Your garments have to go through a long and complex cycle every time before they are really clean: there is the actual phase of washing, then the spin cycle and finally drying. To prevent the fabrics from fading or shrinking, it is therefore essential to always evaluate the type of material you are dealing with and adapt the type of washing from time to time. Needless to say, this is particularly true of delicate garments. Materials such as cashmere, leather, mohair and velvet must be washed following precise rules and instructions to the letter, and require greater care than everyday laundry. Only in this way can you be sure not to ruin the fibers of your garment. To help you extend the life of your most delicate clothes,we have collected in this article a series of instructions and tips to take proper care of these fabrics that are so difficult to clean.
Some basic rules for washing delicate items
When dealing with particularly delicate materials, it is not advisable to rely on normal washing techniques. Serious troubles occur especially when washing these items at too high temperatures or using the wrong detergent. Regardless of the type of fabric you want to wash, there are some basic tips that apply in all cases and for all delicate items. Never forget to follow these directions before putting them in the washing machine.
1. Pay attention to the symbols for washing the items shown on the labels
For a first indication of the type of washing to be performed, refer to the symbols on the label of the garment in question. When it comes to sensitive materials and fibers, this step should never be underestimated. The symbols on the labels are mostly intuitive and allow you to understand immediately, at first glance, if your garment can be washed at home or if it needs professional washing and should therefore be taken to the laundry room. When you wash your clothes at home, also remember to always use a detergent for delicate items.
2. Divide the laundry
The most delicate items should not be washed together with everyday laundry. Normal laundry is usually done at temperatures that are too high for delicates, and using universal detergents that are not normally suitable for the most sensitive fibers. For this reason it is essential to review the laundry before putting it in the washing machine and to separate the laundry to be washed. Our tip: first divide your clothes between sturdy and delicate fibers. Then check the washing temperature of the individual garments and divide your pile again. Finally, separate the laundry by color: white, colored and dark.
Tip: a garment is not always made of a single material. In the case of mixed fabrics, oriented according to the most delicate element. If it is not clear how to do it, do not take risks and go to a professional laundry.
3. Use a laundry net
For many natural fibers it is not enough to simply wash the garments separately, but additional protection is needed. This is the case of underwear or clothes with lace inserts. To protect these items inside the washing machine drum, it is advisable to insert them in a laundry net. As an alternative to the net, you can use a cushion cover.
4. Close the zippers and buttons
Open hooks, zippers or non-closed buttons can get stuck in the fibers of the most delicate materials and pull the threads. To minimize the risk, remember to close and button your clothes before putting them in the washing machine. This simple foresight will also ensure that the clothes, once removed from the washing machine, are less creased.
Specific advice: treat and wash delicates in the right way
In addition to the basic rules we have just presented to you, there are specific indications and particular attention, different according to the fabric, to keep in mind when dealing with the different delicate materials.
How to wash wool
The classic classifiable material in delicates is wool. To make sure that woolen clothes and sweaters don’t deform and last for a long time, it is important to keep in mind a couple of simple tips for washing this very precious, but difficult to handle fabric. How then to wash woolen clothes correctly? If the symbol of a ball of wool is present on the label of your garment, it means that you can wash it in the washing machine, using the wool program and a specific detergent for wool. If your washing machine does not have an ad hoc program, select the one for hand washing. You can also use a mild shampoo as an alternative to detergent. For drying, we recommend placing your garment on the clothesline in a horizontal position. This way you will prevent it from turning.
How to wash cashmere
Cashmere is one of the most valuable fibers in the world and it is normal to have fears and doubts about how to wash it properly. Here we need even more attention than for wool. The first tip is to wash clothes woven in cashmere only by hand. However, the best thing would be to rely on dry cleaning. Cashmere must never be washed at a temperature above 30 degrees and, after washing, it must be rinsed several times in cold water. Just like for wool, at the end, remember to hang these clothes horizontally on the clothesline. Pulling lightly with your hands try to restore the original shape to the garment, and then cover it with a towel. These indications also apply to mohair and angora garments.
How to wash silk
The silk garments are very easy to distinguish and identify thanks to the brilliance that distinguishes this material. More complicated is knowing how to wash silk without damaging it. In general, if you decide to opt for a machine wash, remember not to select a high temperature and to use a specific detergent for delicates. For example, if you want to wash a silk blouse in the washing machine, always choose the program for delicate items. Remember also that these garments must never be squeezed or spun at all. If you want your silk garments to remain perfect for a long time, we advise you to go to a laundry.
How to wash velvet
Velvet is one of the most loved and used materials in fashion. However, it is a very delicate material, which must not be put in the dryer and must not be folded or ironed. In case of particularly stubborn stains on a velvet fabric, it is advisable to go to a laundry room and opt for a professional wash.
How to wash the leather
The leather only rarely needs a complete cleaning and, thanks to the impregnating agent which normally covers it, it is possible to eliminate coarse stains and dirt with the help of a sponge and a little water. On the contrary, washing the leather in the washing machine can damage this useful coating. If the leather is stiff to the touch and full of small cracks, we recommend using a special cream to make it smooth and soft again. If you want a complete wash, go to a laundry room. .
How to wash technical clothing
Latest generation materials and clothes, especially in sports or in those work sectors where clothing with specific properties are required, often contain softshell and other particular membranes. To wash and treat this type of garments you must pay close attention to the detergent you use. On the market today there are specific detergents that protect these fibers and that ensure that the materials do not lose, due to washing, precisely those characteristics for which they were created. For waterproof jackets, for example, there are special impregnating detergents that recreate the waterproof layer, preserving this property even after washing. In addition to this caution, avoid using any type of fabric softener. As sturdy as this type of clothing may seem, remember not to exceed 40 degrees and select the program for hand washing or delicate items. Finally, we recommend that you hang your clothes on the clothesline horizontally.
Conclusions – Dry cleaning or at home?
Not all fabrics or clothing can be washed at home. The most delicate fabrics need special care, and sometimes it is better to rely on professionals and bring your garment to the laundry.While everyday clothes, made of cotton, are quite insensitive to washing, the same cannot be said for silk, cashmere, wool or velvet. If you still want to wash your clothes at home and in the washing machine, remember to pay attention to a series of basic rules. First check the symbols on the labels and wash the clothes at the indicated temperature, dividing them according to the recommended washing. Also choose carefully the most suitable detergent. For those who do not want to take risks and guarantee their garments a long life, however, we recommend opting for professional dry cleaning.