Buying quality clothes is something that takes time. It is often an informed decision that one has taken the time to make after some research and careful consideration. But what happens once the garment is ours? We have to take care of it to make sure it lasts as long as possible. Although clothing care is something we’ve tended to forget in recent years because of fast fashion, a few simple tricks can get us back on the right track.
We recently shared a capsule and an article to explain how to choose a quality garment. Here is now our second capsule, where we share our advice on how to care for your carefully selected clothes.
The first thing that will have a big impact on the durability of a textile is the soap that you use. Indeed, a natural soap, such as the one offered by The Unscented Co., will cause less damage to your clothe's fibres in addition to being less damaging to the environment and gentler on the skin. The fragrances and chemicals contained in commercial brands detergents are as damaging to clothing as they are to the environment. Wear and tear of the fibres will be precipitated, giving the garment an aged look far faster. If you miss a fragrant laundry, you can simply add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to your load to get the same fresh feeling that fragrances provide.
The golden rule is to wash only if necessary. There is no particular indicator as to whether a garment should be washed sooner or later. A good method is to assess the closeness of the garment to the skin: the less contact it has with the skin, the less it should be washed. It is also easy to wash an area of a sweater if there is a stain, but otherwise it is always clean. Ideally, clothes should be washed on delicate cycles and in cold or warm water, or even by hand for more fragile fibres. The clothesline is also your friend if all you are looking for is to remove an odour from an otherwise clean garment.
In addition to detergents that can be harmful to the environment, we now know that synthetic fibres are the source of plastic microparticles found in nature (and therefore in our bodies). Luckily, Guppyfriend came to the rescue. Their washing bag filters synthetic fibre particles so that they do not end up in our water and ultimately in our food.
Drying and De-Wrinkling
Again, we should avoid using the dryer whenever it is possible. The fibers in your clothes will thank you by staying beautiful longer if you allow them to dry at their own pace. To save yourself from ironing, smooth out your clothes as much as possible before laying them out to dry or hanging them. If you have to or want to use the dryer, it is best to use the low temperature cycles, you can also use drying balls to speed up the process.
When it comes to smoothing a garment, you can use the iron or a steam machine. This last one is perfect for smaller jobs or if you just want to quickly smooth a garment You can also hang your garment on a hanger in the bathroom while taking a shower. The steam will help smooth fine wrinkles if the creases are not too deep and it can also remove odours. Finally, if you need a garment for a special event, you can take it to the cleaners; often when a dress or shirt comes back, it looks like new!
Pilling is something that happens with even the best knits. A quality knit will ply less, but it will still happen eventually. The good news is that it can be corrected. All you need to do is use a razor reserved for this purpose or the small machines that are on the market for the maintenance of clothes. But be careful! If the knitwear contains synthetic fibers, the razor or the machine can pull the threads and break the fabric, so it is very important to check the composition before starting. You can always do a test on a small area inside the garment before you start.
Miscellaneous repairs and maintenance
We know that taking care of a garment is more than just washing and drying and every little problem often has an appropriate solution. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you preserve your clothes as long as possible.
To begin with, we think it is very practical to have a basic haberdashery kit at home. With needles and thread, we can fix all of the fallen buttons in the world! Shirts and other clothing with buttons often come with additional buttons sewn on the label. Buttons have a tendency to fall out, it is in their nature, they are often the most fragile but also the most manipulated part of the garment. Complete repair kit can easily be purchased or assembled. We will talk about this in another capsule and give our repair tips.
Another easy problem to solve is removing moss, dust and hair from dark clothing. Everyone has, at one time or another, gone through a piece of clothing with tape to remove lint before a special event. Although functional, paper tape and roller tape are not environmentally friendly. There are reusable clothes brushes on the market that will last you a lifetime!
We understand that it is difficult to change old habits, but the solutions are often very simple. Remember that you can always contact the designers or the store that sold you the garment to find out the best way to care for it. If it comes from our workshop, it will be our pleasure to accompany you. With all the work we put into each of our garments, we want you to enjoy them for as long as possible!
Video clip directed by Victor Saliba.
Thanks to Mathieu Pipe-Rondeau for editorial assistance.