15” - 19”.
  • Bottom hangers: Plastic bottom hangers in sizes 10”-14” with adjustable grips.
  • Padded bottom hangers: These hangers are ideal for formal pants. They come with sturdy plastic grips with rubber pads to keep your pants in place, while ensuring they stay wrinkle-free.

Italian fusion range

Our scratch resistant Italian fusion hangers have nonslip features to prevent items falling to the floor. They are a beautiful off-white pearl color with black rubber notched shoulders and trouser grips.

  • Bottom hanger: Modern looking bottom hangers with sliding grips and rubber pads.
  • Top hanger:  Tops hangers with rubberized non-slip notches for straps.
  • Jacket hanger: Recommended for men’s and women’s outerwear, our jacket hangers come with rubberized non-slip shoulders to keep garments in place.
  • Suit hanger: Our suit hangers have rubberized, non-slip shoulders and a plastic bar for hanging pants.


Hanging VS Folding ClothesImage source: AdobeStock

Store display tips

If you’ve been in the industry a long time, you’ll have heard the phrase “retail is detail.” It may sound corny, but there’s a lot of truth to the saying. All around the world, retail stores are under threat from the rise of online shopping, so it’s more important than ever to make a good impression on your customers.

It’s human nature to be attracted to pleasing aesthetics. That’s why we’re driven into stores with eye-catching displays that make it easy for us to find what we’re looking for. Product placement, presentation and ease of access are all important, so here are some tips to help you make the best impression with your clothing display.

  • Symmetry is everything, so size flags should appear in the same place on clothing hangers. This continuity also helps customers find their size more quickly.
  • You should place security tags on the same area of each garment to prevent the display looking messy and help shop assistants to find them easily.
  • Lighting is important, so be sure to highlight key areas of your store.
  • Logosshould sit on the same side on all garments in a single display.

Whether you choose to hang or fold your clothes, you need to be vigilant about organizing and rotating your displays, as well as re-folding or re-hanging items after a customer has finished browsing.

Final tips for hanging clothes

Whether you decide to hang all or some of your clothes, here are some final tips to consider.

  • When hanging a shirt, make sure the seam along the shoulders line up with the edge of the hanger to help the garment retain its shape.
  • Big natural hangersare perfect for heavy suit jackets.
  • Keep hangers evenly spaced to prevent overcrowding and wrinkling.
  • Don’t insert hangers into the tops of t-shirts as this can stretch the collar. Insert your hangers from the bottom of the garment instead.
  • Bulk wooden hangersare often cheaper than plastic ones, and they can look more professional in a display.
  • Slacks and casual pants are best draped over thick pant hangers.
  • Don’t fold jeans, as this creases the material and ruins their shape.
  • Skirts are best hung on non slip hangers with movable clips to accommodate different sizes and styles.
  • Natural hangerslook great with colorful or printed garments.

Final tips for folding clothes

Due to any one of the reasons highlighted in this article, you’ll probably need to fold at least some of the clothing in your store. Here are some tips to help you take care of your stock.

  • Shake garments out before folding to minimize wrinkles.
  • Ensure items remain flat at all times.
  • If folding delicate clothing, use tissue paper to line folds and prevent creases.
  • Don’t fold bras or socks. Folding bras in half can ruin the shape of the cup’s padding, while rolling socks can stretch the elastic.

In conclusion: to hang or to fold?

Hanging your clothes will give them a longer and better-kept life, but some items are best folded. The quality of your garment hangers is also important, as is the space available to you. The decision whether to hang or fold your merchandise is a choice only you can make, but the facts here will help you make a more informed decision. Mainetti hangers  epitomize quality and durability, so what are you waiting for? Order yours online today.