Keep your clothing in tip top condition
Keep your clothing in tip top condition
Life very rarely moves slowly, making it easy to neglect your clothes by throwing them in the washing machine or tumble dryer on your way out of the house in the morning. Improper care can lead to a much shorter lifespan for your fashion favourites but, with some simple changes, they will remain in top condition for seasons to come.
Always read your care labels:
They’re there for a reason and can go a long way towards making your clothing last longer. Always familiarise yourself with the basic symbols found on labels – these let you know what temperatures you should be washing your clothing at, whether the garment can be tumble dried, and also the best temperatures at which to iron them post-tumble!
Below we’ve included some simple washing instruction symbols that can be found on most items of clothing:
- Initial water temperature should not exceed 40C or 105F
- Garment may be washed using the hottest available water, detergent or soap, agitation, and a machine designed for this purpose.
- Garment may be washed by hand using water, detergent, or soap.
- Garment may not be safely washed by any process. Normally accompanied by Dry Clean instructions.
How to care for various fabrics:
Cotton can absorb sweat very easily. Over time if cotton is left untreated your clothes can retain body odours or discolour in certain places, e.g. under the arms or around the collar. Therefore, cotton needs a little special care - please see below some tips and tricks on how to keep your cotton clothing in tip-top condition:
Pre-treat your cotton garment by using a colour-safe stain remover. Focus on the areas that are exposed to the most sweat, such as under the arms or around the neckline. This will help you to prevent staining and if you use the right fabric treatment, this should help towards combating odour as well.
Sunlight can yellow the fibres in cotton, so line-dry in the shade if possible.
Cotton fibres are ‘pre-shrunk’, meaning you can machine-wash them in warm or cold water without risking a change in shape.
Never leave cotton clothing in the tumble drier until completely dry as it will set the wrinkles in the cloth; instead, make sure you remove the items while still damp and allow the moisture to evaporate gradually.
For ironing cotton clothing set the iron to a cotton setting and use plenty of steam to help get rid of those stubborn wrinkles. Use starch spray if you want to get that crisp professional finish.
Polyester is a strong, synthetic fabric which is often used for everyday wear; when taken care of properly it can withstand wrinkles, fading, and shrinking. Follow these helpful tips to get the most out your polyester clothing:
Use warm water and standard detergent when washing polyester garments; don’t forget to pour in some fabric softener as polyester can be prone to becoming static. Warm water helps to remove stains but keeps the garments’ shape and size. Cold water may not remove all stains from polyester and hot water may cause shrinkage and colour bleeding.
As mentioned, polyester clothes are designed to resist shrinking and water-based stains. However, hot tumble dryers may make them wrinkle permanently, so always dry them on a low heat.
Polyester-knit blend garments can snag easily and may catch on other items. To avoid any damage to your clothing, turn it inside-out before tossing it into the washing machine.
Polyester fabrics usually require minimal care but washing them at high temperature can cause wrinkles. Get rid of the wrinkles by ironing on a low to medium heat or polyester setting on the dial. If the wrinkles are not deep set, cool setting on the dial would be ideal.
Linen is a natural fabric and has many positive properties that make it a popular choice for clothing. Linen fabric breathes well and is a stronger fabric than cotton. Linen dyes well with different colours and can be blended with other materials, however this can make it difficult to care for. Follow our recommendations below to help keep your linen looking fresh and crisp:
Due to a finishing process carried out on the fabric to make it crisp, linen tends to wrinkle very easily. Best results come from hand-washing cold with a mild detergent, air-drying, and then ironing gently on a cool-to-medium temperature.
Ironing isn’t necessary when it comes to linen items, unless they’re really creased. However, if you do prefer to run the iron over your clothing, then do so while the linen fabric is still damp, setting the iron at a medium-to-hot temperature using the steam.
Different fabrics have very different requirements when it comes to caring for them, so to extend the lifespan of your most treasured items, make sure you know best how to wash and dry them. With due care, you can enjoy wearing them for as long as possible.