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is a popular natural fiber as its properties of warmth, drape and finished appearance make it ideal for all types of wear. Suits and jackets made from wool should be dry cleaned only as washing can have a detrimental effect on the fabric, lining, and construction of the garment.
You should hang your jacket or suit on a correctly fitting hanger when not in use and we recommend gentle ironing at a moderate heat setting to maintain its appearance. Using a trouser press is a useful way to retain the creases.
Cotton is noted for its coolness and softness and in order to maintain its appearance we recommend occasional ironing. Ironing cotton that is too dry can be difficult, so using some moisture e.g. steam or a slightly damp garment, will be helpful in removing difficult creases. Pure cotton clothes should be hung or folded with care.
Silk is a natural fabric renowned for its luster and draping qualities while providing coolness and lightness in warmer temperatures. It is usually better to dry clean silk garments, however in certain circumstances hand washing may be possible and so care labels should be checked carefully.
Occasional ironing using a cool iron may be necessary to retain the appearance of the garment between cleanings.
Linen is another natural fabric suitable for warm weather and can be combined with silk fabrics for semi-formal occasions.
Creasing is a natural characteristic of linen and occasional ironing will be necessary. Using a steam iron or slightly damp cloth will help achieve the best results. Linen should be professionally dry cleaned.
Lycra / Elastane
Lycra and Elastane are fibers which help maintain good shape retention while allowing garments to be comfortable to wear and easy to maintain. These fibers are often combined with other fabrics such as wool and cotton. We recommend taking care of such garments by hanging carefully on a well fitting hanger when not in use. Professional dry cleaned is also recommended. A trouser press is ideal for retaining a good crease between professional cleanings.
After wearing a jacket, hang it on a specific jacket hanger if at all possible. If not, please use a well shaped hanger. You should empty out all the pockets after wearing to prevent the fabric dragging. We recommend hanging jackets away from other garments overnight to allow the garment to breathe, relax and de-humidify, after which it can then be placed back in the wardrobe.
If a jacket is excessively creased, hanging it in a steamed bathroom, letting the steam rejuvenate the fibers can help.
As with jackets, trousers should be hung on a well shaped or trouser hanger. You should empty out all the pockets after wearing, flatten the pocket bag by hand and hang trousers away from other garments overnight to allow the garment to breathe, relax and de-humidify. They can be placed back in the wardrobe the following day. You may iron gently if required, and gently lay over a hanger.
Knitwear is made from a variety of fibers and the fabric content of our knitwear may change from season to season to achieve different looks and textures. As each yarn has its own properties, care labels are sewn into each garment, giving the basic washing instructions which must be followed. The most important guidelines to note are washing temperature and whether hand or machine washing or dry-cleaning only is recommended.
Regardless of the method recommended, we would always suggest turning knitwear inside out before washing to prevent it picking up loose fibers from the rest of the wash.
Colored fabrics are produced in different ways. Some fabrics are woven from dyed yarns, some fabrics are dyed after weaving, and some fabrics are colored by printing the surface, often with several different colors. Modern technology has brought improvements in color performance, but color failures may still occur.
Color loss in dry cleaning
Some dyes are soluble in dry-cleaning solvent. This may result in severe color fading if such an article is dry cleaned. If two or more dyes have been used and only one is solvent soluble, a dramatic color change can occur. For example, the yellow component may be removed and leave a green garment blue. The same color on two different garments may be affected differently. For example, you may buy a dress with coordinated jacket in a blue and white print. When they are dry cleaned, the dress which was dyed, may be unaffected, while the blues no longer match.
Color failure is frequent in household items such as bedspreads and draperies. Often the fading does not appear severe, but it can be very noticeable when the item is compared with a matching item. Matching bedspreads and draperies should all be cleaned at the same time.
Any color loss is not the fault of the dry cleaner. It is the manufacturers’ responsibility to ensure all dyes are convenient to the dry cleaning process.
White is actually a color too. In their natural fluorescent state, many fabrics have an off-white or yellowish cast and are therefore often bleached to remove this natural color. In addition, many white fabrics are treated with whiteners during manufacturing. These optical brighteners, also called fluorescent whitening agents, change the reflective quality of the fabrics to make it appear whiter and brighter.
Different brighteners are used with different types of fabric. Some of these agents are unstable and may break down and lose their whitening power, so that the fabric reverts to a yellowish or grayish appearance. Some fabrics may take on pinkish or greenish blue. When the fluorescent brightener breaks down due to light exposure, the unexposed areas will be unaffected. For example, the front of a sweater laid out to dry in the sun may turn yellow while the back remains white. Brighteners are especially sensitive to light exposure when garments are wet.
Another cause of yellowing of white may be resins added to impart a permanent press quality. These resins can yellow when exposed to chlorine bleach. It can be avoided by following the care label and using only non- chlorine bleach, as Selena does.
Some white fabrics lose their whiteness just from normal aging, oxidation and exposure to atmospheric soils. This process can be reversed by careful wet cleaning and bleaching, but often yellowing is not reversible.
We can add a fluorescent brightener to our dry cleaning procedure, and many laundry detergents include brighteners. However, severe cases of yellowing cannot be corrected in this manner.
The manufacturer attaches a permanent label with directions for care to most garments. The Care Label Rule was intended to give both the consumer and the drycleaner or launderer complete guidance on how to take care of the item. A garment that says "dry clean" on the label should have dyes that can withstand dry cleaning solvents and washable garments should have dyes that will stand up to laundering.
The best way for the manufacturer to determine care procedures is through testing by a qualified laboratory. Unfortunately, this is not always done, so sometimes items are dry cleaned or washed with poor results.
What do the symbols on the care label mean?
To store a precious garment on a long-term period, make sure it is clean. The first thing to do is remove any jewelry, beauty pins, etc.
Choose the good protection materials
The safest choice for tissue paper that will come into direct contact with your garment is Acid Free, Lignin Free, Non Buffered tissue with a neutral pH.
There are special archival quality storage boxes made especially for storing garments.
You will want an acid free, lignin free box.
Choose a large, roomy box with plenty of room for air circulation.
Use sufficient amount of tissue paper to cushion the garment. Gently stuff some of the tissue into the sleeves and bodice to prevent creases which lead to the breakdown of the fibers in the fabric.
If you must fold the garment use tissue paper as a cushion to avoid creases. If there is a bonnet, slip, bib, etc, wrap those separately and place them in the box with the dress.
How to store the garment box
Choose a cool, clean and dry place for storage of your garment. The perfect situation would be to keep them in a room where the temperature is between 18 and 21° and the humidity is around 50%.
From time to time your stored garments should be aired out and examined. When refolding it is better not to fold them the exact same way as they were folded before, in order to prevent creases.
Garments need to “breathe”. So it is better not to store them in a cedar box or a regular cardboard box. Do not store them either an airtight container or plastic. Avoid storing textiles in a damp basement or near direct heat sources.