Disposable fast fashion and our fast paced "throw away" lifestyles means we have forgotten how to care for our clothes. Alongside this, therapeutic rituals of mending, folding and laundering have been lost - but you can rediscover them.
At INDOI, all of our garments are made from natural fibres such as cottons and silks. These fabrics are durable but, like every other gift from the Earth, they need caring for. Read on for our guide for tips on how to understand your fabrics, love them, and look after them.
Did you know that Cotton...
- Comes from the cotton plant produces fruit, known as bolls.
- Is a soft, absorbent and breathable natural fibre, making it the perfect fibre for clothing and undergarments worn close to the skin
- Keeps the body cool in summer and warm in winter because it is a good conductor of heat
- Is non-allergenic and, unlike synthetic fibres, cotton fibre is a natural product
- Due to its unique fibre structure, breathes better and is more comfortable than oil-based synthetic fabrics
- Is one of the easiest fabrics to dye due to its natural whiteness and high rate of absorbency
- Holds up to 27 times its own weight in water and becomes stronger when wet
- Can’t hold an electric charge, eliminating static cling.
How do I care for my cotton?
The best way to wash cotton and to prevent your garments from losing their colour is to hand wash them in cold water. If using the washing machine, always a good idea is to use colour catching sheets. Note that cotton shrinks very fast on the first wash and in general is notoriously known for shrinkage. To avoid shrinkage stick to cold water! For stains use natural treatments like vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, alcohol, and even egg yolk. Rub in a small amount while the surface is still moist, and then leave it to set for 5–7 minutes. After, gently rub the stain between your fingers again to help loosen it, and rinse thoroughly with cold water.
Air dry is always best for your garments and for the planet.
Ironing and creasing Cotton is a fairly tough fabric and can be ironed at higher temperatures without the risk of shininess or burning. For a neater and smoother look, ensure you iron the back or inside of the fabric as well as the outside. Start ironing the underside, or inside the fabric first, so as to eliminate creases while ironing the outside. Cotton creases very easily and because of this it’s best if you store your cotton clothing by hanging it up rather than folding. For the better results of keeping their shape, invest in thick, shaped hangers rather than wire ones
Don’t let you clothes be eaten…
By moths and silverfish! Like silk and wool, cotton is an organic fabric, and absorbs sweat and natural oils from the skin very easily, it often becomes the prey of these home pests. In order to ensure that you favourite cotton garments are safe, don’t leave your dirty clothes lying around for too long – keeping on top of your laundry is one of the best methods of stopping moths becoming a problem. Declutter your wardrobe – more space between clothing means there’s less of a chance that moths can eat through multiple garments at once. Vacuum every corner of your wardrobe. Many people never think to vacuum inside their cupboards, but this is where the moths and silverfish will be hiding.
Did you know that Silk…
- Is made from the cocoons of silkworms.
- Low density makes for light and comfortable clothing
- Has high resistance to deformation
- Has good insulation properties and so is warm in winter, cool in summer
- Is the strongest natural fibre available
- Shimmers and shines
- Has a good affinity to dye leaving aside the rather demanding care, silk is one of the most comfortable fibre fabrics in the world
How do I care for my silk?
The best way is to hand wash your silk. Always use a gentle washing detergent specifically designed for washing wools, silks or delicate fabrics. Biological and non-biological detergents (including colour detergents) are not suitable for washing silk.
- Dissolve the washing detergent in lukewarm water (max 30°C). Add the garment and gently agitate it, very lightly rubbing any stains.
- Gently squeeze the excess washing water out (do not wring or twist as this will damage the fabric).
- Rinse the item in changes of lukewarm water until all soap residue has been removed.
- You can add a few tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to the rinse water to neutralise alkali traces and to dissolve soap residue.
- Lay the garment on a clean dry towel and gently press the water out of the fabric by rolling it up in the towel.
Hang silk garments to air dry but do not allow them to be in direct sunlight as this can damage the silk fibre and fade the colour. If possible dry on a clothes hanger, as clothes pegs can mark the silk. 3. Ironing If the garment needs ironing, do not allow it to dry out completely – it is best left slightly damp. Avoid drying clothes on a wooden drying rack, as the wood finishes can leave stains on the silk. Avoid drying on a radiator as the heat can cause the silk to shrink and cause the fabric to dull. Never put your silk in the dryer! Iron silk only when absolutely necessary. Most wrinkles in silk can be removed by hanging the garment in the bathroom when you have a shower or bath as the humidity helps the creases to drop out.
However, stubborn wrinkles can be removed with an iron as follows:
- Set the iron to cool (silk setting).
- Use a clean, soft, lint free and light coloured pressing cloth between the iron and the fabric.
- Turn the garment inside out and press whilst damp. Do not wet areas of dry silk as this may cause ring marks.
- Take care! Too much heat can cause the silk to become dull, pucker, or burn.
How so I care for Crushed silk?
We recommend washing these garments as little as possible. Crushed silks and cottons can regain their crushed look by doing the following:
- Hand wash separately
- Use liquid soap (NO bleach). Read the fine print.
- Wash, rinse, hang. NEVER soak.
- Hang to dry.
- When damp/almost dry, twist from end to end (neckline to hem) enclosing sleeves. Twist until the garment twists unto itself, tie into a pretzel knot. Leave to dry 48 hours in a warm but not sunny location.
- If still damp, re twist and repeat drying process.
- For an ultra crushed effect, spray starch onto the garment while damp or dry before crushing.
General tips on how to make your clothes last longer and be kind to our planet
- Wash your clothes less frequently
- Fold clothes along the seams to maintain the shape of the item.
- Air dry, Avoid dryers! Dryers break down the fibres of the fabric and cause the garment to shrink and age prematurely. Repeatedly drying cotton garments led to cracks in the clothing, which reduced fabric strength by 25 percent or more and also caused pilling. Air drying is a very therapeutic process. Enjoy!
- Learn basic repairs. Learning to complete basic repairs on your clothing — such as replacing a loose thread or a missing button — can make them last longer and save you money.
- Steam, don’t iron! For those who don’t have time to iron this is a great tip- Steam your clothes by hanging them in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. Even better, attach a victorian drying rack to your bathroom ceiling. We recommend ones by Cast in Stylehttps://www.castinstyle.co.uIf you do iron then it’s is better to iron the shirt when it is still humid. If necessary, a spray with water can make ironing easier.
- Close zippers and other fasteners to prevent snagging in the washing machine. Also, loosely tie strings and sashes to prevent tangling.
- Get rid of odours by hanging clothes in the bathroom before a shower (the damp steam will keep them fresh between washes), or freeze them in a plastic bag for two days.
- Treat stains immediately! The longer you wait the less likely you are able to remove it and more likely permanent damage will be done.
- Declutter your wardrobe and leave space for your clothes to breath.
- Buy better, buy less and only purchase things you love and you will want to care for!
- Only buy natural fibres!
Above all, buy better and buy less, choosing clothes that you truly love - and don't forget about caring for them!
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