Handmade garments and delicate intimates should be given more care during the laundry process. Unfortunately, I learnt it the hard way after destroying the hems and seams of my handmade dress (the thread were all coming loose – horror!) and the hard-wire on my lingerie. That is extremely sad especially after all the effort that went into a handmade piece. So I’ve decided to be more conscious in caring for my handmade garments.
And here are 4 of my tips.
Hand-wash your handmade garments
Like how you will for delicate intimates, the best is to hand-wash delicate handmade garments as well. Soaking and hard scrubbing is not recommended. All I do is fill a pail of water, add in the right amount of washing liquid/detergent and gently scrub the garments before rinsing the soap away in another pail of clean water. I’ll wrung the garments gently to squeeze out most of the water before I hang it onto the laundry rack to air dry. It will take a longer time to dry given that it might still be dripping at this point but it is definitely better than using the dryer as the dryer is notorious for shrinking or changing the shape of a garment. And instead of pouring the water away, I’ll say reuse it by washing the toilet bowl with it.
But if you are like me and finds hand-washing kind of tedious and can’t seem to make time for it, this leads me to my next point.
Using a laundry net
Whoever that invented the laundry net is truly a genius. I get clean clothes and a protection on my clothes while using the washing machine is certainly a win for me. While some may argue that the extra layer may deter the garment in being properly washed, I defer. The trick here is not to load your washing machine to the brim. Rather, it should be appropriately filled. I also observed that by using the laundry net, my garments do not get tangled as easily as compared to not using one.
Comparatively, hand-washing your handmade garments is definitely the better option. There are fewer loose threads, less need to repair a frayed garment or a loose button. Generally, you can prolong the wardrobe life of this garment for so much longer. But when you are hard press for time and plenty of laundry to do, using the laundry net is a real time saver and does protect the garments to a certain extend.
I usually get my laundry net from Daiso (if you are in Singapore). They are at SGD$2 per piece and comes in various sizes.
Shorten the sun-bathing time for your makes
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m not a fan of dryers. Which meant that most of my garments are left to dry under natural conditions of a good weather. I suppose we have the luxury of doing so in Singapore since it’s summer all year round except for certain months where it rains and pours which makes doing laundry extremely tricky. I have a tendency to leave my garments out long after they have dried just because we didn’t have time to collect them in. And that my friend, is very bad for all garments including handmade pieces. Given the good weather in Singapore with strong sun means that our garments dries quickly and under the strong rays, it can also fade the garments so much quicker than we would like it to. So, a reminder to myself is to bring them in once the garments have dried.
Trust me, ironing is my least favourite household duty but when it needs to be done it has to be done. Good news is that most of my handmade garments are cotton fabric which makes ironing a lot less painful. I might have to spray it slightly with water and press it a little harder to get the creases out. All while using the right temperature on the garment. However, as I inch towards exploring sewing in different fabrics, I now do have a few pieces of slightly more delicate fabrics like chiffon, knits etc that could get burnt if my iron is too hot. The best out of all the methods I’ve tried so far (lower the heat of the iron etc) is laying a thin layer of cotton fabric over these delicate fabrics and give it a good press.
I hope these suggestions work as well for you as it did for me. Feel free to share any ideas you may have in caring for your handmade pieces with me.