It is difficult to give guidance on washing cotton, viscose, or silk as there are so many types of fabric available and so many uses for it.
COTTON & RAYON:
To be safe you should always refer to the care label for your cotton item before washing.
- Cotton and Rayon T-shirts can be prone to shrinking when they are washed and dried. To try and stop this happening:
- Wash in cold (30°C or below) water, whether using a washing machine or washing by hand.
- Give garments a gentle stretch when they come out of the wash to get them back into shape.
- Always air dry: dry clothes flat and out of the sun if possible.
- If you have an item that you know is prone to more than 10% shrinkage, hand wash it in cold water.
- Cotton is very prone to creasing so it is often necessary to iron it. We prefer to use a clothing steamer to remove all wrinkles. However, to try to avoid too much ironing:
- Items like T-shirts and jeans often don’t need ironing if you gently stretch them when they come out of the washing machine and then air dry them flat. Also use the ‘reduced creases’ setting on your washing machine if available.
- If your garments do need ironing:
- Refer to the garment care label to know what iron temperature setting is safe.
- It is best to iron cotton items while they are still slightly damp or alternatively use the steam setting on your iron.
- Make sure the items are dry/aired before folding and putting away.
VISCOSE & SILK
- Hand-washing is gentle enough to prevent damage, but it's essential never to wring or twist wet viscose, or silk fabric. If you opt to use a washing machine, place your garment inside a mesh bag, wash in cold water, choose the gentle cycle, and select the slowest spin speed.
- Viscose and silk clothing is usually designated as dry clean only because the twisting that occurs in a washing machine can damage the fibers. Machine drying will also disfigure viscose garments.
- To clean expensive or structured viscose or silk clothing with interfacings like a blazer or formal gown, stick with dry cleaning. However, simple viscose or silk clothing like unlined dresses, tops, and scarves can be hand-washed. Fitted viscose or silk tops and dresses will require washing after every wear, but items like shorts and skirts need less frequent cleanings.
- Allow the garment to air dry flat or hang on a padded hanger to drip dry.