Below you will find some helpful guidance to assist you in looking after your fabrics.
We advise upon receipt of your purchase, that you wash any lengths of fabric before embarking upon garment construction. In some instances the wash instructions may be provided on the product page of the website however, here you will find a collation of helpful information about a range of our fabrics. Please note these are general guidelines and we cannot accept responsibility for any damage once the fabric is with the customer. We recommend you test any washing on a sample piece first.
Cotton fabrics are recommended to be washed on a 30 degree wash. On the first wash, there is a chance your cotton could shrink up to 10%, it is less likely to shrink after this first wash. We advise to try and not put cotton in the dryer and to air dry where possible. This will help to avoid shrinkage.
Some cotton fabrics are more likely to shrink or be damaged in the wash than others. This would be lightweight and loose weave fabrics such as cotton gauze. Heavy duty cotton such as canvas and drill are less of a worry. If you have any concerns it is advised to hand wash garments.
Cotton fabrics can be ironed as normal on a medium/ high heat.
Although some silks may be washed, the general advice with 100% silk fabrics is to dry clean only. You do not need to wash these fabrics before garment making if you intend to always dry clean. It is advised with lightweight silk such as georgette, crepe de chine and habotai are dry cleaned only.
Some heavier silk fabrics such as dupion or satin could be hand washed using a gentle detergent.
It is advised to iron silk fabrics on a low heat.
The washing conditions for wool fabrics will vary across different types of wool and how the fabric is made. A lot of wool fabrics will be hand wash only, this is to minimise the agitation which is what caused wool to 'felt'. If you wish to wash wool fabrics in the washing machine, wash at 30 degrees and if there is a gentle cycle for wool or silk, select this. The same applied with drying, if it is possible to air dry the fabric flat, take this option however if your dryer has a delicate 'wool' cycle this would most likely be ok.
So why does wool shrink and felt? Wool fibres, like human hair, are covered in scales. When we add how water, agitation and soap, these scales start to lock together resulting in a felted fabric. Some fabrics are intended to appear this way such as boiled wool and felt however, on woven fabrics such as tweed, this can severely affect the appearance or pattern of the fabric.
Some wool fabrics can be ironed on a medium heat. If you do not wish to risk ironing, you can hang garments in a steamy atmosphere such as the shower, without getting them wet. The steam often helps to drop any creases out.
VISCOSE & RAYON
Viscose and rayon fabrics are well known for their soft handle and this can often mean that they are fairly delicate. To avoid damage to your viscose fabrics hand washing is advised however if your washing machine has a gentle wash at 30 degrees this may also be ok, if you have a mesh wash bag, even better! It is also worth noting that both fabrics are likely to shrink 5%- 8% after the first wash.
It is best to avoid tumble drying if possible and air dry if you can. A delicate dry cycle may be ok.
Viscose can be ironed on a medium heat.
Polyester fabrics are fairly easy to look after. Polyester can be machine washed on a 40 degree heat with a good detergent. It can go on a standard tumble dry however not too hot as it is a synthetic fabric and fine pieces may melt. You can avoid static build up by adding fabric conditioner and removing from the dryer whilst still slightly damp. Polyester fabrics are unlikely to shrink unless blended with other shrinkable fibres. Quite often polyester is blended with other fabrics such as wool or cotton, this allows the fabrics to become easier to care for. If you are washing a poly- blend, follow instructions somewhere between.
If you are looking after a lightweight polyester such as georgette, you may wish to wash on a gentle wash to avoid long term wear and tear.
Polyester fabrics can be ironed on a medium heat for heavier weights and low heat for fine fabrics.
Linen fabrics can be machine washed on a 30 or 40 degree heat with detergent. It should only be tumble dried on a delicate cycle or air dried. If tumble drying, take it out of the dryer as soon as it is done to minimise creasing. Linen is not particularly susceptible to shrinkage. Linen can be ironed on a high heat with steam to get the creases out as it is very prone to creasing, this can often give the fabric a softer handle as well.
With 100% Linen fabrics it is best to set your iron to the highest temperature and give your fabric a dry iron before putting it in the wash. This helps to seal in any anti- crease treatments the fabric may have had.
Some specific fabric types require their own method of care.
Corduroy fabrics are often made from cotton however due to their tight weave they are not as likely to shrink as other cotton fabrics such as cotton lawn. Corduroy fabrics can be washed at 30 degrees with a detergent. It is best to avoid putting in the dryer however a gentle cycle might be ok, we don't want to cause any damage to the plush cords. If air drying is available it is the best option. It is often recommended to finish the edges of your fabric with either an overlocker or zig- zag stitch to reduce shedding in the wash.
You can iron corduroy on a medium/ high heat however always iron on the reverse, and do not go against the lean of the cords.
Sweat fabric care will vary on the fabric base so it will always depend on what is in the fabric. Most can be washed at 30 degrees and air dried. One big thing to consider; if you are using a brushback jersey, only iron on the right side, the brushed fibres are more likely to melt. Remember when cutting out jersey to iron, then leave 5mins before cutting. This is so that the elastane can get back to its normal state before you cut.
It is important that you do not put laminated fabrics such as leatherette or PVC in the washing machine, this can damage if not ruin the fabric surface. For these fabrics it is advised that you wipe clean only, and they do not need washing before garment making. Always air dry if it gets wet. Do not iron.
Denim fabrics feature a robust twill weave which is usually quite tightly woven. This makes denim less likely to shrink however some shrinkage can be expected on the first wash. It is recommended to wash cotton on a 30 or 40 degree wash. Denim can go in the dryer on a gentle cycle but air drying is best. It can be ironed on a high heat with steam to get rid of any creases.
It is recommend to wash denim with similar colours and to be aware dark colours may run on the first few washes, this can be helped by using colour catching laundry sheets or washing inside a fabric bag.
Before washing denim open it up so it is not folded and soak in cold water, preferably in a large space like a bath, this will help to minimise any lines getting made in your denim. Washing denim folded will result in loss of colour along the fold lines.
Beaded or sequin fabrics should be hand washed only, this is to avoid loosing any embellishment in the wash or causing damage to both the washing machine and your fabric. This also means that they do not need washing before you start working with them but a hand wash is preferable. They should not by put in a tumble dryer. Only iron on a low/ medium heat dependent on the backing fabric and only iron on the reverse.
FAUX SUEDE AND FUR
Faux suede and fur fabrics are only suitable for dry cleaning. Do not iron as this could melt or distort the fibres.
Velvet fabric care depends on the base fibre. Synthetic velvet can be washed on a 30 degree wash on a gentle cycle and let it air dry. If your velvet is made from silk or cotton it is advised to dry clean only. Ironing velvet fabrics can ruin the pile whatever the base to it is advised to hang velvet garments in a steamy environment to let creases drop out.