Paying some extra attention to how you wash and take care of your clothes will not only prolong their life, but also help minimize their environmental impact and save natural resources. The washing instructions on the label provide useful advice and are a good place to start. We’ve also put together a guide on how to keep your clothes looking their best.
They can handle a bit of wear and tear. Nowadays synthetics are beautifully designed and are easy to wear and to take care of. Wash on medium temperature and preferably hang them out to dry. Synthetic fabrics cant handle a hot iron, so medium iron, or look into the specific washing instructions on your garment.
One of the reasons why cotton is such a popular fabric is that it’s low maintenance. Cotton is fully machine washable and if worn and treated with care, will last for a long time. Check the washing instructions on each garment for specific instructions.
When washing linen, set your machine to a low temperature and a delicate cycle. Linen is a natural material and can easily become misshapen when wet. You can restore the garment to its original shape by ironing it with a hot steam iron. To keep its sheen, iron the garment on the reverse side.
Silk is a delicate material and should be treated as such. Check the label first – sometimes dry cleaning is the only recommended option. If the garment is washable, use cool water and a detergent for delicates and avoid stretching the garment while it’s wet. Avoid tumble-drying silk garments – this will most likely damage and shrink the fabric.
Woollen garments usually don’t have to be washed that often – try airing and spot cleaning them first. Use a detergent for delicates when you do wash them. Use the wool or hand wash cycle on your washing machine or even better, wash by hand. To avoid stretching the wool fibres, don’t wring wool clothes and always dry them flat. Ironing after washing helps to restore the material’s natural sheen – use a steam iron on the wool setting and a pressing cloth.
Wash jeans inside out to stop them fading. Take them out of the washing machine as soon as possible after the programme has ended to avoid creasing. Denim’s characteristic look is the result of a special dyeing method that can result in dry-bleeding, where small pigment particles remain on the surface and can rub off. This can be lessened by washing your new jeans in cold water a couple of times before you put them on.
LEATHER AND SUEDE
Leather and suede are natural materials and can be sensitive, so remember to keep them away from humidity, heat and chemicals. All leather and suede needs to be conditioned once in a while to keep it soft and supple. To get rid of light stains, wipe the garment with a slightly damp cloth. Otherwise we recommend that leather items are taken to a specialist leather dry cleaner. Always dry leather or suede at normal room temperature.
Chunky-knits should be reshaped and dried flat to maintain their original shape.
Put a couple of tennis balls in the tumble dryer when drying down garments. This may sound like a strange idea, but it helps distribute the down evenly. Remember to check that the down is completely dry afterwards.
Take off any removable details and do up Velcro and zip fastenings before washing. Wash nylon tights and delicate garments with details in a laundry bag.