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In your closet or your home, different fabrics require your care.  You should know how often they need cleaning, what type of cleaning they need, and which can be taken in the dryer.  These will ensure that these fabrics last longer, making you enjoy them in their tiptop shape, color, and feel.  Also, caring for materials largely depends on their application and fiber content.

How to keep an eye on your common household textiles

Soft furnishings are the fabrics found in your home.  They include linens in your bathroom, sheets in your bedroom, and draperies in your living room.  To be more specific, these are your bathroom ensembles, table linens, bedsheets, blankets, curtains, rugs, and upholstery fabrics.

Bath and dish towels

Bath towels are usually made of cotton.  To name a few, there are organic cotton, Turkish cotton, and Egyptian cotton. These are soft, fluffy, and durable and are ideal for absorbing and soaking moisture. To care for your towels at home, you must completely dry them between each use. Regular laundry is sufficient to clean towels. It is ideal to change and wash them after three uses.

Beddings and table linens

Your bed sheets, blankets, and pillowcases usually come in a set. These are sourced from the same type of fabric, which can be linen, cotton, synthetics, or silk. Preferably, bedsheets and pillowcases should be changed and washed weekly. If you have duvet covers, clean them every two weeks to a month. You can stretch your blanket’s cleaning time up to two to three months.

When washing, separate colors from light, white linens. Dyes can easily bleed through and ruin pure white linen. You can fill your machine only halfway since this fabric needs a little more water than others to get clean.

Hand-wash your silk bedding set using a gentle soap. Hang it out to dry. Never iron silk fabrics, or you will risk burning them.

Table linens are usually made from polyester or lace. Used on the table, they are most likely stained by food spillage. Remember not to wash table linens and towels together, otherwise, they will come out covered in lint. Washing after use is recommended.

Carpets and rugs

These are usually natural fibers (cotton or wool) and synthetic fibers (nylon, polypropylene, or polyester). Depending on the type of weave and if you have a pet, carpets and rugs should be vacuumed at least twice a week.

Easily toss your synthetic or natural-fiber flatweaves in your machine. Check the care label to be sure, but usually, it can tolerate a cold and gentle wash cycle. If you are confident to wash your rugs with more intricate weaves at home, you will need a soft-bristled brush, mild soap diluted in water, and a garden hose. You can also spot-clean with a stain remover and a small brush. After machine or handwashing them, it is best to air-dry them to prevent shrinkage.

How to take care of your clothing

Clothes give you coverage for your body and open a channel for self-expression and personality. When you wear a properly maintained outfit, you get compliments from others, making you feel good about yourself.  Proper cleaning and maintenance of your garments also contribute to your health and well-being.

Through the years, clothes manufacturing has significantly evolved. Today, clothes are made from a wide range of different materials. Being aware of fabric types equips you with knowledge on how to best care for your family’s wardrobe.

Cotton

Cotton is the usual material used to make shirts, dresses, and underwear. A light, soft natural fabric, cotton is the most popular material in the world. It is comfortable, versatile, and durable. It is hypoallergenic and breathes well, though it doesn’t dry quickly and it can wrinkle and shrink.

Since cotton is durable, use the washing machine without worrying about any adverse effects. Use warm water and color-safe detergent. Tumble dry low or air-dry to prevent shrinking.

Linen

More robust than cotton, linen is a lightweight fabric from natural fibers.  It is absorbent, cool, smooth, and durable. It is machine-washable but needs regular ironing, as it creases easily. Besides household textiles, it can also be in clothing, including suits, jackets, dresses, blouses, and trousers.

Never wash linen clothing at a temperature of more than 60 degrees Celsius. If you can, hang your linens out to dry. Tumble drying them might cause creases and shrinkage.

Denim

Denim is a type of woven cotton twill fabric. Mostly dyed with indigo to create blue jeans, it is also used for jackets and dresses. It boasts of its vivid texture, sturdiness, durability, and comfortableness.

Unlike most of your clothes, throwing your denim in the machine is recommended after around ten wears. That is if there is no visible dirt. When washing, put your machine in the gentle or delicate setting while choosing the coldest water option.  A small amount of detergent will suffice before running the cycle. It is also best to air-dry your pieces of denim.

Synthetics

Synthetics are made from several fabric types: nylon, polyester, and spandex.   Nylon is often seen in outerwear, including jackets and parkas. Polyester is made into T-shirts, trousers, skirts, and sportswear.  They don’t shrink and are usually resistant to water-based stains. Spandex, also known as Lycra, created a buzz for its lightweight, elasticity, and strength when blended with several fiber types. This comfortable, form-fitting material is often used in jeans, hosiery, dresses, sportswear, and swimwear.

Synthetic fabrics are easy to maintain.  Like cotton, they can tolerate the tumble dry low setting.  After use, pop them in the machine and use regular detergent. For nylon coats and jackets, wash them after four to five wears.  When you do, consider using a fabric softener to prevent static electricity.

Wool

Wool’s natural fiber comes from animals like sheep, goats, llama, or alpaca.  Although hairy and itchy, wool keeps the body warm in the cold and winter season.  It is durable, long-lasting, and wrinkle-free.  Wool is primarily utilized in sweaters, socks, and gloves.

Avoid frequently washing your wool. This will shorten the life of your clothing and wear the fabric out prematurely. If you wear them sporadically, once-a-season washing is enough. Regularly worn, add one more wash in a season. Wool is an incredibly delicate fabric, so treat it with care. Soaking wool in cold water before washing will help prevent shrinkage. If you can, it is better to wash your wool by hand. Always dry them naturally.

Lace

The lace used to come from silk and linen, but they are now made with cotton thread, wool, or synthetic fibers. They are specially made into bridal gowns and veils, though they can be found in shirts and nightgowns. The lace’s design and ground fabric, which holds the pattern together, make it valuable.

To avoid ruining your lace’s intricate design, hand washing with cold water is strongly recommended. Gently massage the soapy water onto the fabric and just let it soak. Rinse well and gently squeeze the excess water out before air-drying.

Silk

Famous for its smooth touch and a shimmering look, silk comes from the silkworm’s cocoon in China, South Asia, and Europe. It is hypoallergenic, durable, and strong. However, it is difficult to clean and delicate to handle. Many wedding and evening gowns, shirts, suits, skirts, lingerie, ties, and scarves are silk. The two most popular types are Shantung and Kashmir silk.

Take great care when washing silk and cashmere. They’re remarkably delicate and can be easily damaged. You can place them inside a pillowcase or washing bag to protect your items. This is to prevent agitating the fabric from your washer’s rapid rotations. Needless to say, avoid tumble drying and choose to air dry to make them last longer.

Laundry is hardly an enjoyable household chore, and it’s always tempting to take shortcuts.  However, taking the time to do it right is worth the effort.  Remember that your soft furnishings and family wardrobe represent a considerable investment of time, effort, and creativity.  Lack of care can cost you a fortune.

Spandex Warehouse sells different textiles, from polyester, lace, denim, and other kinds of fabrics for upholstery, curtains, dresses, lingerie, and many more. For more details, you can call us at 213-629-7416 or send us an email at [email protected]