To dry clean, machine wash, or hand wash your delicate fabrics? That is the question – and failing to select the correct method of cleaning can have some dire consequences on the future of your clothing, garments, and fine linens. How you wash largely boils down to the fabrics your clothing or garments are made of. To help you preserve your clothing and linens, we’ll take a closer look at the basics of washing specific fabrics and proper clothing care before washing.

Fabric Treatment Washing: What You Need to Know

First things first: Pre-treatment is essential for any washable natural fibers. Why? Because there’s shrinkage that’s going to occur when you wash your clothing at home. Make sure that you’re doing this with any washable natural fibers.

Certain articles of clothing and garments need special treatment. Often, this special treatment required is dry cleaning. Let’s take a look at some specific examples and how you should care for and wash certain fabrics:

How to Clean Sweaters

Wool sweaters are a go-to garment during the cold weather months, but this fabric also easily shrinks if it’s not washed correctly. Wondering how to wash sweaters without damaging them? Start by checking the tag. Some wool sweaters are machine washable, but should never be washed in cold water, which can shrink the garment. However, if the tag explicitly says “dry clean only,” make sure you follow that direction to avoid damage. Even in cases where the tag doesn’t instruct dry cleaning, it’s often the better bet to preserve your sweaters.

How to Wash Silk Clothing

Some silk can be machine washed, but your best bet with silk is likely going to be taking it to your local dry cleaner. If you can machine wash silk garments, be sure to use a gentle detergent to prevent the tightening of the silk weave patterns. You should never machine-dry silk. Always roll it to remove excess water and then leave it to hang dry.

How to Wash Linen

If you want to preserve linen colors, you should always be looking to dry clean garments made from this fabric. While many people opt to hand or machine wash, doing so should be carried out at your own risk. If you do machine wash your linen, be sure to never overload the washer and use a non-bleach detergent. After any linen garments have gone through the wash cycle, be sure to hang dry them. Even a gentle tumble dry can lead to damage.

When in doubt, it’s always best to take any garments and articles of clothing to a professional dry cleaner for service. For more information, contact Rema LLC today.

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