Fabric Care HandbookAcrylic
Acrylic is a manmade soft and luxurious fabric with the bulk and hand of wool. Acrylic may be machine-washed or hand washed. When washing acrylic garments in a washing machine, use warm water and add a fabric softener during the final rinse cycle. Fabric softener will reduce static. Very delicate acrylic garments are better washed by hand in warm water.
Cashmere is a luxurious fabric that requires extra delicate care.
Never place cashmere garments in the washer or dryer but wash them gently by hand in lukewarm water using a very mild detergent or shampoo. Gently work the suds through the fabric and rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Don’t wring or twist the material, as it could lose its original shape.
When drying cashmere, gently squeeze the excess water out of the garment (again, do not wring or twist). Lay the garment out on a clean towel, adjusting it to its original shape, and roll the towel up like a sausage with the cashmere item in the middle. Apply pressure to the towel, and unroll, laying the item flat again on another clean dry towel to finish air-drying. Never hang your cashmere garment on a hanger, as it will lose its shape. Also be aware that some cashmere items are dry clean only. Check your care label carefully and never attempt to wash a cashmere item that is dry clean only.
Suede is a type of leather that is created from the underside of the hide. The fibres are buffed and raised to give it a velvety touch. Protection and careful cleaning are the keys to keeping suede items looking good. Spot cleaning can be done at home using a cleaner designed especially for suede rather than general leather cleaner. Suede erasers can be rubbed on the suede to loosen ground in dirt and remove some stains. If necessary, try using small amount of vinegar on a towel to clean stains out of suede, but be sure to spot-test it first. Let the item air out to remove the smell.
Cotton is a natural fabric that can easily be laundered. Cotton can withstand high temperatures: even boiling water does not hurt the fibre. It can be washed at high temperatures using any kind of washing detergent. White cottons can even be gently washed with bleach to keep their pearly white shade. After washing, they can be machine dried on a higher temperature.
Denim is a very robust material which should not be washed too frequently. Follow these simple instructions to wash your denim: always wash denim garments inside out either separately or with items of the same colour as denim tends to bleed; wash only in cold water with a mild detergent. Don't panic when your jeans feel too snug after washing. Just start wearing them and the shape will come back in a short while. Also be aware of the fact that indigo colours will fade naturally in time. This is a natural characteristic of the dye, which gives each garment an individual look.
Fleece is a modern synthetic material used to make cold-weather clothing. Fleece garments can be washed on a medium temperature but should be removed from the washing machine right after the washing programme is finished. This is important to maintain the fluffy character of fleece and to prevent matting. This is also why fleece should not be dried in the dryer; instead hang these garments to dry to keep them looking good.
Wool can easily lose its shape and become less defined if washed without care. Therefore always handle your woollen garments with extra care and make sure your woollen item really needs to be washed. Unlike cotton and man-made materials, wool does not need to be washed frequently. Just air your wool garment in-between wears. Most wool garments can be washed in a washing machine on the special wool programme. However hand washing your garment will always be preferable because it is gentler. Heat, agitation, and detergent are the enemies of wool, so aim to soak and rinse the dirt out. Just gently push your woollen garment under water and softly squeeze the suds through the clothing. Rinse thoroughly with cool or cold water. Remove excess water with a towel by laying the item on a towel and rolling it up like a sausage, squeezing and pressing gently. Unroll then and leave in fresh air to dry. Never hang your wool garment out to dry as the wet fabric will stretch and loose shape. Instead dry your woollen garments flat and ease them back into their original shape.
Most linen fabrics are washable; however always check the label to be sure.
Wash your linen garments by hand using mild soap or put them in the washing machine on the hand wash program. Linen fabric wrinkles easily and therefore should be dried laid flat or hanging up.
Lyocell o Tencel
Lyocell or Tencel can often be machine washed and dried. Use a warm setting to wash and cold to rinse and tumble dry on medium heat or permanent press setting. Sometimes Tencel fabrics are blended with cotton or rayon to create a silk-like finish. These garments might require hand washing and line drying. Tencel fabrics can become stiff if they are allowed to air dry. You can soften them by putting the item in the dryer with a soft towel on low temperature.
Modal fabric needs to be cleaned gently to avoid damage and help the fabric stay flexible and colourfast. Some modal fabric items are delicate and they should be hand washed in cool water with a mild detergent, wrapped in a towel to squeeze out the water, and then dried flat in the shade. More robust items can be washed on a gentle cycle with cool water and then either tumble-dried low on a short cycle or lay out to dry. If small stains have appeared on modal fabric, it may be possible to get them out with hand scrubbing and a gentle detergent. The fabric should not be soaked or vigorously rubbed to remove stains. Modal should not be washed or dried in high heat or subjected to bleach and other harsh cleaners. Modal garments should not be left on hangers as the prolonged hanging can cause the garments to distort and may also break some of the fibres, weakening the garment and causing it to lose some of its elasticity.
Nylon is often used in jackets and coats because of its strong character. Most items made from nylon can be machined washed and tumbled dry at low temperatures.
