Paying some extra attention to how you wash your clothes will make them live longer, look better and make less of a negative impact on the planet. The washing instructions on the label will give you advice on how to care for your garment (besides checking out the symbols, please read the additional information on the label carefully too) but here is some more resourceful advice for you on how to treat your clothes. Avoid using fabric conditioners, unless you are washing garments that are 100 % synthetic, such as acrylic, as this counters static electricity in the garment after washing.
Silk is a natural protein fiber that can be woven into textiles. It is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm. The shimmering appearance of silk comes from the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fiber, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles, thus producing different colors. Silk's attractive luster and drape makes it suitable for clothing such as shirts, ties, blouses, formal dresses and high fashion pieces.
Care: By knowing how to clean, dry, press, and store silk, you can keep your silk garments in top condition for years. Care instructions for most silk items are hand wash or very gentle machine wash. Use a wool program with very low agitation and spinning. Avoid placing in the same load as rougher fabrics. Sometimes dry cleaning is recommended due to the construction of the garment. To make sure your silk gets a proper treatment, always follow the washing instructions on the label inside the garment.
Wool (in general)
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats; mohair from goats; angora from rabbits, etc. Wool has several qualities that distinguish it from hair or fur: it is crimped, elastic, and it grows in staples.
Care: After use, wash is often unnecessary especially if it has not been in contact with skin. Instead place the garment on a hanger, preferably in humid air (bathroom) and/or let it relax in open air. Usually the wool fibers need to be hand-washed so that they don't felt or shrink. Proper washing and care will ensure that your wool garment will last a lifetime. For machine wash, a wool program can sometimes be used. Liquid detergent or special detergent for wool is highly recommended. To make sure your wool garment gets a proper treatment, always follow the washing instructions on the label inside the garment. If a label says "Dry Clean Only" take the garment to a professional dry cleaner for the best results.
Angora wool or Angora fiber refers to the downy coat produced by the Angora rabbit. While their names are similar, Angora fiber is distinct from mohair, which comes from the Angora goat. The texture of Angora wool is silky and smooth, making it a prized fabric for high-end clothing. Angora is very warm and therefore a popular choice for sweaters and scarves. It is also a very delicate fabric, but with proper care and maintenance garments made from Angora wool can last for years.
Care: After use, wash is often unnecessary. Instead let the garment relax, preferably in humid air (bathroom) and the wrinkles will fall out. Always read the care instruction label before attempting to wash any type of delicate fabric. Since there can be slight variations in the exact construction of Angora wool, it is necessary to follow the care instructions carefully.
Cashmere wool, usually known simply as cashmere, is a fiber obtained from Cashmere and other types of goats. The word cashmere derives from an old spelling of Kashmir. Cashmere has a fine texture and is strong, light and soft in character. Garments made from cashmere provide excellent insulation without bulk. The original undyed or natural colors of cashmere wool are various shades of grey, brown and white.
Care: Cashmere is a natural product and the natural resilience of the fabric will allow wrinkles to fall out and the original shape to bounce back if you air out your cashmere garment after wearing it. Pilling (the formation of tiny bobbles) is a normal occurrence on cashmere and is caused by the cashmere fibers rubbing together during wear. Always check the washing instructions on the label inside the garment before washing.
Merino wool comes from the fleece of Merino sheep. Australian Wool Innovation notes that Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel forever changed women’s fashion when she began designing clothing using knitted merino wool jersey in 1916. Merino wool is one of the softest types of wool available, due to finer fibers and smaller scales. It is common in high-end fashion but also in performance athletic wear because of its excellent properties for regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin.
Care: Merino requires special cleaning and storage methods to extend the life of the material but proper care can make it last a lifetime. Air out your Merino garment after wearing it. To remove odours and refresh the sweater, lay it on a clean, flat surface in a well-ventilated room for one to three hours. This will make frequent washing less necessary. When washing, always follow the washing instructions on the label inside the garment.
