How To Wash Different Fabrics

How To Wash Different Fabrics

Washing is no-one’s favourite task, but it’s something we need to do and there is nothing worse than washing your favourite make incorrectly and having to alter or even throw the garment away. So, with over 40 different fabric types on our website, we have written a few handy hints on how to keep your makes looking fresh and lasting as long as possible. You may need to get comfy with a cup of tea to take in all this information on how to wash some of the different fabrics.


Should You Always Pre-Wash Fabric Before Sewing?


Now we aren’t saying we are always very good at doing this ourselves, but it is good practice to wash the fabric the way you intend on washing the finished garment before you start sewing. This will help avoid any upset and disappointment later. Promise.  Or you can always cheat and buy a pre-washed fabric like linen or denim and skip this stage. 


Do You Have to Wash Different Fabrics Differently?


Well, the short answer is yes so read on for the washing instructions for cotton, batik, denim, wool and viscose fabric.


How to Wash Cotton

How to wash cotton
  • Although Cotton is pretty hardy and can be washed at slightly warmer temperatures up to 40 degrees, it can be known to shrink slightly especially when mixed with another fibre. To avoid this always check with the care label on washing instructions.

  • The real issue with cotton is keeping the colour from fading so we would advise that you wash it at around 30 degrees to avoid this.

  • It’s also important to add that some dyes will never truly fix so it is important that you always keep your darks and whites separated. For example, indigo dye never fully sets so keep your jeans away from your whites to avoid a grey/blue tinge.


How to Wash Batik Fabric

How to Wash Batik Fabric

  • All our batik fabrics are produced in a unique cottage industry in India by specialist craftsmen who pass on their skills to the next generation. Due to the distinctive colours and designs, there is sometimes some loose dye on the surface of the fabric.
  • Due to this unique dye process, we recommend hand washing the batik fabric separately in cold water taking extra care with dark colours. The dyes used include vegetable dyes and some fading may occur after washing.
  • Do not tumble dry batik fabric or use any kind of bleaching agent. And iron on a cool setting on the reverse.

How to Wash Denim

How to wash denim


Denim is well known for shrinkage, and no one wants their jeans to get any smaller after this period of lockdown. Here are some hints and tips on how to look after your denim fabric clothing….

  • Firstly, turn denim clothes inside out, this avoids any unnecessary abrasion during the washing cycle.

  • To avoid too much fading, it is best to wash on a cooler delicate cycle.

  • You can pop them in the dryer for a short while but take them out before they are fully dry, and air dry the last bit which allows you to shape them slightly when damp.

  • Denim doesn’t have to mean blue either; our current collection features many different colours and even some prints. Now you know how to look after your denim, why not have a look at our denim collection?


How to Wash Wool Fabric

How to wash wool fabric

  • Now this is a tricky one and we are sure everyone out there has shrunk a beautiful wool jumper at some point so hopefully these tips will help you avoid that in the future.

  • Wool has natural stain resistance as well as odour and crease resistance so really doesn’t need to be washed too often anyway. But when it comes to washing wool, use the wool cycle, keep below 30 degrees and if you don’t have a wool cycle go with a delicate wash or a cold-water wash. Oh, and don’t tumble dry anything wool ever.

  • But if you would prefer to be safe and hand wash your wool, keep the water luke-warm, turn the garment inside out and soak it for about 10 minutes before rinsing it in cold water and then lying it flat to dry.

  • If this has soothed you about using more wool in your wardrobe, shop our wool collection.


How to Wash Viscose

How to wash viscose

  • Viscose is nearly as bad as wool for shrinkage, and we have all had a beautiful dress or top that has suddenly become a bit too short after a wash.

  • To avoid this, you can hand wash viscose items but if you would prefer the machine, simply turn it inside out and use the delicate cycle on your machine (make sure the temperature is low as well the spin cycle as this what causes the shrinkage).

  • However, the key part is in the drying stage; lay flat or hang it up but never pop it in the dryer as that is a sure way to end up with a shrunk garment.

Can you Wash Different Fabrics Together?


You most certainly can wash different fabrics together but only under these conditions:


  • The fabrics can be washed at the same temperature – i.e. fabrics like linen and cotton can be washed together at 30 or 40 degrees or wool and viscose together at 30 degrees.

  • Wash dark colours together, bright colours together and whites together but never mix colours in the wash in case the dye runs.

  • It sounds obvious, but make sure that a rough textured fabric like hessian is not washed with a delicate fabric like silk as the fabric might damage the silk.



How to be More Environmentally Friendly when Washing Your Clothes

Sustainable fabric washing

Since we investigated being more sustainable during Great Big Green Week, it has stayed in our minds that it is something we need to be more conscious about in our everyday life. And one way we can help is by being more sustainable with our clothing washing.

But how?  Well, here are a few handy hints on what we can all do to be more environmentally friendly when washing our clothes.

  • Not washing after every wear, not only is this bad for the planet but also for the clothes. So, if you haven’t done too much damage when wearing the garment, maybe save it for another day’s wear. Airing or brushing clothes in between washes can be all it needs. (It goes without saying we aren’t talking about your undies here).
  • Did you know that 90% of the energy used by the washing machine is used in getting it up to temperature and only 10% on the motor? So, one simple way of reducing your carbon footprint is by lowering the temperature of your washes to 30 degrees.

  • As choosing a sustainable fabric can be a mine-field (check our blogs on the subject of choosing a sustainable fabric for more details). One thing we can do with our less sustainable fabrics like polyester, viscose or acrylic clothes is washing them in a specially designed bag to keep the micro fibres from entering the water system and thus damaging our oceans even more. This could make a real difference as for each wash up to 700,000 micro fibres can be released. 

  • Then of course there is the question of what washing powder to use. Well, try to avoid anything that contains - phthalates, phosphates, and non-biodegradable surfactants. Or if you are looking to wash a natural fibre such as wool, avoid anything with an enzyme in as that will also damage the cloth as well the stain you are trying to clean away.

There is more information on how we can help the planet by choosing more sustainable fabrics for our makes in our other Green Week Blog


How to Wash your Soft Furnishings

Washing your clothing is one thing, but we sometimes need to wash our soft furnishings too and the biggest headache of all soft furnishing cleaning is always curtains as they need to be re-hung after washing or dry cleaning.


How to Clean Curtains


  • Some curtain fabrics you can’t wash in a machine, and you must dry clean them. There is simply no other way of doing it. For more advice on this it maybe be worth checking with your curtain maker or sticking to the dry cleaner to be on the safe side.

  • This is especially true for heavier curtains but if they need a freshen up you can also shake them to remove dust or give them a brush down.

  • If you are you going to wash your curtains, be sure to do so with cold water and to iron them whilst they are still damp as the hardest part is removing all the creases.


How to Wash Cushions

  • You may need to wash cushions slightly more often as they take the strain of everyday life in any household, one important tip we have for doing so is to zip up the cushion cover before popping it into the machine. This will avoid a big tangle when you remove it from the machine.


  • But it is also important to wash cushion fabrics on a cooler cycle as well to make sure they don’t shrink too much, and that would be a nightmare trying to wedge them back on the cushion pads.



Choosing Different Fabrics According to Ease of Wash


Well, now you’re an expert on how to wash different fabrics, why don’t you experiment with a few new fabrics for a change? In our “Fabric Type” Menu on our Home Page, you can choose from over 40 different types of fabric online and each fabric collection should provide you with an idea on how to care for it. If there is a fabric we haven’t covered in our washing guide above which you’re not sure about, be sure to call us and ask on 0207 738 9589
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