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If You Love Your Clothing, Obey The Care Tags: "Dry Clean Only, Hand Wash, Do Not Wring"

The manufacturers of garments are required to print fabric content and washing instructions. Obey the instructions printed in the tag to add years to the life of your garments.

                            If You Love Your Clothing, Obey The Care Tags: "Dry Clean Only, Hand Wash, Do Not Wring"

The manufacturers do considerable research on the best care of their fabrics. They are required by the government to print fabric content and washing instructions.  Pay attention to the instructions printed in the tag to add years to the life of your garments.  Always follow the washing, drying and ironing instructions.

Dry clean only

When a tag says Dry Clean Only, there's a reason for it.  Although the fabric looks like fabric you've washed before, the eye isn't always the best judge.  Cottons that say dry-clean only may be heavily sized;  fabric sizing would be lost during washing and you'd be left with a limp rag instead of the garment you loved.  Also, the cloth used may not have been pre-shrunk which means that if it is washed, it may shrink until it is unwearable. If you love your clothing, obey the care tags.

Wool, unless labeled as washable are generally better dry-cleaned.

Most woolen blankets should be dry-cleaned.  However, you can wash them yourself at home if you keep few things in mind.

  • Use only a little and very mild detergent which shoud be added when the blanket is already thoroughly saturated with water.
  • Wash the blanket for only a minute or one and a half minutes, and then rinse it for no more than four minutes.
  • Don't dry it completely.  Dry it in a cool dryer or spin.  A hot dryer will shrink it.

Many silks are washable, although they may need different ironing treatment, but silk velvet is not and silk jersey is better dry cleaned, because it tends to stretch with the weight of water.

Washing by hand

When washing by hand, try to use water at the correct temperature for for the fiber.  It is safer to err on the cool rather on the hot side.  Where there are stains, rub the fabric as little as possible and rinse thoroughly until the water is clean.  Do not wring or mangle drip-dry fabrics like treated cotton, nylon, acetates and triacetates, and terylene.

When hand-washing lace, try this technique:  wrap the lace around a clean, empty soda bottle.  It will be asy to see if you are geting the lace clean, and it will be far harder to snag it. 

You can also hand-wash knit scarves, gloves, hats, and mittens.  Hand-wash won't hurt them, but be sure that when you dry them, you don't hang them.  Knit accessories should be laid out flat and returned to the proper shape by flattening and shaping with your fingers.

Washing by machine

Some washing machines can be programmed to produce a selection of temperatures and washing methods for most fabrics.  Follow the instructions which come with it.

 Adapted from:

  1. Helpful household Hints by Betty-Anne Hastings with Mary-Beth connors; c1982.
  2. Fibres And Fabrics; ICS, Intertext 1974, First Edition.

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Comments (1)

Very interesting