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You have nice clothes. You’re trendy and fashionable. Your “nice stuff” could be anything from a fifties rockabilly dress to a contemporary silk bomber jacket. One piece is made out of cotton, the other silk. And there’s a million fabrics in between. I know we all want to just toss them in the washer/dryer and be done with it, but we also know they won’t look their best if we do that. You wouldn’t want to ruin your favorite piece of clothing by caring for it the wrong way.
Different fabric types have different care instructions to keep them in their best shape. And it’s hard to keep track of what works best for what fabrics. We’ve compiled a handy dandy little guide on how to take care of some of the most common clothing fabrics–so now your favorite shirts, dresses, and jackets can last as long as you can love them.
Cotton is the most common fabric out there. People love cotton. It’s durable, soft and makes a great t-shirt. But, do you know how best to take care of cotton? Most people wash and then dry cotton. Which is fine if the cotton is preshrunk. But if it’s not and you put it in the dryer, the heat will shrink it right up. So, to avoid that, check the label and lay cotton flat or hang it to dry. Unfortunately, this may cause a wrinkling problem. Have no fear though. If you steam a cotton shirt, you’ll get those wrinkles to fall away. It takes very little time, and won’t damage the fabric.
You can also iron a cotton shirt if you’re looking for a more crisp look. But one thing to take note of when ironing any piece of clothing is that because you’re pressing hot metal to fabric, a shiny residue may be left behind.
It’s that time of year again. The time when all your heavy fabrics come out of storage and back into wardrobe circulation. Wool is a fall/winter fan favorite. It’s comfortable and warm. It can be anything from a nice sweater to a perfectly fitted suit. The biggest thing to remember for wool of all sorts is to not dry it. It’ll shrink about nine sizes. We all know this because it’s happened to the best of us.
When you’re caring for your wool, the best approach depends on the type of garment it is. Unlike cotton or rayon, all wool is not equal. If you’re trying to wrinkle release a wool suit, there are a couple ways to go about it. Ironing will keep the shape of a jacket's shoulders and lapels without damaging the canvas underneath or causing bubbling in the fusing. But, if you’re trying to get out those pesky wrinkles in the knee and elbow area, a steamer works best. Because there’s no canvas in those areas, you can steam them without ruining the shape of the jacket.
There’s something about silk that makes it luxurious. It’s soft, smooth, and looks great–but it’s really hard to clean. Luckily, we have the tips and tricks to help you keep your silks for a long time. It’s an extremely delicate fabric. You can’t iron it. The metal will burn or otherwise damage it. It’s highly recommended you don’t dry clean it due to the harsh chemicals they use. You can get away with dry cleaning if you go to an organic/green cleaners and you make sure they use silicone-based solvents. But one of the best ways to care for silk is to steam. Because you’re not actually touching the fabric with hot metal or anything but steam, you run an extremely small risk of damaging the fabric. Make sure you avoid getting any water droplets on the fabric. But, otherwise, steam on, friends!
And there you have it, folks. These are the best ways to care for your fabrics. So, go forth, be trendy, and live a long happy life with all your favorite pieces.