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Forum > Fabrics and more... > washing dry clean only fabric ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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washing dry clean only fabric
missjen

missjen
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Date: 4/5/09 10:58 PM

hello,

I have just purchased a lovely dress...and only noticed afterwards that it was dry clean only.

The label states that it is 70% cotton & 30% silk....how much of a risk do you think it would be to do a gentle hand wash on it?

There is a certain 'crispness' to the fabric, which I assume would be lost with washing, but if that's all that would happen I could live with that...it's more of a day/casual dress anyway.

cheers

Jennifer

Karla Kizer
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Date: 4/5/09 11:05 PM

Sometimes, the fabric isn't the problem, but cheap interfacing or thread is. I would have prewashed that fabric combination if I'd used it for something I'd made; washing RTW is riskier. Since I'd undoubtedly wind up tossing it into the laundry by mistake (something I did to two - count 'em, TWO- handwash only sweaters today), I'd probably go ahead and handwash, line dry and get that puppy safely back into the closet before it went for a joy ride in the dryer by mistake. I'm convinced that many times, RTW dry clean labels are used to protect the manufacturer, not to provide real guidance about how to care for something.

------
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



missjen

missjen
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In reply to Karla Kizer


Date: 4/5/09 11:18 PM

Hi Karla,

yes, I am pretty convinced that RTW lables are for the company's protection.

I think I will take the risk, as long as I am gentle & use delicates fabric wash, line dry etc.

It wasn't a particularly cheap dress, but it's quite ridiculous to have dry clean only things isn't it...especially casual wear. Also, the designer uses the term 'organic fabrics' as a selling point...not why I actually brought it, but I made the assumption that if something was 'organic' then how on earth could it possibly be dry clean only?!?

Note to self: read all labels in the future!

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/5/09 11:25 PM

I wash dry clean stuff often, as well. I have also noticed that women's clothing often seems to have more cautious cleaning advice than men's wear, even in similar fabrics. I have been told that for silk, you need to use soap rather than detergent, even the special Woolites etc are detergent and not as good for natural fabrics. Warm water, not cold, as it shocks the fibers. Roll it up carefully in a towel or two to get the extra water out so it isn't heavy when you hang it. You don't want to have it pull itself out of shape from the weight of the water. Good luck!

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cindyintampa
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cindyintampa
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In reply to tourist


Date: 4/5/09 11:39 PM

This is the first I have heard that you are not supposed to use detergent on silk. You say to use soap. What is a soap product in the laundry aisle?

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missjen

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In reply to tourist


Date: 4/5/09 11:39 PM

Thanks Tourist! I'll keep that soap trick in mind for when I do take the plunge.

I think as it's mostly cotton I should be ok, (it looks & feels like cotton)

Karla Kizer
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In reply to tourist


Date: 4/5/09 11:40 PM

I use Louise Cutting's baby shampoo recommendation for washing silk, whether I'm washing by hand or in the machine.

------
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



EveS
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EveS
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In reply to Karla Kizer


Date: 4/5/09 11:56 PM

Baby shampoo? Really? Now that's something I'm well stocked in!! Just a squirt or two?

Eve

------
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it - Chinese proverb

Miranda

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Date: 4/6/09 0:14 AM

Sandra Betzina says hair shampoo. I have done silks in shampoo and it is lovely. Usually, for my non-rtw stuff out of silk (tees) it ends up in the wash with the rest of the stuff! Then it loses its lovely luscious smoothness.

Hadn't considered putting it in the machine! Karla do you have a front or top loader? I guess, since you don't use too much that over-sudsing wouldn't be a problem... Must experiment!

Miranda

Elona
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Date: 4/6/09 1:59 AM

Boy, in our hard water area (just about enough calcium in it to let you stand a spoon upright in a glass of water), real soap would be a killer on silk. The curd that formed would turn it into a suit of armor!

I wash all my silks in my old top-loader machine, using baby shampoo most often, but that black woolite or whatever liquid for my black things. I give them two rinses and then dry them very briefly in the dryer (10 minutes) letting them finish on a hanger.

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