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September 27, 2016


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Fabric University, knowledge to make informed fabric decisions
Fabric University | Fabric Seminar | Fiber/Fabric Care
Fabric Seminar

FIBER / FABRIC CARE

The following are general care tips for cleaning and caring for garments containing natural and man-made fibers used in apparel and home fashion. For specific instructions refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.

Index of Fibers

 
  • Acetate
  • Acrylic
  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Lyocell
  • Microfibers
  • Mohair
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Polyolefin (Olefin)
  • Rayon
  • Silk
  • Spandex
  • Triacetate
  • Wool
  • ACETATE

    Most acetate garments should be dry-cleaned. Some knits are washable. If laundering is indicated, use the following guide:

    • Hand wash in warm water with mild suds.
    • Do not twist or wring out the garment.
    • Do not soak colored items.
    • Press while damp on the wrong side with a cool iron. if finishing the right side use a pressing cloth.
    • Circular knits should be laid flat to dry.

    (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

    Note: Acetate is adversely affected by acetone and other organic solvents, such as nail polish remover and perfumes containing such solvents.


    Return to Index


    ACRYLIC

    Acrylic garments may be washed or dry cleaned.

    • When machine washing, use warm water setting and add a fabric softener during the final rinse cycle.
    • Machine dry at low temperature. Remove from dryer as soon as garments are dry.
    • Wash delicate items by hand in warm water. Static electricity can be reduced by using s fabric softener in every third or fourth washing. Gently squeeze out water, smooth or shake out garment and let dry on a non-rust hanger. Sweaters and circular knits should be dried flat.
    • If ironing is required, use moderately warm iron.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    COTTON

    • Cotton can be easily laundered. It can withstand high temperatures (boiling water does not hurt the fiber).
    • Any good detergent can be used to wash cotton.
    • Chlorine bleach can be used safely on cotton whites. Use color safe bleach on dyed cottons.
    • Since cotton fibers are fairly inelastic, cotton fabrics may wrinkle easily. And, fabric may need frequent pressing.
    • However, cotton fabric can be treated with a wrinkle resistant finish to create a more resilient fabric/garment. The label will tell you if this finish has been applied.
    • A higher heat setting is needed in the dryer to dry cotton. Cotton will take much longer to dry than less absorbent fibers.
    • Cotton can be ironed with a hot iron, and does not scorch easily

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    LINEN

    • Some linens are washable, while others are dry clean only. Be sure to check the label.
    • Washable household linens, handkerchiefs, and linen apparel can be washed easily and become softer with use.
    • White linens should be dried in the sun, if possible, to help them to keep their whiteness.
    • Generally speaking, dry cleaning is recommended for drapery linens, upholstery linens and decorative linens.
    • Linen fabrics may need frequent pressing, unless treated for crease resistance. (Permanent press and soil-release finishes are now being used effectively on 65% linen/35% polyester tablecloths, napkins and placemats.).

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    LYOCELL

    Lyocell garments may be either machine washable and dryable or drycleanable. Read the label.

    • Washable lyocell has the strength and ease of care of other easy-care fabrics.
    • Machine wash and dry at low temperature. Remove from dryer as soon as the garment is dry.
    • If ironing is required, use a moderately warm iron.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    MICROFIBERS

    • Acrylic, nylon and polyester microfibers are machine washable, machine dryable or drycleanable
    • Follow the instructions for washing fabrics consisting of these individual fibers.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    NYLON

    Most items made from nylon can be machined washed and tumbled dried at low temperatures.

    • Use warm water and add a fabric softener to the final rinse cycle.
    • To minimize static electricity use a dryer sheet when machine drying.
    • Remove articles from the dryer as soon as the tumbling cycle is completed.
    • If ironing is required, use a warm iron.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    POLYESTER

    Most items made from polyester can be machine washed and dried.

    • Use warm water and add a fabric softener to the final rinse cycle.
    • Machine dry at low temperature setting and remove articles as soon as the tumbling cycle is complete.
    • If ironing is needed, use a moderately warm iron.
    • Most items made from polyester can be dry-cleaned.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    POLYOLEFIN (OLEFIN)

    Most items can be washed or dry-cleaned.

    • Most stains can be readily be removed by wiping, using lukewarm water and detergent.
    • If fabric is machine washed, it should be line dried or tumbled dried with gentle or no heat.
    • Do not iron.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    RAYON

    Most rayon garments should be dry-cleaned, but some types of fabric and garment construction are such that they can be hand or machine washed. For washable items, use the following as a guide:

    • Use mild lukewarm or cool suds. Gently squeeze suds through the fabric and rinse in lukewarm water. Do not wring or twist the article.
    • Smooth or shake out the article and place on a non-rust hanger to dry. Rayon sweaters should be laid flat to dry.
    • Press the article while damp on the wrong side with the iron at a moderate setting. If finishing on the right side is required, a press cloth should be used.
    • Between wearings, rayon articles may be pressed with a cool iron.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    SILK

    Only pre-washed silk is washable. Read the label!

    • Dry cleaning is generally preferred, since laundering detergent and dyes in other clothes may adversely affect silk fabric.
    • For washable silk, follow the care instructions carefully.
    • For items without linings and without embellishments attached, careful handwashing is permissable, with mild soap and lukewarm water.
    • Chlorine bleach should never be used on silk.
    • For long-time storage, silk should be sealed against light, air and insects.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    SPANDEX

    • Hand or machine wash in lukewarm water.
    • Do not use chlorine bleach on any fabric containing spandex. Use a color safe bleach only.
    • Rinse thoroughly.
    • Drip dry. If machine drying, use low temperature setting.
    • If ironing is required, iron rapidly and don't leave the iron in one place too long. Use a low temperature setting on the iron.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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    TRIACETATE

    • Pleated garments are best hand laundered. Most other garments containing 100% triacetate can be machine washed.
    • If ironing is needed, a high temperature setting may be used.
    • Articles containing triacetate require little care due mainly to the fiber's resistance to high temperature.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

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    WOOL

    • Give wool garments a 24-hour rest between wearings. Hang on shaped or padded hangers, leaving lots of space. In general, wool fibers will shed wrinkles and return to their orginal shape
    • Empty pockets, remove belts and hang with closures zipped and buttoned.
    • Fold knits.
    • Brush wool to remove surface soil. Use a damp sponge for knits and finer fabrics.
    • Refresh wool garments quickly after wearing or unpacking by hanging them in a steamy bathroom. Moisture from the steam will remove wrinkles.
    • If wool gets wet, dry the garment at room temperature away from heat. If there's a nap, brush with the nap.
    • Remove spots and stains promptly.
    • Keep moths away by storing wool with fresh cedar blocks.
    • Dry clean once a season (or when stained), and especially before storing.
    • Always steam when pressing wool. Use the wool setting. Avoid pressing wool totally dry. When possible, press on the reverse side of the fabric. When necessary to press on the right side, use a press cloth to avoid a shine. Lower and lift the iron, don't slide it back and forth. Prevent imprinting inside detail by placing a piece of brown paper or tissue paper under folds, seams or darts.

      (For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


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