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Care Guide

Your Guide to Fabric Care Symbols.
Fabric care labels may now use symbols instead of words.

Machine wash 30°c
Hand wash
Do not iron
Iron low heat
Do not dryclean
Do not tumble dry
Do not bleach

THE ULTIMATE FABRIC CARE GUIDE: CLEANING, DRYING, IRONING, AND STORING

ACRYLIC

Acrylic can be made into fuzzy knits, or made to look and feel like cotton. Acrylic is generally soft and warm and resists wrinkles and shrinkage, but can be sensitive to pilling. It can be used to make such things as sweaters, socks, fleece and throw blankets.

Cleaning: Be sure to check the care label in the garment for washing instructions. Machine-wash in cool water on a gentle cycle or wash by hand. Do not wring the garment.

Drying: Tumble dry on low heat settings while the dryer drum is cool or as recommended on the care label. Or, skip the dryer, reshape the garment and lay flat to dry.

Ironing: Iron acrylic on a low setting.

Storing: Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

CASHMERE

Cashmere’s super soft fibers make it the ultimate in luxury. But contrary to popular belief, you can wash cashmere by following these simple tips.

Cleaning: Cashmere can be cleaned in a washing machine that doesn’t have an agitator using the hand wash or wool cycle. Don’t wring garments when hand washing as this could damage the fibers.

Drying: After washing, reshape the garment and lay flat to dry away from direct heat or sunlight. To remove excess water after washing, gently roll the garment in a towel. Although air-drying is best for cashmere garments, they can also be placed in the machine dryer on a drying rack that’s available as an accessory to many home dryers. The garments are not tumbled but air is flowed through them to speed the drying process. For this option, use the air cycle on your dryer.

Ironing: Use the wool or steam setting on a warm iron.

Storing: Store cashmere in a cool, dry place. Lay garments flat to prevent damage to the fibers. Cedar chests are ideal, but cedar chips, mothballs or a mothproofed closet also work well to prevent insects from eating away at the fibers. For long-term storage, dry clean first to keep moths at bay, as this removes the body oils they are attracted to.

Hint: The agitator is the arm that rotates during the wash cycle to get clothes squeaky clean. But not all washers need an agitator. So if you are washing a cashmere garment, look for one of these washers.

COTTON

Cotton breathes, making it cool and comfortable year-round. This strong fabric wears well and is used in a variety of textiles, including jeans, twill, corduroy, seersucker and, of course, the ever-popular cotton T-shirt.

Cleaning: While the care information for all cotton fabrics is similar, garments should be separated by weight. Lightweight cottons like T-shirts and knits should be washed and dried separately from heavier fabrics like denim. Machine-wash in a water temperature appropriate for the color of the load. Wash on a cycle that’s appropriate for the construction of the items in the load. Use a gentle cycle for loosely woven of knitted cotton garments.

Drying: Tumble dry while dryer drum is cool on low heat settings or as recommended on care label. Or, you can reshape the garment and lay flat to dry.

Ironing: Use the cotton setting on a warm iron while the garment is still damp.

Storing: Cotton is sensitive to mildew and acid. Dry garment thoroughly before storing. Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

LEATHER

Available in a variety of textures, colors and finishes, leather is a durable material that gets even more beautiful with age. These simple tips will keep your leather looking great for years to come.

Cleaning: We recommend consulting a specialist for cleaning leather garments. Gently blot liquid stains with a clean cloth or wipe with a clean, damp cloth. For mildew stains on leather garments, apply antiseptic mouthwash to the affected area.

Drying: If your leather becomes wet, allow it to dry naturally at room temperature. Machine drying and dry cleaning are not recommended for leather fabrics.

Ironing: Wrinkles and creases in leather should fall out when garments are hung. If ironing is necessary, place heavy brown paper over the leather and use a cool to medium iron. Avoid overheating leather, which will cause it to shine.

Storing: Hang leather apparel on wide wooden, plastic or padded hangers to help maintain its shape. Store leather in a well-ventilated, cool, dry place. Avoid hot areas like attics and damp areas such as cellars. When storing, cover leather garments with a breathable clothe like a cotton sheet. Plastic bags or coverings may cause excessive drying. Avoid exposing leather to direct sunlight or heat for prolonged periods of time.

LINEN

Linen is very absorbent and a good conductor of heat, making it a warm-weather favorite. This strong fabric gets softer and finer with every wash.

Cleaning: Be sure to check the care label in the garment for washable linen. Machine wash linen garments in a temperature appropriate for the color of the item. Be careful not to overload the washing machine. Linen can soak up more water during the wash cycle than most other fibers, so it cleans more thoroughly when the machine is not packed to capacity.

Drying: Dry white linens in the sun when possible to help them stay white. Tumble dry on low or hang dry.

