August 28, 2011

Care and Maintenance: Cotton

Once you have some stylish clothes that fit properly, you have to make sure that you take care of them properly as well. In Part 1 of my Care and Maintenance series, I am going to cover the fabric you will most commonly encounter: Cotton.

You will find cotton in a wide variety of garments from t-shirts to sweaters. You will also find as many different care instructions. Some can be written simply, while others will provide nothing but symbols.

I will be the first to admit that keeping track of how to clean all of your various garments can get confusing. But I cannot stress enough how important it is to read the care instructions.

I have some cotton shirts that are dry clean only and some light cotton sweaters that are hand-wash only while other nearly identical pieces are machine wash and tumble dry.

This chart gives a basic rundown of the most commonly used symbols. I would recommend printing it out and posting it near your laundry room (or if you don’t have a washer/dryer, near your hamper).

Extra Tip : When hand-washing a knit item, like a sweater, basically just soak and rinse. Kneading or wringing will stretch out the fibers and cause the garment to lose it’s shape.

Extra Tip II : If washing a technical garment (athletic piece with some kind of moisture-wicking treatment) be careful not to put it in the dryer. It will lose it’s quick-dry ability.

This could quickly turn into a book, so if you have a specific question about how to care for your cotton garment, leave a comment or hit me up via email.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in the series: Leather.

Stay stylish,
- JJ