Fabrics made out of animal and plant fibers can be described as natural while those produced by man-made fibers as synthetics. In this article, we shall guide you the best way to wash and care for 7 common fabrics. It is, however, necessary to note that it is important to refer to your item’s care label since there might be different types of one fabric.
Cotton is the most widely worn natural fabric in the world, which is comfy and breathable, appropriate for both adults and kids. However, Cotton fabrics wrinkle easily, and will shrink after washing. Some cotton products have been preshrunk before entering into selling.
Washing tips-There are different ways of washing your regular cotton garments, sheets, underwear, and towels. Regular items such as T-shirts can be washed below 30°C by hand or machine. The best temperature to wash sheet is 40°C, while towels and underwear should be washed at 60°C plus using antibacterial detergent to attack germs. However, different types of cotton fabrics have different shrinkage ratio, please read the care label before washing, if the label states ‘washing in cold water’, which means the shrinkage ratio may large, you should wash in definitely cold water, or the item may shrink to unexpected size.
Drying tips– As cotton fabrics wrinkle easily, always give clothes a stretch after washing to maintain their shape. Always dry clothes flat and out of the sun to prevent excessive shrinkage and damage by sunlight. Tumble dry in low heat.
Ironing tips– It is best to iron cotton clothing while they are still damp or use steam iron. Normally iron at Max.150°C for cotton fabrics.
Few fabrics are as luxurious feeling as compared to silk, in fact, it is the strongest natural fiber available. Silk fabrics are lightweight, soft and smooth, extremely easy to skin. However, silk fabrics are easy to fade and wrinkle.
Washing tips– Some silk items in special weaving need dry clean, most common silk garments are washable, hand wash in cold water. Be sure to test for colorfastness as silk fade easily, using mild neutral detergent to wash can protect the color and fabric.
Drying tips– The best way to dry silk is to lay it on an absorbent towel to rid it of excessive water. Repeat this process with a second towel and then lay the garment on a drying rack. Tumble dry is avoid for silk fabrics.
Ironing Tips– Iron with cover in low heat, stem ironing may leave watermark on the fabric. It would be better to Iron silk garments while they are still damp.
Linen is also natural, linen fabrics are durable and strong, but wrinkle easily. Such fabrics absorb moisture easily and dry fast, they are good insulation properties, but don’t accumulate static electricity.
Washing tips– Washing linen is quite straightforward. Ensure water used is low temperature preferable lukewarm or cold. To protect the linen’s fibers make sure to use the gentle machine cycle and a mild detergent.
Drying tips– Do not hesitate to tumble dry your linen fabric as long as you observe low-temperature settings. Make sure to remove from the dryer while still slightly dry so as to avoid linen from becoming overly stiff. Lay it flat or hang it to finish off the drying process.
Ironing tips– Do not iron fabric unless it is overly crushed. Linen should be ironed when still damp with a medium-heat iron on steam setting. Dark linen should be iron only on the reverse side while white linen is better ironed on both sides.
Wool is widely used in winter, which is warm, soft, and easy to skin. Woolen fabrics have excellent absorbency, high moisture regain, good elasticity and resiliency. However, as everyone knows, woolen garments are easy to shrink.
Washing tips– It is important to consult the care label before attempting to wash any woolen garment in order to avoid misshaping and shrinking. For hand wash, you need to soak the garment in cold water with special wool detergent for a period of 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly in clean cold water when done. Machine washing, on the other hand, requires a special wool setting and a special wool detergent.
Drying tips– Wet wool garments need to be dried at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat. Tumble drying wool fabric should be avoided at all cost as this will definitely cause shrinkage.
Ironing tips-While most woolen fabrics don’t require ironing the very smooth one look better when ironed. Not only should you use steam when pressing iron but also avoid doing it to a completely dry fabric. Always use the wool setting on your iron when ironing wool fabric.
Cashmere is a type of high-end soft wool, which is softer than normal wool, cashmere garments are quite warm, and have a lustrous quality.
Washing tips– The best way to wash cashmere is via dry cleaning although hand washing is also possible. Hand washing is typically done using cold water and a mild detergent.
Drying tips– After washing avoid wringing your cashmere to avoid stretching it out. Rather roll it up in a towel to soak all water then place it on a drying rack.
Ironing tips- In order to iron cashmere, it is important to ensure that the garment is thoroughly dry. Turn the garment inside out and place it on a flat surface preferably an ironing board. Turn the iron to the lowest heat and steam setting and iron your garment.
Denim is made out of cotton which is spun and freed of any debris. Denim garments normally are blue in color, very strong and durable, quite breathable, but they crease easily. Denim garments are also easy to fade, especially in dark color. Most care labels in such garments state ‘wash alone to prevent bleeding on light colored clothing’.
Washing tips– It is necessary to wash dark denim jeans before the first wear. It is preferable that you wash jean by hand for the first time. First, you need to turn them inside out and place them on a flat surface such as a sink or bathtub. Add a small amount of detergent in water and agitate them occasionally as they soak for about 45 minutes. Adding a little white vinegar into the soaking water may reduce fading. If you wash your denim jeans by machine, consult the fabric care tag on the inside of your garment.
Drying tips– After washing rinse your jeans thoroughly with cold water and hang out in the sun to dry. Hanging jeans when you are not wearing is essential because it helps the fibers recover from stretch and stress.
Ironing tips– Jeans don’t need to be ironed although the thin formal one can be ironed. Turn your jeans inside out and iron in low heat, stem ironing is feasible.
There many different types of synthetic fibers available depending on the combination of materials used to make it. Some of these include polyester, nylon, rayon, and acrylic. Synthetics fibers are durable, distortion-free, fast drying, economical, readily available, and easy to maintain.
Washing tips– while synthetics might be many and varied, they react in the same way. Synthetic fibers can easily be cleaned with a washing machine although you need to set it to a synthetic setting. For machines, without this setting, it would be best to consult the care tag which is sure to indicate the maximum temperature at which to wash in.
Drying tips– Synthetics are heat-sensitive and cannot be tumble dried at high temperatures. In fact, since the fabrics are derived from plastics, high temperatures may destroy or melt them. Drying should preferably be done at room temperature.
Ironing tips– Ironing synthetic is really a bad idea since they are heat-sensitive; it should, therefore, be avoided. If you, however, need to press a synthetic fabric, do so with a cool iron and place a clean towel between the iron and fabric to protect it.