CARE OF NATURAL FABRICS



SILK

Washing

You can wash silk using a washing machine that has a delicate programme, in the temperature range 15 to 35 °C.

It is recommended that you don't mix silk with other types of fabric.

Do not use alkaline detergent. Alkaline detergent is dangerous to silk. It will cause the silk to harden, become brittle, or undergo yellowing, fading, etc.

Do not wring out silk garments too forcefully. Silk must be treated gently and carefully.

High water temperature can damage silk fabrics, so when washing, you must not use hot water. You must use lukewarm water, and wash the silk in a short time, usually within an hour. Long and harsh treatment of silk can cause it turn yellow or fade.

Weak acid can protect silk very well. You can add a small amount of vinegar in the final rinsing cycle. The vinegar must be good quality; use a small amount like a teaspoon to 5 litres. Vinegar can prevent silk hardening, and can cure dyes. Generally, silk is dyed with acid dyes, so vinegar can make clothes brighter.

Storage

Silk doesn't tolerate light as it absorbs ultraviolet rays, which can cause yellowing and hardening. Therefore, you must avoid exposing silk to direct sunlight while drying it. It is good practice to dry the clothing with the reverse side out, in a cool and shady place. 

When silk is nearly dry, just slightly damp, you can iron it using a medium-low temperature setting. This approach can keep the natural gloss of the silk clothes. Do not iron the outside to avoid water stains when ironing; turn the garment inside out and then iron it, using a cotton cloth under the iron, to prevent burning the silk fibres. 

 

WOOL


Why Do Clothes Shrink?

Progressive shrinkage takes place when the fibres shrink, while relaxation occurs when the fabric shrinks. Wool is an example of progressive shrinkage, where its fibres shrink each time it is washed. Hence it is often advised that wool is dry cleaned. Relaxation shrinkage happens when tension in the fibres are released and straightened as it is washed. In the case of cotton, most shrinkage comes about in the first wash. Shrinkage can refer to both expansion and contraction of clothing dimensions. 

Owing to differing fabric structures and its moisture content, the amount of shrinkage can differ. If the fabric is tightly woven, there is little room for fibres to shrink, therefore looser knits are more susceptible to shrinkage. In addition, evaporation of moisture content in the fabric in the drying process can also result in dimensional shrinkage.

When choosing a dry cleaner, we recommend opting for one which does not use toxic substances such as Perchloroethylene (PERC), a commonly used chemical in dry cleaning shops.

You can read more about washable Wool here (please click on the link). 


Washing machine

Wool garments should be washed using the wool programme cycle (usually gentle action at 20-33°C). You can think about wool as if it was your own hair - everything which is suitable for washing human hair is in general suitable for washing wool too: using mild and lukewarm water, as well as gentle rinsing and very low degree of spinning. It can be helpful to turn the garment inside out to wash it, as any pills will then form on the inside, not on the outer surface of the garment.

You can also help drying the wool with towel and gentle wrapping in the towel, just like you do with your hair.

If your washing machine does not have a wool programme, then use the cold water wash or the delicates washing programme. It is really important that the washing program has very low degree of spinning, as intensive mechanical friction is the main reason for felting and shrinkage of the wool.  

Use a gentle neutral / mild detergent (look for the washing instructions on the detergent package). Neutral / mild detergents have a relatively neutral pH level. Avoid using heavy-duty detergents, “bio” detergents containing enzymes, or any detergents containing bleaches.

When choosing your preferred laundry detergent there are a number of considerations you should take into account:

1. If powdered detergents are used, it is always best to pre-dissolve the detergent prior to adding to the wash. This helps to prevent concentrated specks of detergent from coming into contact with the clothes, which may cause holes.

2. Final rinse softeners or conditioners can be used, but care should be taken to keep the amount down to minimum. Excessive amount of softener can lead to the formation of pills during subsequent washes - this is because softeners tend to act as a lubricant and enable fibres to move out onto the surface of the sweater more easily.

3. Never use bleach, either chlorine or oxygen based, when washing wool. 

4. Always follow the washing instructions of your chosen laundry detergent.

It is recommended that garments are flat dried after washing.

 

Hand wash

Turn your wool garment inside out, then hand wash in clean, lukewarm water, approximately 20°C-37°C, using a mild and gentle detergent. Do not squeeze and pull the wool while washing. Allow to soak for a period of 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly in lukewarm water.

Hang in shady place horizontally without pulling and stretching the garment. Many people find it helpful to spread a towel underneath so the towel gently and naturally absorbs the excess water and helps drying the garment. Do not hang it vertically, as the wool reshapes under the weight of the water absorbed in the wool and the gravity involved, and takes the new shape after drying.

