Expert Advice For Clothing Care: Top Tips

We often emphasise the importance of mindful purchasing, opting for ethically made pieces, minimising overconsumption, and making sustainable choices. Yet, fabric care tends to be overlooked. 

Properly caring for our garments not only ensures their longevity, but also significantly reduces our environmental footprint. Here’s a quick guide on how to care for different fabrics, extending the lifespan of your wardrobe staples while contributing to a more sustainable fashion ecosystem.

Cotton: 

Cotton is one of the most common fabrics which is versatile and timeless. However, one of the fabric’s downfalls is that it is prone to shrinking.

To maintain cotton’s longevity, opt for gentle washing cycles or handwashing, and avoid high heat during drying. Line drying or flat drying is ideal to prevent shrinkage, ensuring your cotton pieces retain their shape and size.

Wool: 

Renowned for its warmth qualities, wool requires special attention to prevent shrinking. Dry cleaning or handwashing is the safest option, especially for delicate wool items. 

Knit: 

Knitted fabrics offer comfort and flexibility, but their care requirements vary based on stability. While stable knits retain their shape well, unstable ones may stretch beyond recognition if subjected to high heat. Always read labels and opt for air-drying to preserve the elasticity and stretch of knitted garments.

Silk:

Silk, once a luxury reserved for the elite, is now a staple in many wardrobes. Due to its delicate nature, dry cleaning or handwashing is recommended to maintain its luxurious texture and appearance.

Top Care Tips:

  • Wash at Low Temperatures: Opt for lower-temperature wash cycles to conserve energy and preserve fabric integrity.
  • Wash Less: Reserve washing for when garments are truly needed, as excessive washing can damage fibres, decrease longevity and cost more.
  • Pay Attention to Care Labels: Different fabrics require specific care methods. Follow instructions diligently to avoid damage.
  • Cut Down on Dry Cleaning: Explore alternatives to dry cleaning, such as gentle washing cycles, to minimise your environmental impact.
  • Use Eco-Friendly Products: Opt for biodegradable laundry detergents and eco-friendly cleaning services to reduce chemical exposure and environmental harm.
  • Air Dry: Conserve energy and protect fabrics from potential damage caused by tumble drying.
  • Store Properly: Store garments in a cool, dry environment to prevent deterioration. You can even try natural remedies like lavender or moth balls to deter pests that could damage your clothing.
  • Repair Damage: Address garment damage promptly to prolong its lifespan and reduce waste.
  • Alter or Refresh: Explore alterations or upcycling old garments that no longer fit or align with current style preferences, giving them a new lease on life.

Incorporating these fabric care guidelines into your routine not only extends the lifespan of your clothes but also generates a more sustainable approach to fashion consumption. 

Bobbins & Buttons specialise in providing sustainable fabric choices for all. Our extensive array of fabrics focuses on sustainability while not affecting the designs or colours. We also provide a range of patterns available in PDF and paper form, so you can build your perfect wardrobe!

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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