Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Caring For Your Dearly Beloved Clothing

Hello my lovely readers! Before we delve into today's post, a fascinating insight into laundry, I thought I'd give you two quick updates. I am still out of town, so there will be no finished object posts yet. Also, I failed to mention in my previous posts, I did decide to get some of my locks chopped off before I went out of town. I cut of 6 inches to be exact, but I am fairly positive that at least an inch has grown back already. I do love how much lighter and cooler it is though!

Now, let's move on to the exciting stuff, shall we? Today, I want to talk about caring for your clothes. We all wash and dry our clothes. And, if you're over 35 or failed to fall prey to the current younger generations ( my generations) mindset, then you most likely iron your clothes as well. And, at least once or twice a year, we probably all take something to the dry cleaners. But there is so much more to caring for your clothes than slapping them in a washer and scorching them in the dryer. Of course there is the washing, either by hand or machine, drying with either a dryer, a clothesline, or anywhere you can find to hang them if you're like me, and then there is the ironing and starching to look crisp and clean. Caring for your clothes also can include mending and repairs, like sewing on a button or reenforcing a seam.

The amount time, patience, and work required to wash and maintain ones clothes has decreased significantly with the advent of technology. Even though laundry isn't a task that I dread, I am assured that if I had to wash my dresses with a washboard, I would most certainly dread it. Furthermore, while ironing is a domestic task that I enjoy, I'd probably wear wrinkled clothes if I had to use a heavy iron that needed to be heated on a wood stove. It can easy to forget how simple our domestic tasks have become compared to the work they once required.

In general, I have developed a bit of a laundry habit, so to speak. I usually wash most of my clothes in the washer, with cold water, and fabric softener ( and I have one of those washers you still have to "listen" for the rinse water to come in). After washing them, I usually run them through the no heat, air dry cycle on the dryer once. Then, anything I deem "good" clothes get hung on a hanger to dry. Good clothes are defined as anything I would wear in public, with the exception of undies, socks, and basic cotton camisoles, and kitchen aprons. Next in my current laundry care routine is vintage clothes. For the most part, I take anything from around 1975 or earlier to the dry cleaner, with the exception of polyester dresses.. I also take anything that is wool, lined coats and jackets ( unless they're super casual and cotton), and silk to the dry cleaners. Lastly, in my laundry routine is handmade clothing. Sometimes I put this in the wash, and line dry like the other "good" clothes, but I have a few pieces that I do hand wash.

Lately, however, I have been feeling as if my laundry routine could use a makeover. There needs to be more hand washing and more items needs to be dried while lying flat. It seems that as the quality of the fabric in RTW goes does, a subject for another post, that I need to become more conscious of how I wash my clothes if I want them to last. About two months ago I picked up some cute knit tops for summer, made in the USA to boot, and after a mere handful of washes, and never a stint in the dryer with heat, that the fabric is already looking worn and picked. Even if these were not expensive, I expect at least one meager season from my clothes!

Since this post is already a bit lengthy, and given the fact that I have not solidified my new laundry plan as of yet, I am going to divide this post into a few parts. Today, readers, I'd love to hear about your laundry routine. Also, do you have any tips for me to keep RTW from disintegrating before one season is over?How much time do you spend per week on the upkeep of your clothing? How much time is too much time? Chime on in!


  1. I need a new laundry routine as well. I feel like after two washes my purchased clothing has lost their spark. Since I have started sewing things i'm going to try hand washing to sustain their life. I also believe I need to try a new soap/detergent. Excellent subject for a post!

  2. If you want your undies and bras and slips etc to really last, don't put them in the dryer. The elastic breaks down much quicker when exposed to heat. I have had slips last 15 years, and not because they were good quality, but because they never saw the inside of a dryer.