In general, wool is animal hair. If you think about it as it it was your hair, that would help you imagine what the wool requires to stay in good condition. The wool behaves just like your hair, and you can care for wool garments just like how you care for your hair.

Storing Wool Fabric

To properly store wool, it is important to keep it in a cool and dry place to prevent damage. Wool is a natural fiber that is prone to moth damage, especially during the winter months. Moths are attracted to wool because of its protein content, and they can wreak havoc on your precious wool garments if not properly stored.

Here are some wool fabric care tips for winter to prevent moth damage:

  • Clean your wool garments before storing them. Moths are attracted to dirt, stains, and food particles left on the fabric.
  • Use airtight containers or zippered garment bags to store your wool items. This will prevent moths from getting in and laying their eggs.
  • Add moth repellents, such as cedar chips or lavender sachets, to your storage containers. These natural deterrents will help keep moths away.
  • Avoid storing wool in plastic bags or cardboard boxes, as these can trap moisture and promote mold growth.
  • Regularly check your stored wool items for any signs of moth activity. Look for small holes, webbing, or larvae.


Pilling on Wool Fabric


Pilling occurs when small, fuzzy balls form on the surface of the fabric, making it look worn and old. But don’t worry, there are ways to prevent pilling and remove it if it does happen.

To prevent pilling, start by choosing high-quality wool fabric that has a tighter weave. Lower-quality wool is more prone to pilling. Additionally, avoid rubbing or brushing the fabric vigorously, as this can cause pilling. Instead, gently pat or shake off any debris.

If pilling does occur, you can remove it using a fabric shaver or a sweater stone. A fabric shaver works by gently shaving off the pills, while a sweater stone is rubbed over the fabric to remove them. Remember to follow the instructions carefully and be gentle to avoid damaging the fabric.

Regularly brushing your wool garments with a soft-bristle brush can also help prevent pilling by removing any loose fibers. Additionally, hand washing or using the delicate cycle on your washing machine, and air drying your wool items can also reduce the likelihood of pilling.


CASHMERE


Cashmere is very delicate, and quality cashmere must be laundered very carefully.

Wash your cashmere at home by hand or on a delicate washing machine cycle with cold water.

Make sure to use a gentle soap, and you can even look for detergents designed particularly for cashmere items.

If washing by hand, soak the item in a basin of cold water and then take it out and allow the excess water dripping. Do not wring, as you don’t want to stretch or ruin the shape.

Once the excess water has been removed, lay your item flat to dry.

If you find it helpful, lay the cashmere garment over a terry towel.

Never hang the item, as this will stretch the fibres.

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COTTON

WASHING

Check the label to see if machine washing, hand washing, or dry cleaning is recommended. If machine, use the appropriate wash programme.

WATER TEMPERATURE

Wash in warm or cool water to prevent shrinking and fading. Use hot water carefully, as washing cotton in hot water can cause cotton to shrink or deform, depending on the quality and the type of the fabric.

DRYING

Cotton fabrics can be air-dried or machine dried using moderate-to-low heat. High heats can cause cotton fibres to shrink slightly, about 5% along the fibres..

IRONING

Iron on high heat while the fabric is slightly damp. Use steam as needed. Note that ironing can be avoided by removing the garment immediately from the machine, shaking out the creases, then hand-shaping it over a hanger, and air drying.

 

LINEN


To keep your flax linen fabric in good condition, it’s important to follow the care instructions provided. Flax linen fabric is a natural material made from the fibers of the flax plant. It is known for its durability, breathability, and ability to keep you cool in hot weather. However, proper care and maintenance are essential to ensure its longevity.

When it comes to caring for your flax linen fabric, there are a few key guidelines to follow. First, always check the care label for specific instructions, as different flax linen fabrics may have varying requirements. In general, flax linen fabric can be machine washed on a gentle cycle using a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the fabric. It is best to air dry flax linen fabric instead of using a dryer, as excessive heat can cause shrinkage.

In terms of regular maintenance, it’s a good idea to shake out your flax linen fabric items before storing them to remove any dirt or debris. Avoid exposing flax linen fabric to direct sunlight for extended periods, as this can cause fading. If your flax linen fabric develops wrinkles, iron it on a low heat setting while it is still slightly damp.

 

HEMP

Similar to cotton washing, but in general a tougher material.

 

BAMBOO

Similar to washing cotton. Cotton, Linen, Hemp and Bamboo fibres are plant based fibres, and have similar structure and behaviour about washing and ironing care.

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