Pima cotton has a higher quality than regular cotton. Materials made from pima cotton will be softer, denser, and more durable than those made from regular cotton. Pima cotton is renowned for its softness, brilliant luster and strong staple; characteristics that classify it as a luxury fiber. It is the length of a fiber’s staple that determines the softness, smoothness and durability of the yarn and finished garment. Pima cotton has a longer staple than other cotton, which accounts for its superior quality and gives it its luxury status.
Care: Always read the care instruction label before attempting to wash any type of delicate fabric. Wash gently and let dry on a hanger as a general recommendation. However, since there are variations in the construction compared to "ordinary" cotton, it is necessary to follow the care instructions provided for your particular garment.
Nappa leather is a full-grain leather, typically dyed, made from unsplit kid-, lamb- or sheep-skin by tanning with salts. Favoured for its smoothness and durability, nappa leather is predominantly constructed into wallets, gloves and other fashion accessories. Many designer handbag collections feature nappa leather because of its high-end appearance and texture.
Care: Nappa leather should be cared for like all other leather. Since nappa leather is porous, liquids will permeate the soft hide. Wipe the nappa leather gently with a dry cotton cloth. Remove as much surface dust and buildup from the leather as possible. Before using any kind of leather cleaning or protection cream, spot-test the product on an invisible part of the garment/item. Only use a professional dry cleaner for leather.
Nubuck is top-grain cattle rawhide leather that has been sanded or buffed on the grain side, or outside, to give a slight nap of short protein fibers, producing a velvet-like surface. Nubuck and suede has some similarities but it differs in that suede is created from the inner side of a hide, whereas nubuck is created from the outer side of a hide, giving it more strength and thickness along with a fine grain.
Care: Protecting nubuck leather is the best thing you can do to make it long lasting. It does not have its own protective barrier so you should apply a commercial protectant at least once every six months. There are also special cleaners to remove dirt and stains and nubuck brushes to restore the nap. These items can be purchased individually or as a nubuck care kit at shoe departments and leather goods stores. Only use a professional dry cleaner for leather.
Suede is a type of leather with a napped finish, commonly used for jackets, shoes, shirts, purses, furniture and other items. Its softness, thinness, and pliability make it suitable for clothing and delicate uses; suede was originally used for women's gloves. The term comes from the French "gants de Suède", which literally means "gloves of Sweden". Suede leather is made from the skin of primarily lamb, although goat, pig and calf are commonly used.
Care: Due to its textured nature and open pores, suede may become dirty and absorb liquids quickly. Preventive care is the best way to keep your delicate suede items looking good for a lifetime. Spray a recently purchased or recently cleaned suede item with one of the many products that protect against water damage and other stains. Keep suede away from light, which will fade the colour, and damp conditions, which can encourage growth of damaging mold and mildew. Have suede garments professionally cleaned.
Origin of wool fibers and leather
(Policy for natural materials) In general we do not sell products made of real fur. To be ensured of the welfare of the animals we do not buy Merino wool from farms that practice mulesing. All garment suppliers must provide us with documents/certifications stating the merino wool comes from non-mulesed sheep. The wool must have documentation and must be traceable throughout the whole supply chain. We also require specified origin back to the farmers of angora rabbits for inspection.
We only accept products made of leather from cow, buffalo, sheep, goat or pig that have been bred for meat production. And we do not sell real skins originating from endangered species. Wastewater from the tanneries used for products must be treated at a wastewater treatment plant.
Chunky-knits should be reshaped and dried flat to maintain the original shape.
Viscose and jersey
Viscose and jersey natural materials and can easily get misshapen when wet. To restore the garment easily to its original shape, iron it with a steam iron.
Linen is a natural material and can easily get misshapen when wet. To restore the garment to its original shape, iron it with a hot steam iron. To keep its sheen, iron the garment on the reverse side.
Wash jeans inside out to stop them fading. Remove them from the washing machine as soon as possible after the programme has ended to avoid creasing. Denim’s characteristic appearance is the result of a special dyeing method. As a result, small pigment particles may remain on the surface and can rub off.