Why do Care Instructions for Clothes Matter?
Posted on 15 November 2016
Don’t get me wrong. I’m guilty of it, too.
I read the care instructions that say “hand wash only” but when a girl has a million things to do, that is so inconvenient. Then, I throw them in the wash and pray that they come out looking fine. Sometimes, it all works out and, other times, it’s sayonara to my precious top. What is the purpose of all of these tops saying “hand wash” or “dry clean only”? If you want to make your latest addition to your wardrobe last a longer amount of time, you should heed the care instructions. If not, you may just throw money away.
So what makes the fabrics so fickle?
From being man made to made by nature, all of the fabrics we love come from different sources; therefore, not all fabrics should be treated the same. Here are a few cautions that may save your shirt and your wallet.
Keep the heat away...
A dryer is amazing, right? Well, not for everything. Certain fabrics will not withstand the heating process: it will break down elasticity or shrink or change the shape of a piece of clothing leaving it in less than perfect condition. Instead, invest in a clothes drying rack and lay your garments out until completely dry. You’ll be so happy you did.
Don’t strike when the iron’s hot!
Fabrics like rayon, chiffons, satins, and laces will not love the high heat of the iron. If you use the iron, you may leave a sheen that wasn’t there before. Check the instructions and think about getting a steamer (they’re so much easier to use anyway).
Dry Clean Only:
The often overlooked or ignored label because of the utter inconvenience and expense that is related to dry cleaning. It is also the way to make sure that you get some longevity out of your purchase. Because the materials that call for dry cleaning will lose their shape when they are submerged in water, sucking up the cost may be worthwhile.
The solvents (like tetrachloroethyle) and temperatures used in the process are what make dry cleaning work for some of our most delicate fabrics. Fabrics that are not big fans of water like cashmere, silk, and wool should never be thrown in the washer. Other combinations of fabrics (that you think should go in the washer) may need dry cleaning as well because of how they work together. If thrown in the wash, the shape of the garment may be lost.
So what does this mean?
While we wish that every one of our purchases only needed the washer on regular setting and drying on medium to high, this is a surefire way to ruin your wardrobe. Taking the extra steps will ensure that your relationship will last a long, long time.