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Washing Cotton/Linen Blend?
Web Site Says "Dry Clean Only"
popoagiesmiles
popoagiesmiles
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 2/25/06
Posts: 1950
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Date: 6/6/08 3:57 PM

I'm interested in buying some high quality cotton linen suiting for casual business clothes. These would have to be washable as I hate dry cleaning bills/toxicity and also don't need more errands.

The fabric is about 2/3 cotton and 1/3 linen. It's navy blue, almost a black/navy color like some jeans you can find now. So, I'm assuming there might be some fading, especially along seamlines and other friction points. This is okay with me as the styles I'm thinking of would be cute jackets (not stiff blazers), soft pants and so forth.

I'm also thinking of using this to make Eileen Fischer type soft styles that would be nonetheless good for business casual or not too conservative business environments. For example, I'm thinking of a simple navy tank dress with a soft contrasting jacket over it and maybe a colorful pin.

Has anyone used this type of fabric blend and washed it instead of dry cleaned when the web site said to dry clean it only? Why would the cottons be "dry clean or hand wash" but the cotton/linen fabrics be "dry clean only?"

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"puhPOjhu"--a river that sinks into a mountain with fury and winds around underground for miles before emerging in calm down the road...

Brillig
Brillig
Washington USA
Member since 4/6/08
Posts: 218
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In reply to popoagiesmiles


Date: 6/6/08 4:04 PM

I use cotton/linen and linen/cotton blends on a regular basis. I always prewash the fabric in the washer and dry it in the dryer and have never had any problem when doing the same with the resulting garments.

Obviously, washing removes the chemical finish that comes on the fabric, so it will be less "crisp" than it was before washing, but since it does not sound like you are looking for "crisp", this probably won't be an issue for you.

IMHO, manufacturers label a lot of fabrics that are in fact washable as "dry clean only" as a CYO measure, just in case someone washes something and is not happy with the result for some reason.

I say, wash away!

------
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
--Oscar Wilde

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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New York USA
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In reply to popoagiesmiles


Date: 6/6/08 4:10 PM

I don't see why you can't wash it, but if in doubt always test first. I cut a measured square and wash and dry and then measure to see if it has shrunk. You will probably have some fading but if you use one of the non fading detergents and don't use the dryer, you should be fine.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

Brillig
Brillig
Washington USA
Member since 4/6/08
Posts: 218
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In reply to popoagiesmiles


Date: 6/6/08 4:13 PM

Wanted to add, I have never had any issues with fading along the seams, either (which you mentioned you thought might be a problem). I only have one black linen/cotton garment, but I have several in bright red, dark red, maroon, dark purple, etc. Most with a higher linen content than the fabric you describe (and linen is generally worse at holding dye than cotton is).

Some of mine have been washed dozens of times, and I have noticed no fading along the seamlines or stress points. If it is not happening on garments with a higher linen content than the fabric you are considering, I very much doubt it will be an issue at all with a fabric that has a lower linen content.

------
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
--Oscar Wilde

popoagiesmiles
popoagiesmiles
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 2/25/06
Posts: 1950
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Date: 6/6/08 4:20 PM

Thanks for the great (and FAST) feedback, ladies! I'm pumped to sew! I have lots of fabric and don't technically need any of this, but they are beautiful and on sale. Tell you more about it after I order!!!! I have, by the way, violated the fabric fast by even considering this. I blame it on advertising, and poor self-control.

------
"puhPOjhu"--a river that sinks into a mountain with fury and winds around underground for miles before emerging in calm down the road...

Debbie Lancaster
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Debbie Lancaster  Friend of PR
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California USA
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Date: 6/6/08 4:32 PM

Some fabrics do indeed fade around the seam lines. If you're worried about it, turn the finished garment inside out and wash it that way. It can help keep the garment from fading that way because there's less abrasion from the washing machine/dryer along the outside edge of the seam.

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Debbie

popoagiesmiles
popoagiesmiles
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 2/25/06
Posts: 1950
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Date: 6/6/08 5:24 PM

I was able to get in touch with the company, and they said they thought it would wash up beautifully. Now, can't find my credit card. Is that supposed to mean something?

Thanks again. Yes, I always wash my clothing inside out. It seems to make a difference not only in fading but also in wear.

------
"puhPOjhu"--a river that sinks into a mountain with fury and winds around underground for miles before emerging in calm down the road...

Fictionfan
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Fictionfan  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/6/08 5:57 PM

I read an article in threads magazine (maybe about 2 years ago?) that covered washing linen fabrics and what to expect. The author recommended using Dawn dish detergent, original, not ultra, instead of laundry detergent to pre-wash the fabrics, but I can't recall why. If I find the article, I'll send you a PM. I've used Dawn and it worked just fine, but I used normal laundry detergent after that. In terms of shrinkage, you may want to wash more than once and dry the fabric as you expect to treat the final product. The fabric will be softer, and pressing won't give it that hard finish that it had off the bolt, but I like the softer-after-washing linen better so I don't mind that.

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Fictionfan

Jodi B.
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Jodi B.  Friend of PR
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Saskatchewan Canada
Member since 8/24/02
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Date: 6/6/08 6:53 PM

Now you have to tell where you're buying it from as I've been really enjoying linen cotton blends these days. :)

Elona
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Elona  Friend of PR
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In reply to popoagiesmiles


Date: 6/6/08 7:00 PM

I got a raft of lightweight linen/cotton to make my a guayabera for my son, and washed and dried it three times on 'hot' before sewing it up. My fabric was white, so there was no problem with fading, but it shrank very little and just behaved beautifully--came out deliciously soft.

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