In spring we usually see many garments made of cotton and linen fibers and crepe yarns. Cotton and linen are natural, lightweight fibers that can add versatility and flair to any spring wardrobe. Dresses and outfits made of crepe are also popular. Crepe fabrics can be identified by their crinkled appearance, and are usually made of wool, silk, rayon, acetate, or polyester.
Taking care of these garments is important to keep them looking fresh and crisp for springs to come. Here are some tips on how to care for these fabrics properly.
Most cottons can be washed, but some require drycleaning, so it is important to check the instructions on the care label before cleaning.
Separate colors before washing. Many cottons may bleed.
Check the care label for special ironing instructions. Most easy care cottons such as those labeled “wash and wear” and “little or no ironing” need only a cool iron. Save the “cotton” setting for untreated cottons, such as handkerchiefs or tablecloths.
Most cottons should be ironed on the right side. One exception is embossed or embroidered cottons, which should be ironed on the wrong side (face down), preferably on a padded cloth.
Due to its fiber composition, most crepe garments are “Dryclean Only.”
Crepe is extremely susceptible to shrinkage when exposed to moisture. This is especially true for crepes that contain wool, silk, or rayon. Home stain removal on crepe garments may also result in localized shrinkage.
If the care label says it is safe to wash the garment, use cool water, rinse thoroughly, and extract lightly. Air dry. Do not tumble dry.
Finishing usually requires blocking the fabric to get it back to its original shape.
Linen is washable, but it can shrink if it has not been pre-shrunk by the manufacturer. Check the label before laundering.
If machine washing linens, use warm water and a short, gentle cycle.
Separate colors before washing. Many linens may bleed.
Dry linen garments on a clothing rack or hanger.
Have all pieces of your linen outfits drycleaned at the same time to avoid color discrepancies.
When pressing, use a high temperature with a spray mist or damp cloth.
If your linens have been treated with a wrinkle-resistant finish, use a lower setting on your iron.