Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Fabric Care - It's easy!

When you like a garment or any fabric product, the first thing that comes to your mind is its care.
Will it be tedious to maintain, will it need extra care, will it be expensive to preserve? and such are the questions that sometimes make you keep the perfectly good looking fabric back on the shelf. Isn't it?

It's not really your fault... Sometimes products do not carry care instructions making it even more difficult for us to decide. And sometimes the instructions despite of being attached, add to the confusion because we do not understand it.

Care instructions are standardized and not very difficult to understand. In this post I will simplify the symbols for you. 

But before I start, I would like to highlight an important fact. Something that we usually very conveniently forget - Fabrics are perishable. 

Yes, they are. We often get attached to our favorite dress, linen etc. and hope that they will remain as is cos we are following the care instructions. And when it looks old, loses it's shine, we blame the manufacturing or the seller. Please bear in mind that the instructions are a guide to help us understand what suits the fabric best and help keep it intact. It does not prolong its life till eternity.  

Each fabric possesses a unique quality, has a different life span and reacts differently to weather, water, heat and soap. 

Below are some care instructions that are most commonly found on care labels and come handy while purchasing.

There are many more symbols but I will update you with that information in my next post. Learn these by heart till then :)

Along with care symbols, I thought of sharing some tips on washing, drying and ironing.

Tips on washing

  • Always be sure to check the pockets of all garments before washing and drying. The stains and damage which can result from one hidden lipstick, lip balm, stick of gum or crayon goes beyond words!
  • Wash all of your clothes inside out to protect the fibers against damage from the
    washing machine drum or from e.g. zippers in other clothes.
  • Sort articles by color, keeping whites, darks, and medium colors together. Lighter garments can pick up dyes from darker colors. 
  • Wash heavily soiled, dirty, items separately from slightly soiled items. This will help prevent fading and keep colors brighter.
  • Garments which generate lint, such as fleece sweat shirts and towels, should be washed separately.
  • It is recommended to save energy and water by washing at low temperatures.
  • Most modern washing machines produce effective results even when they are completely full. Therefore, you should fill the machine completely instead of running it half full.

Tips on drying

  • Follow label instructions for drying your clothes. Some fabrics require that you tumble dry them in low heat, or that you don't tumble dry them at all.
  • Do not dry colored fabrics in direct sunlight. This can cause the color to fade.
  • Dry the fabrics flat to avoid wrinkles.

Tips on ironing

  • Be sure you read the care label for the proper ironing procedure and temperature setting to use.
  • Do not iron items which are dirty or stained. Heat from the iron will set stains.
  • Keep the iron and the ironing board cover clean to avoid soiling the clean garments/fabric being ironed.
  • Garments which are drip-dry should be pressed while damp on the wrong side, using a cool iron. If finishing the right side, use a pressing cloth.

Tips on stain removal - for treating specific stains on washable fabrics.

  • Deal with the stain as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more time the stain has to soak in and/or dry, making it more difficult to remove.
  • Lift or gently scrap off any excess material from the fabric. Use a cloth or a towel to gently blot and soak up any liquid. Don't rub! Rubbing can spread the stain and cause it to penetrate deeper into the fabric.
  • Identify what caused the stain. In order to know what to do for the stain, you need to know what caused it.
  • Follow the instructions on any presoak, prewash or stain removers. It's best to test a small out of the way area of the fabric first.
  • If stains aren't entirely removed after washing, try rewashing the item. Allowing the item to dry, or putting it in the dryer, can set the stain for good.

So...from now on you wont feel bad for yourself for losing out on a stunning dress or a great decor fabric. Now you can make an informed decision.

Happy shopping :)

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