How Fashion Industry Insiders Preserve Their High-End Clothing (It works on the cheap stuff too!)
One of the big frustrations of owning higher end beautiful clothing pieces is knowing how to care for them.
How do you wash them?
Should you dry them in the dryer, hang dry or something else?
How can you make sure they look new for months? Even years?
Concerns like these can hold women back from buying nice clothing. In the back of your head, nestled deep in your memory bank… Is that time you shrunk, stained or wore out that beautiful blouse (dress, pants etc.)
And now it causes you to hesitate to pull the trigger and buy something really nice again.
Or you’re overly concerned and you can’t relax when you wear something nice out of a fear of accidentally ruining it.
In this tutorial we’ll cover some EASY to follow steps for washing and caring for your high-end clothing so they look beautiful for years to come.
These methods and principles help preserve high end clothing so you can wear them 30, 40 even 50 times and they’ll still look vibrant and new.
We will first go over How To Wash (and Dry) high-end clothing so they last.
Then we’ll move onto everyday maintenance that keeps your clothing looking beautiful.
What to do (and not do) when washing high-end clothing.
Let’s cover the basics first:
- Wash your high-end clothing in small loads.
- If you can wash them individually it’s actually best.
- ONLY use the Delicate Cycle.
- Only use COLD WATER.
- NEVER mix towels or sweaty workout clothes with your high end clothing.
- If you combine more than one piece make sure they are like colors that will not bleed.
- Make sure to wash similar fabrics together. (I.E. keep cottons together, silks together, and so on. Do not mix fabric types.
- Read the label. We know. Obvious. Yes but we’ve all done it. Or should we say, have not done it! And as a result something beautiful was ruined.
Remember that gorgeous cashmere sweater that turned into a fuzzy, (age-inappropriate) body-fit crop top because it was washed in the washer on a normal cycle? Ugh.
So read the label. And when in doubt go one step beyond what the label says. After all it’s your investment you’re preserving here!
***Not following these basic rules will result in ruining clothing.***
If the instructions for a blouse say to tumble dry low. Go the next step and set the dryer to air dry (no heat). Or better yet air dry… in actual air!
How to Wash and Care for Wool and Cashmere
For all Wool and Cashmere clothing they MUST be hand washed.
The washing machine can ruin clothing made with these fabrics. Even if it’s in cold water.
If your spin cycle runs too high you will find that the speed can pull apart the fabric of your clothes. So never put these items in a washer machine. Ever.
Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to care for wool and cashmere:
- To clean these items the first thing you need is a clean sink.
Make sure you clean it before putting your precious clothing in the sink. The last thing you want is to stain a piece of clothing with food from a dirty sink when you’re trying to clean it!
- Put 2 squirts of a delicate detergent (organic if you can) into the sink full of cold water. Turn the garment inside out. Then place it below the waterline so it is fully submerged in the water.
- You can swish it around gently to get the water and soap all over the garment. Then let the clothing soak for 10 minutes (set a timer to be safe).
- Now bring the clothing out of the water and smell it to see if it smells fresh. If it does not look or smell clean then add a dash more soap and repeat the process only this time only soak it for 5 additional minutes.
- Rinse the garment in cold water 2 times to remove the detergent, pressing out the water. Never wring or hang-dry, since wet wool and cashmere stretch easily.
- To dry the cashmere or wool you lay it flat. Do not hang dry or machine dry as this would ruin the clothing.
This brings a major piece of advice that you may or may not be currently doing.
Do not dry anything you care about in any heat. NOTHING!
Drying your clothes will change the way they fit. They will shrink. They will fade in color. They will not be the same. The fabric type does not matter.
If you have a beautiful piece of clothing that you love. Avoid the dryer!
3 Ways to Dry Your High-End Clothes
So how do you turn your clothes from clean and wet to dry?
1. LAY CLOTHING FLAT ON A COUNTERTOP TO DRY.
Is it a bit of a pain to find a spot in your home or apartment to lay a sweater flat on a counter? Yes it is. But it’s THE BEST WAY to preserve these clothes that can stretch.
If you were to hang a wool sweater on a hanger it would create a funny lumps where the shoulders are. Or it will stretch the neckline.
Either way it’s a bad look and it changes the way your clothing fit on you! That’s the most important part.
2. HANG DRY YOUR CLOTHING.
Again be careful not to hang anything that is heavy and would stretch. But for items like silk blouses or skirts this is a great option.
You can use actual hangers, line dry (be careful using clothespins on your beautiful clothes), towel bars even the backs of chairs or stools.
** There are silk hangers specifically created for silk that you can purchase as well.
3. USE THE “AIR DRY” SETTING (WITHOUT HEAT) TO DRY YOUR CLOTHING.
In this instance you are using the Dryer Machine but you are only using the no heat setting.
Put the least amount of clothing in the dryer as possible. IE 1-3 items of clothing. Only putting like fabric types in the machine at the same time.
Absolutely no towels or socks can be in the dryer as these will change the texture of the fabric on the clothing you love!
So now that you know how to wash and dry your high-end clothing like a fashion industry insider... Let’s discuss some additional tips and rules that help you preserve your clothing so you can wear them over and over again.
How to Get Wrinkles Out of High End Clothing.
- You can use an iron for cotton clothing.
- You can use an iron for silk clothing but you need to be VERY careful.
- It is best to use a steamer. You can buy a fancy one for a few hundred dollars. Or you can buy a smaller portable one from Amazon. (Sometimes the cheap ones only last for a few months then they start spitting water.)
Steam is the way to go to prevent accidentally burning your clothing.
And it’s the only way to get wrinkles out of Cashmere and Wool in a safe way.
HOW TO GET THOSE LITTLE FUZZ BALLS (LINT) OFF OF YOUR CLOTHING
There are 2 ways:
Preventive. Don’t mix gym clothes and towels/linens in the same washer or drying cycle with any clothing you care about.
If you get this wrong you’ll be looking at a beautiful cotton blouse with fuzzballs all over it.
Maintenance. Magic fuzzballs will search out your clothes. You can’t prevent them all!
So when they appear you can use a Fabric Shaver to remove the lint balls from your clothing. These are surprisingly cheap and they are very effective. We recommend the Beautural Portable Fabric Shaver and Lint Remover on Amazon for only $15.
So we’ve covered a lot of information to help you care for your high end clothing.
We have 1 final tip to help you get the most out of your wardrobe.
Final tip #1 Don’t wash your clothing if it doesn’t need to be washed. Just because you wore it does not mean it’s dirty!
You may go out to dinner and when you come home your clothes look and smell clean. If this is the case DO NOT WASH THEM. There is no need.
Instead put them away in a drawer or hang them. You can even spray them with some pretty smelling fabric spray. This will allow you to get more wears and less washes per piece of clothing.
Following this tutorial will ensure your high end clothing lasts for years to come. This will relieve worry and concern you may have about caring for your beautiful clothing. And it will support you in trusting yourself to buy some new high end pieces!
Enjoy more beautiful things…