Leather garments are timeless pieces that can last for years if they are properly taken care of. In general stains in leather fabric can be removed by gently rubbing the fabric with a damp cloth. This will remove any obvious external stains like dirt and dust. For more intensive stains you could spray the stained areas with leather cleaner (which does not contain a water base) and gently rub the stain off with a soft washcloth. Avoid using abrasive cloths or sponges that may scratch the delicate leather. Some leather qualities can be hand washed with lukewarm water and mild soap. Dishwashing liquid often works well as detergent as it doesn't contain harsh chemicals that may damage the leather. The best way to do this is to soak the leather jacket in a small tub of water filled with the dishwashing liquid. Gently rub stained areas in a circular motion until clean and hang your garment out to dry. Never hang your leather garments near a heater as it could stiffen the fabric. If you want to be sure that your jacket stays perfectly in shape; always go to a professional dry cleaner.
Polyamide fabric is commonly used to manufacture outdoor and workout clothing. It has the feel of soft cotton, yet unlike cotton, it is waterproof and breathable, which helps your body maintain a comfortable temperature and wick away moisture. Polyamide fabric is washing-machine safe, but should only be washed with cold water. Wash the polyamide fabric on a normal cold water washing machine cycle, using a bleach-free laundry detergent, alternatively, the fabric can be hand washed in cold water. Allow the fabric to air dry. Do not dry the fabric using heat, as it will shrink it.
Polyester is a strong manmade fibre that is resistant to creasing and thus keeps it shape.
Most items made from polyester can be machine washed and dried. Use warm water and add a fabric softener to the final rinse cycle. Although polyester garments can be machine dried at low temperature settings, the best way to dry your polyester garment is just by hanging it up to dry on a hanger.
Rayon is a strong, extremely absorbent fabric with a soft silky feel. Rayon will wrinkle easily and may stretch when wet and shrink when washed. It is therefore advisable to launder all washable rayon by hand. Never wring, twist or bunch up rayon. Just shake it out gently and smooth out the wrinkles with your hands. If you have to iron rayon fabric always turn it inside out to prevent it from shining. Use low heat and gently press it while the fabric is still slightly damp to ease the wrinkling. Do not put rayon garments in the dryer as it could damage the fabric.
Satin has a soft smooth feel that makes it an appealing fabric. It ranges in durability as well as cleaning options. Always check the care instructions found on the inside tag to determine the right cleaning process for your item. Most satin items should be washed by hand. Let the item soak in lukewarm water for about 3 to 5 minutes. Gently squeeze the suds through the clothing and rinse thoroughly with cool or cold water. Do not wring or twist your satin clothing, as it will cause it to lose its shape. Avoid placing satin items in a dryer. Instead, lay the item flat on a clean, dry towel, and roll the towel up like a sausage and apply pressure to squeeze out excess water. Unroll, remove the garment and lay flat on another clean, dry towel to finish air-drying, away from sun or excess heat.
Never wash satin items in hot water. Hot water washing may shrink your satin items as much as 10% to 20% in size.
Silk is a delicate fabric and should be handled with care. However, it is fairly easy to clean. Gently hand wash silk items using very cold water and a very mild detergent. Rinse the item in cold water until all soap residue has been removed. Add a few drops of hair conditioner to the rinse water to keep the silk soft and flexible. Press the water out of the fabric by rolling it in a towel. Do not twist or wring, as this will damage the fabric. Hang the wet garment and allow it to air dry completely. Do not hang silk garments in the sun to dry.
Use lemon juice or vinegar to spot clean, but test an inconspicuous area first to test for colourfastness. Be careful not to let hairspray and perfume get on silk as the alcohol will damage the fabric.
Spandex is a manmade elastic type fibre that can be stretched many times its length and then spring back to the original length. Hand or machine wash spandex items in lukewarm water. Do not use detergents that contain chlorine bleach on any fabric containing spandex as it will damage the fabric.
Tulle is a very delicate fabric. It needs to be handled and washed with care. Hand wash only as tulle will tear easily in a washing machine. Use soap flakes or gentle soap only and softly swish around in the water. Do not rub or wring the tulle. Dry out of direct sunlight and never tumble dry.
Always check the label to see if your velvet garment can be washed. If the velvet is cotton or silk in origin, rather than an easy-care, synthetic fabric, it is advisable to have it dry-cleaned. Cotton and silk velvets can have a tendency to dry out of shape and look ruined if washed at home.
Velvet should never be machine washed but gently washed by hand using a mild soap.
Corduroy is a heavy cotton fabric with a ribbed nap running lengthways.
Corduroy can be washed as a normal cotton fabric. However, avoid ironing so as to not crush the ribbed nap.
Viscose is a semi-synthetic material consisting of chemically treated natural fibres.
Viscose garments can be washed by hand using a gentle washing detergent. Immerse your viscose garments in the water, swirl them gently and leave them to soak for a few minutes. Remove your garments from the soapy water and rinse them carefully with warm water. Do not wring them out; but gently squeeze the excess water out. Although washing by hand is preferable, viscose garments can also be washed in your washing machine. In this case, set your washer to a gentle wash cycle, at a maximum temperature of 40°C and remove your viscose garments from your washer as soon as the cycle is finished.
Never tumble dry viscose.