A common question we get asked is ‘how to wash handmade clothing.’ We all know there’s many ways to wash your clothing: from taking it to the dry cleaners, hand washing, using a machine. But what exactly is the best option when washing handmade clothing?
Some important things to remember about handmade clothing.
It is important to remember that a handmade garment is made (most likely) by one individual. Handmade clothing is focused on the process of being “slow”.
Being “slow” is a quality of the “Slow movement”. We talk about this movement in our previous post The basics for quitting fast fashion. But in case you’ve forgotten:
a cultural revolution which fights against the need for thing such as fast fashion, food and consumerism. It’s focused on doing everything at just the right speed, focusing on quality over quantity.
Without the aid of heavy machinery and mass production machines, your seamstress will be constantly amending tensions and machinery to get it just right. This takes a lot longer than doing a mass production of one product.
Having limited resources also means that testing every thing regarding the fabrics is also more difficult. So they’re unable to give the best recommendations for aftercare on every garment.
This is especially difficult for own brand where everything we make are a complete one-off item and each selection is made in limited qualities. Take a look at our shop to see our one-off garments.
Top Recommendation for washing: Hand Wash.
I can’t recommend this way enough. A handmade garment is so much more delicate to your everyday high street garment. I mean you really don’t want to ruin it? Do you?
It is the most delicate method of washing clothing. It is also recommended for wool items (in a washing machine these can shrink). The bonus is that it also increases the longevity of your item. Helps the garment to maintain its quality.
How to Hand Wash Clothing.
Pretreat the garment for any stains. We recommend using chemical free solutions. Remember to the turn the garment inside out as well after.
Fill a tub with room temperature water and add in some delicate wash detergent.
Add your item to the tub submerging them and mixing them in the water. After this leave the garments for around 30minutes.
Rinse well using cold water until no more soapy solution runs from the garment.
Remove excess water by squeezing and twisting the garment (delicately). Then lay the item flat and roll in a towel and leave for an hour.
After this hand your garment to dry naturally and to avoid the garment creasing too much so that an iron isn’t needed badly.
How to wash handmade clothing when you have to use a washing machine.
Washing machines are great. But I wouldn’t always recommend them if your washing a handmade garment. Why? They can be unpredictable with how they treat your garment! There’s also a lot more rough and tumble with a washing machine.
But, some washing machines do come with a hand wash option. Which allows for a gentler spin. I would recommend this with a low heat setting.
Ensure that the garment is always turned inside out when using a washing machine and that you use the correct amount of detergent to weight.
Or take your handmade clothing to the dry cleaners.
This is usually the safest option to washing your handmade garment. By leaving it in the hands of trained professionals they will know the best method for looking after your garment. It will also comeback beautifully pressed and in shape, what could be better?
How to remove creases from a handmade garment.
You know how to wash handmade clothing, but you know the aftercare? There are a variety of different ways to remove the creases. This can sometimes be the most lengthy stage of the process, especially if you’re taking extra care and caution.
Hang to dry
by using this method you’re allowing the garment to naturally hang and the creases to fall. Even though this is a great method, sometimes no all of the creases will fall.
Use a steamer
Using this method is great as you can use the steam to target the problem areas. One issue is that you can lay the garment flat and really get rid of the deep creases. However it is great for delicate items.
Press with a cloth
Having your iron on a low heat and pressing with a cloth is a safe method. You can use a tea towel or scrap material to do so. This is so that the garment isn’t in direct contact with the heat.
You can also use a spray bottle of water on the deeper creased areas to target the heat to when you place the iron on the garment. This is a traditional tailoring method.
We want our clothes to last forever.
Not only is it great for the planet having a long lasting wardrobe. But it also works wonders on our bank accounts. Which is Important for us to know how to wash handmade clothing.
When you find that perfect garment for your wardrobe, there is nothing you want more than to make your clothes last longer. There are many different techniques which you can follow:
A list of ways to make your clothes last longer:
1. Wash on cold. Hot water can shrink, fade and wrinkle fabrics. As well as being be economical and kinder to the planet, it ensures the durability of your clothing. Facts taken from Ge Appliances.
2. Wash inside out. This causes the wear and tear process to affect the inside of the garment rather the outside. This will maintain the the beauty of the garment.
3. Hand wash when possible. Hand sewn garments are very delicate. So washing by hand ensures less damage can be done to the garment.
4. Wash inside a Mesh Bag. Laundry mesh bags once again help garments from being damaged when washed in a machine.
5. Repair your clothing. When repairing your clothing it is important to work with interfacing, this helps to strengthen the repair area. You can also use patches to cover larger tears. There are many different ways on how you can get creative with mending your clothing.
6. Air dry your clothing on a hanger. This means that the wrinkles will fall out when drying and less likely to then require heat from ironing which can damage clothing further.