How to Care for Different Types of Fabrics | Care Instructions For Different Fabrics
Some fabrics are easy to maintain, and others are plush but also very delicate. The material of your garment has a washing instructions label – next to the series of symbols that tell you what to do and especially not to do to clean your garment. For mixed textiles, these symbols are always based on the most fragile fabric.
An overview of the care and maintenance of most common fabrics:
Cotton is a natural and robust fiber, widely used for centuries and still today by the textile industry, for bed linen, bath towels, or outerwear. Good quality cotton is solid and durable. Typical cotton materials are, for example, cotton flannel, corduroy, finely ribbed cotton, terrycloth, and also the denim of our beloved jeans.
Depending on the weave, the cotton is washable up to 95 ° C – the washing instructions label will give you more information!
Usually, ironable on level 2 – good to know because cotton tends to wrinkle slightly.
The natural fiber of flax is pleasantly soft on the skin, durable, lint-free, and quite immune to dirt. The impressive structure and refined appearance are typical. Linen is used in different fields, such as for decoration and furnishing fabrics, bed linen, and clothes. Due to its low elasticity, linen shrinks quickly and creases easily – proper care is all the more important!
Linen is generally washable up to 60 ° C. It is preferable to iron slightly damp or steam linen on level 3.
Please note, no tumble dry for linen!
Wool is the oldest textile fiber in the world and is from the fleece of sheep. Thanks to its good insulating properties, wool is really warm – it is perfect for sweaters, socks, and blankets.
Typical fabrics are tweed, flannel, and felt. The wool is very supple, wonderfully soft, and almost wrinkle-resistant! But if the wool is not cared for properly, it can easily shrink and fray.
Wool is as beautiful as it requires care. Often, it is washable only by hand and only with detergent for delicate textiles or specially adapted for wool. To iron wool, place a towel between the iron and the wool and iron as far as possible on level 2. Absolutely forbid dryer for wool!
Silk is lavish of all-natural fibers and is from the cocoon of the silkworm. Chiffon, barrette, organza, satin, and taffeta are typical applications of silk. This luxury material is often used in fashion, for example, for blouses, scarves, and chic details.
In summer, silk is pleasantly refreshing, and in winter, it brings a feeling of warmth. In addition, this wrinkle-resistant material seduces with its refined shine and its soft and fluid drape. However, silk is sensitive to sunlight, sweat, deodorant, and rubbing.
Silk is a luxurious material, very soft on the skin, which deserves all the respects as such – to take care of it, it is good to respect several things:
- Wash silk quickly at temperatures between 20 ° C and 30 ° C by hand or in the washing machine with the program for delicate fabrics. You have to choose a suitable detergent that washes gently, for example, wool & Silk. However, no dry cleaning for some types of silk – the washing instruction label then gives precise information.
- To avoid water stains, the garment should always be washed completely. Avoid stain removers!
- The silk item should not be spun and under no circumstances land in the dryer. Instead, sponge it gently in a towel and dry preferably flat, out of direct sunlight.
- Ironing is possible upside down up to level 2 and without exerting pressure!
Viscose comes from the chemical treatment of natural cellulose fiber. It is smoother than cotton, very soft, and supple in the drape. Viscose is often used for fabric blends with cotton, wool, linen, or other artificial fibers. It has a refined shine and particularly brilliant colors.
With improper care, viscose fabrics shrink quickly, wrinkle, and deform quickly.
Viscose is washable at 40 ° C maximum with detergent for delicate textiles. Viscose textiles can be ironed on level 2, and there too: no tumble drying!
Acetate is obtained by chemical treatment of natural cellulose and the addition of acetic acid. It has similarities to silk in its refined sheen, soft and fluid drape. Acetate is frequently used for clothing and linings. This material can be dyed in bright colors; it is wrinkle-resistant and dries very quickly. Nevertheless, acetate textiles are heat sensitive and do not last very long.
These textiles can be washed in the washing machine on the program for delicate textiles, at 30 ° C maximum, with a detergent for delicate textiles. When washing by hand, the textile should always be washed completely to avoid unsightly water spots. Acetate textiles are ironed at low temperatures. Tip: It is better to do without stain removers and the dryer!
Polyamide is a synthetic fiber obtained from petroleum by a chemical technical process. There are two types of polyamide: perlon and nylon. Polyamide is frequently used for crepe yarns, stockings, tights, lingerie, linings, and weather protective clothing.
Polyamide is very robust and elastic, hardly creases, and dries quickly. Nonetheless, polyamide textiles become charged with static electricity and are very sensitive to heat.
Polyamide textiles are washable at 40 ° C maximum with detergent for delicate textiles and plenty of water.
Iron on level 1.
Polyamide textiles must not be dried in the sun or the dryer.
Polyacrylic is a synthetic fiber made from propylene, a powdery white substance. It is frequently used for pullovers, blankets, and faux fur because polyacrylic fibers are very thick and similar to wool. The polyacrylic fibers are very elastic, wrinkle-resistant, pleasantly soft, and keep you warm. Polyacrylic is nonetheless sensitive to heat and quickly charges with static electricity.
Polyacrylic textiles are washable at 40 ° C maximum with detergent for delicate textiles and plenty of water. If it is essential, iron on level 1, and here too, it is better to do without the dryer!
Polyester is a synthetic fiber obtained largely from petroleum by a chemical technical process. It is often blended with wool or cotton for clothing, weather protection, decorative clothing, and technical fabrics such as sails and tarpaulins. Polyester fibers are particularly resistant to light and weathering and, therefore, resistant to climatic influences; they are also almost dimensionally stable, tear-resistant, and elastic. This material dries very quickly and hardly creases.
Polyester fabrics are washable at 40 ° C maximum with detergent for delicate textiles and plenty of water; no tumble drying! If this is really necessary, you can iron polyester textiles on level 2. But be careful! Avoid high temperatures as the material may melt.
Elastane is a synthetic fiber made from polyurethane, a special plastic material. It is used in the making of comfortable, fashionable clothes because this material is particularly stretchable. Typically the fibers are in blended textiles of underwear, stockings, swimwear, and stretch fabrics. It is virtually wrinkle-resistant, lasts a very long time, and is resistant to deodorants and sweat.
The elastane fabrics are washable at 40 ° C maximum with a special laundry and lots of water. Avoid dryer. If really necessary, you can iron spandex textiles on level 1.
11. Sympatex (eg, Gore-Tex®)
Sympatex is a synthetic fabric that consists of several layers associated with a membrane. It is simply versatile, breathable, and waterproof to allow body moisture to escape from the outside while preventing outside moisture from entering. It is used for sports, rain, or outdoor clothing.
Care depends on the fabrics of the outer layer and the lining – refer to the washing instructions label – otherwise:
- preferably use a special detergent, e.g., ex. Sport Aktiv, wash gently at temperatures between 30 ° C and 40 ° C,
- wring briefly, and do not tumble dry.