Not all of your clothing can be washed the same way – each fabric is unique and should be handled with care to prevent any damage. This also includes drying and as a general rule of thumb, you’re best to stick with air drying on a clothesline for all fabrics (you know how we feel about dryers)!
We complied some of the most common fabrics that are in your everyday wear and how best to wash them to prolong their use. Always make sure to read the care label first as some garments may need special treatment.
One of the world’s favourite textiles, cotton is comfortable, cooling, versatile, and it’s even a natural fibre. The only downside is that it can easily shrink, especially in the dryer. If your cotton is preshrunk then you can get away with washing it in warm or hot water. To play it safe though, we recommend always washing cotton in cold water. Some garments, like new denim jeans, can bleed if washed in hot water.
A popular synthetic textile, polyester is durable enough to be washed in any temperature, but warm water will be more effective in getting out stains. It’s also recommended to wash polyester garments inside out as they are prone to pulling if they get caught on something else in the machine.
Also known as spandex or lycra, elastane is what gives clothing that stretchiness – you can find it in your activewear or in your skinny jeans. It’s best to avoid warm or hot water with this fabric – we actually recommend hand washing elastane in cold temperatures. If you prefer to use your machine, opt for a delicate cycle so that stretchiness doesn’t get stretchier.
Majority of us Kiwis know how to take care of our warm wool products and usually have them dry cleaned. But some items can be either hand washed or machine washed on a delicate cycle. Whatever way you decide to wash wool, the water temperature should be warm as cold water tends to shrink this fibre. Keep your wool clothing soft and cosy as it should be!
Another popular textile that is found in most activewear, nylon is strong and lightweight. Despite its strength, nylon should be washed separately from other fabrics and on a cold cycle. Delicate nylon (usually found in lingerie) is better off being washed in a mesh bag for protection.