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How to Care for Your Fabrics So You Can Wear Them for a Long, LONG Time!

Let's face it: the only cleaning rule most of us follow is "Mom knows best". But when you’re spending tons of money in buying each of your outfits, shouldn’t you know how to care for them yourself? Our ultimate guide on how to care for your fabrics ensures you won’t have to spend a week in mourning because you ruined your favourite top while washing it! Following a few simple fabric care steps will ensure that you preserve - and can wear - your go-to pieces for a long, long time!


How to Care for Your Fabrics



Cotton


Cotton is the most commonly used fibre in clothing, so we bet you have plenty of it in your closet. But beware! Cotton will shrink at high temperatures, so do not wash in hot water. It holds up well in home laundering, though, and is pretty fuss-free that way. Don't leave your cotton clothes in the dryer for too to long, or they will wrinkle. We would also advise against frequent tumble-drying because it weakens the fibre.



Polyester


More often than not, polyester clothing can be machine-washed (cool) and dried (low). But always use a cool iron, making sure it is not scalding hot, since polyester burns very easily.



Linen


Linen can be dry-cleaned or hand-washed. Any stains should be treated prior to washing. Don't put them out in the sun or dry in a tumble-dryer as it leads to shrinking. Use a steam iron for a crisp look.


How to Care for Your Fabrics



Nylon


You can machine-wash nylon garments in warm water. Use a low-temperature setting and use a warm iron when necessary.



Rayon


Launder rayon in cool water using a mild detergent and choose a gentle machine cycle. Remember to promptly remove rayon garments after washing. Roll the garment in a towel to squeeze out excess water and then lay it out flat to dry. Iron rayon garments inside out while still damp.



Silk


Silk is a delicate fabric and demands extra care for maintenance. Dry-cleaning is highly recommended and promises the best results too, though some varieties of silk can be hand (always hand-wash silk in lukewarm soapy water, without pre-soaking it) or machine-washed. Never dry it in a dryer!


How to Care for Your Fabrics



Wool


Generally, woollens need to be dry-cleaned. If the label says it’s hand-washable, use cool water and a detergent and soak it for about 20 minutes. Squeeze out excess water, then reshape and dry flat. Lined garments look best when professionally dry-cleaned once a season. Do NOT wash your woollens in hot water unless you're okay with them shrinking about 5 sizes at one go.



Cashmere


Cashmere is very delicate and the less it's washed the longer it lasts. Use a mild detergent or shampoo when hand-washing it. Gently squeeze the detergent water out, and then rinse it until the water runs clear. Do not wring it as that will de-shape the garment beyond repair. Lay it flat on a towel, away from sunlight or heat, when drying it.



Some Important Tips and Tricks


How to Care for Your Fabrics




  • Follow the instructions provided on the label of your clothing very carefully. If it says "Dry clean only", then obey it. If it mentions "Dry clean" then that is the recommended method, but not the only one.

  • When washing a garment at home for the first time, make sure to check its colour-fastness. Moisten a cotton swab with mild detergent and test it on a hidden seam to check if the colour comes off. Another trick is to place a piece of white cloth underneath it while it's still damp and pass a hot iron over it. If the colour rubs on to the white cloth, you know it needs to be hand-washed separately, in lukewarm soapy water.

  • Hand washing is a fail-safe option. Use cold water and a mild detergent to prevent shrinking and bleeding. Make sure the detergent has dissolved fully before soaking the garment. Do not soak for long unless recommended.

  • If you aren’t sure how a garment will fare in a machine wash, turn it inside out, place it in a mesh bag and run a short, delicate cycle.

  • Separate your laundry by colour. Put dark with dark, white with white and club similar shades and colours to avoid disastrous outcomes!


 

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Published on Nov 25, 2014
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