Ironing: Linen may require frequent ironing. To eliminate creases, turn the garment inside out using the steam setting on a hot iron. If you want to enhance the fabric’s natural sheen, iron the item again on the outside of the fabric.

Storing: Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Hang linen garments in plastic bags to prevent wrinkling in storage.

LYCRA/SPANDEX

Lycra and Spandex are elastic fibers. Seldom used alone, they are combined with other fibers to give garments a comfortable stretch. Used in casual wear, athletic wear, and swimwear.

Cleaning: Be sure to check the care label in the garment for washing instructions. Wash in warm (not hot) water. Do not use liquid chlorine bleach, as it can lead to fiber breakage.

Drying: Tumble dry on low heat settings while dryer drum is cool or as recommended on care label. Or, you can drip dry or lay flat to dry.

Ironing: Iron only if necessary, on a low setting

Storing: Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

NYLON

Nylon is a smooth, lightweight fabric. It has good elasticity, and resists shrinkage and wrinkles. Used in intimate apparel, hosiery, socks, swimwear and waterproof outerwear.

Cleaning: Be sure to check the care label in the garment for washing instructions. In general, wash in warm or cold water on a gentle cycle, or wash by hand. Chlorine bleach can cause yellowing, so use only when needed.

Drying: Follow care label for specific drying instructions. Tumble dry on a low heat setting on a permanent press cycle that includes a cool-down. Remove promptly to prevent wrinkling. Or, drip dry or lay flat to dry.

Ironing: Iron on a low setting and only if necessary.

Storing: Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

POLYESTER

Polyester is the most widely used synthetic fiber. It can be made with a variety of characteristics to change the look and feel. It can also be blended with other fibers to add strength and durability. Polyester has good elasticity, and is shrink- and wrinkle-resistant.

Cleaning: Be sure to check the care label in the garment for washing instructions. In general, wash in warm water because the fibers tend to attract oily soils.

Drying: Dry using a permanent press cycle with cool-down. Remove promptly to avoid wrinkling.

Ironing: Iron on a low setting and only if necessary.

Storing: Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

RAYON

Rayon drapes well and has a soft, silky appearance. Since the fabric’s fibers are weak, rayon garments require careful handling.

Cleaning: Check the garment label for the recommended cleaning method. For washable rayon, wash in cool water on the gentle cycle. Remove rayon garments from the washing machine immediately and reshape to minimize wrinkling and increase the fabric’s lifetime.

Drying: To remove excess water after cleaning, roll the garment in a towl, then reshape and hang on a padded hanger to dry.

Ironing: When necessary, use the steam setting on a warm iron and a dry pressing cloth on the inside of the garment.

Storing: Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

WASHABLE SILK

Known for its lustrous sheen and luxurious elegance, silk is surprisingly comfortable. This versatile fabric absorbs moisture, making it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Cleaning: Only pre-washed silk is machine washable, so be sure to check the care label of the garment. For washable silk, machine wash in cool water using the hand wash or silk cycle. When hand washing silk garments, use mild soap and lukewarm water.

Drying: You can only machine dry pre-washed silk, so be sure to check the care label of the garment before drying. To air dry, reshape the garment after washing and hang or lay flat to dry.

Ironing: Use a delicate setting on a cool iron.

Storing: Store in a cool, dry place, sealed against light, air and insects.

WASHABLE WOOL

Although most people think of wool as a cold-weather favorite, wool’s breathable fibers make it a comfortable wardrobe option all year long. This easy-to-care-for fabric is strong, durable and resists soil and wrinkles.

Cleaning: After every wear, empty the pockets to prevent bulging or sagging. Treat stains immediately. Small stains can be rinsed with cold water or seltzer and blotted dry with a clean cloth. Follow care labeling instructions for method of cleaning. If labeled “hand wash,” use your washer’s hand wash or wool cycle with cool water. Easy care wool knits can be cleaned on the gentle or wool cycle of your washer with warm water. Dry cleaning once a season is usually sufficient.

Drying: Dry on a flat surface away from direct heat or sunlight. To remove excess water after washing, gently roll in a towel. Wool can be machine dried on the air cycle using a drying rack, an accessory available on many home dryers. With a drying rack, garments do not tumble, but air flows through them to speed the drying process.

Ironing: Use the wool or steam setting on a warm iron. When traveling with wool garments, loosely roll or fold with tissue to keep the fabric’s shape and avoid wrinkles. Major wrinkled smooth out when hung in a steamy bathroom.

Storing: Store wool in a cool, dry place. Lay garments flat to prevent damage to the fibers. Cedar chests are ideal, but cedar chips, mothballs, or a mothproofed closet also work well to prevent insects from eating away at the fibers. For long-term storage, dry clean first to keep moths at bay, as this removes the body oils they are attracted to.

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