A friend of mine recently asked “how can I make my clothing last longer”. To be honest, her question took me by surprise, but when I thought about it a little more, it made a lot of sense.
Besides the fact that the beginning of the year traditionally has a way of making all of us take a closer look at how we are spending our hard earned dollars, there are a number of other reasons that people look for ways to make their clothing last longer.
You may have paid more than usual for an item of clothing you just could not resist, or the clothing may have some sort of sentimental value. For example, if you ran your first marathon, the T-shirt you were given at the event will mean a whole lot to you and you’ll want it to last. If you wear a uniform for work, you’ll want to keep the uniform looking good for as long as possible.
So how do you go about ensuring your clothing looks good for long periods of time?
Our first piece of advice is somewhat tongue in cheek, but also a fair consideration:
- Monitor your weight. Changes in your body shape will affect the way that your clothes look on you.
- Read the labels. Believe it or not, the labels on your clothing are not added just to irritate you. Before you cut them off, check them to see what is recommended or best to avoid. Check out a handy list of label symbols and what they mean at: www.textileaffairs.com/lguide.htm.
- Take care with your laundry, ensure that you:
- Separate your colours effectively
- Use the correct amounts of detergent and softener
- Take care when using a tumble dryer
- Do not leave laundry wet or damp (besides the offensive smell, it’s just not great for the fabric)
- If hanging your washing out to dry, ensure you hang your garments inside-out. This will prevent the sun faded look.
- Be very careful when ironing your clothes.
- It can be tempting to set the iron very hot as it is quicker and easier to get your result, but heat is damaging. Sort your ironing pile according to fabric type. Start ironing the silks and synthetics (low heat) then move on to wool (medium heat) and finally cottons and linens (high heat).
- Placing foil under your ironing board cover will halve your ironing time
- To prevent those nasty stains that can be spewed out by your iron, make sure you use only distilled water and not water direct from the tap.
- Like we suggested above about hanging your washing in the sun inside-out, we also recommend ironing dark and coloured garments inside-out.
- Garments with embroidered designs should be ironed over a towel (with the design element facing the towel) to avoid flattening the design.
- Hang up, fold and put clothing away as soon as possible.
- Try your best to prevent stains, but if you do find some delicious pasta sauce has splashed onto your favorite shirt, make sure not to allow the stain to set. If nothing else is available, treat it with some water. We’ll expand on this in a future blog.
Bonus tip (which will not make your clothing last longer, but will make it feel fresher) is to add a little lavender oil to water in a spray bottle. Spray onto clothing when ironing.
We hope these tips will help you make your clothes last a little longer. If you have some more tips to add, please drop us a comment below.