In our Textile Care Guide, we gave you an in-depth rundown of how to properly clean and care for your wool clothing. Today, we want to continue in this direction, and give you some more guidance on how to properly care for and maintain natural fibers. Whilst it might sound pretty straightforward, there are lots of little common mistakes that people make that can add up and dramatically decrease the lifespan and quality of your favorite garments.
So, with the following tips, you can prolong the joy for as long as possible:
Don’t expose linen to excess heat – including washing, drying and ironing
When being washed, linen should be turned inside out and a mild detergent should be used, on a gentle cycle setting (avoid the spin cycle). Instead of ironing afterwards, try laying your garments in some cold water in order to eliminate creases. This keeps the fibers intact and means that in subsequent washes, your linen will be less susceptible to creases. Once you’ve done this, hang the garments on hangers and pull them into the correct shape to dry.
But what about if the linen is dripping wet when it comes out of the machine? Fear not! Simply wrap the clothing in a large cotton cloth, roll it and press the water out gently, without wringing or being too forceful.
In general, you should not be ironing linen at all. But, if absolutely necessary, make sure the garments are still slightly damp and be sure to iron them at the lowest temperature possible.
For washing wool clothing, limited heat and gentle washing is key
It may sound a little strange, but pure wool products are not actually intended to be washed at all –simply ventilated and dirt can be just shaken off (as it typically never penetrates the fiber with pure wool). But, if you do decide to wash, use as little heat and rigour as possible. Hand washing is therefore the most suitable in this case – take care to be gentle, not to wring the clothes and use a special wool detergent.
Instead of conventionally ironing your wool, simply press it at most. Place a damp cloth between the iron and the garment, and use as much steam as possible.
Untreated cotton is likely to run, even at cooler temperatures
Cotton should also be washed at low temperatures, turned inside out and washed with similar colors in order to prevent running. It’s also worth noting that the dryer is not a good idea, unless you want your clothes to shrink! If you have cotton garments with appliques, try washing them inside a pillowcase to preserve the quality. For drying, carefully shape your clothes and lie them flat.