Taking care of your store bought clothing is difficult as is. Once you start sewing, a whole new world of possible confusion opens up. How do you know how to launder your beautiful handmades without completely destroying them?
Here are 10 tips to save you from laundry headaches!
1. Ask questions. If you buy a fabric, check for the materials. If possible, ask the sales person about care instructions. Silk usually doesn’t like washing, but is fine on a delicate program or hand washed. Cotton is more sturdy but prone to shrinking. Ask questions and learn about your materials!
2. Use vinegar and lots of it. Before you put new makes in the laundry, or before prewashing, soak your garment or fabric in a tub with a mixture of about 80% cold water and 20% vinegar. This locks in all colour so that new red dress doesn’t bleed onto your white shirt.
3. Avoid the dryer. Direct heat causes your clothing to pile a lot faster. Instead, let them dry to the air. Make sure you open up a window in the room where you hang out your clothes or hang them outside (if possible).
4. Salt is the enemy of wine. Did you spill red wine on your new dress? Cover the stain (while it’s still wet) with table salt. This will extract the wine from your dress.
5. Vodka is good for your armpits. Got some smelly armpits on a garment that can’t go in the machine? Prepare a pray bottle with 50%water and 50%vodka. Spray this on the smelling garment and let it hang to dry. The vodka eliminates all smells and is odorless itself, so you wont smell as if you’ve been partying too much. You can also use 100% vodka. Cheap vodka works fine.
6. Use the lowest temperatures possible. As long as your clothes are clean, that’s fine. Washing on 30°C = perfect for your clothes and better for the environment.
7. The Delicates Program is your friend. If your clothes are handcrafted, they might be a bit more fragile than the store-bought version. Wash on a delicate program to make sure they don’t tear.
8. Fold your knitwear. Knits have mechanical stretch and the earth has gravity. If you hang your knits, they will stretch out of shape. If possible, dry it flat too.
9. Hang your wovens. Wovens love hanging. They don’t wrinkle as fast and you don’t get fold creases. Shake them out when you get them out of the machine. This way, most wrinkels get eliminated.
10. Let the steam do it’s job. Do you have a slightly wrinkled garment? Hang it in your bathroom and leave it their while you take a nice, long, hot shower. Steam is a magic wrinkle eraser!
If you have any other tips for taking care of handmade clothes, please share!