Tweed, cashmere, corduroy, fur, silk, and wool fabrics are all very popular during the winter months. They are great materials to stay warm and cozy when the temperature takes a dip. We tend to spend good money on them too so that we can look good and stay comfortable. But we have to take good care of them as well to extend their life. A cashmere shawl will cost a lot and you will naturally want it looking the best.
So how should you take care of your cold weather clothes? Check out these washing, drying, and storing instructions. I will also discuss individual fabrics a little later, in the second part of this article. I am sure you are going to find the information most useful. Take good care, and your cold weather clothing will last for long.
I once washed my cardigan in a washing machine and the result was a complete disaster. Ouch! I learned my lesson. Since then, I always wash my warm outfits by hand. Hard washing may lead to shrinking, so beware. But also keep in mind to use cold or lukewarm water instead of hot because it spoils woolen clothes at times. Go for mild detergents as for better results.
Keep it in a Ventilated Area:
I never store my winter outfits in a congested place. My wardrobe is ventilated and there are passages from which air passes by. This is good because there won’t be any smell on my clothing. It is also important to hang the coats in a hanger and fold the sweaters properly.
I might have mentioned not to use washing machines for woolen clothes but dry cleaning could be an option. I wear my winter clothes throughout the season and then finally go for dry cleaning. But I only go for the most expensive outfits because I don’t like taking the risk of washing it at home. The decision could be bad.
Do Not Iron Velvet:
You have to be careful with velvet. It demands a lot of care. There are some rules for maintaining a velvet outfit. And the most important rule is, you should never iron it. You will spoil it, and may even burn it. Always keep this in mind.
Do Not Spray Directly:
We often commit this mistake and even I have done this several times. Never spray perfume directly to your woolen clothes. This could lead to stains which can be impossible to remove later.
Flat Surface Drying:
Clothes made of natural wool fabrics should never be exposed to the sun when wet. When you do this, you run the risk of ruining it. The threads may start coming out. You should always dry it on a flat surface at a place that is not exposed to the sun directly. That is the more efficient way to dry them.
Do not crumble your warm jackets and cardigans. You should roll or fold them gently instead, more so when you are travelling. We sometimes pack in a hurry and literally dump things in our suitcases. But this is just not the way. Warm outfits need extra care and that should be certainly provided. With proper maintenance, you will extend their lives, and keep using them for many more years.
Fabric Care Guide
How to Take Care of Your Cashmere
- Always hand wash your cashmere with lukewarm water.
- Wash in a clean sink. Make sure that there is no cleaning product residue or food that can harm or stain your cashmere.
- Apply only a little gentle detergent.
- Best dry clean the cashmere, especially if there are stains. Turn your garment inside out.
- Never wring the cashmere.
- Gently press excess water and lay it on a flat surface to dry. Do not tumble dry.
- Never hang it for drying. This can stretch it beyond recognition.
- Air-dry naturally. Keep it away from direct sunlight.
- Do not iron your cashmere clothing directly. Use a pressing cloth, and make sure that you do not press too hard.
How to Take Care of Your Corduroy
- Corduroy garments can usually be machine washed. But first, check the care labels. Dry clean structured corduroy garments such as jackets.
- Turn it inside out and button/zip before washing.
- Wash dark colored garments in cold water as the dye in corduroy can run. You can wash light colored garments in warm water.
- Shake the garments once it is removed from water.
- Tumble dry on low heat to remove wrinkles.
- Take it out from the dryer while it is still damp. Smooth the pockets, shirt plackets, and seams.
- Always air dry.
- Ironing is not usually needed after air drying. But if you have to do it, then iron on the wrong side always. Use medium to high heat.
How to Take Care of Your Fur
- Always hang on a sturdy, broad hanger when not in use so that the shoulders don’t lose their shape. Make sure the hanger’s neck is long enough.
- Don’t hang in a garment bag, particularly a plastic bag that is not breathable. Fur clothing requires air circulation.
- Jewelry should never be pinned to the fur clothing, and this may mat the fur.
- Wear a scarf always around your neck to prevent makeup from soiling the fur.
- Don’t apply perfume or hairspray directly. The alcohol can dry the hides.
- Shake the fur to remove water if you get caught in snow or rain.
- Cleaning is best done by professionals. Go to a professional fur cleaner, and not a dry cleaner.
- Store away from direct sunlight.
How to Take Care of Your Silk
- Dry cleaning is best. This is the best way to maintain the luster and softness of silk. You will dissolve oil and grease more effectively with dry cleaning.
- Hand wash separately if you have to. Remember, silk is more delicate.
- Rinse in cold water. Warm water is too rough for silk.
- Always use a mild detergent.
- Spot-treating can cause serious damage to the fabric. Wash off entirely.
- Remember, silk will not be able to withstand twisting or wringing. Roll in a cotton cloth or towel to get rid of the excess water.
- Smoothen out the wrinkles.
- Dry away from sunlight, in a shaded place.
- Store in a fabric bag.