Whether you buy your clothes new from department stores, prefer to buy second hand from thrift shops, or even like making your own clothes from a variety of fabrics, it’s important to know how to care for your items to get the most amount of wear from them. Keep reading for a few tips that can help increase the life of your clothes by anywhere up to 15 years.
It should go without saying that if you wear the same outfit day-in, day-out, it’s going to quickly become worn and tatty. For this reason, it’s important to rotate your clothes so that you aren’t wearing one specific item of clothing more than two times per week. Trousers wear twice as quickly as jackets, so keep this in mind. Also, remember to air out your shoes as these need to be rotated just as often as clothes.
If you are not going to be wearing an outfit for a few months or so, perhaps due to the change in seasons, it’s important to store it correctly to keep it in good condition. Cheap plastic hangers tend to stretch clothes, and wire ones aren’t much better. Experts recommend using wooden hangers for clothing, and wrapping items like suits in canvas bags to keep them fully protected. Knitted fabrics are better off being folded and placed in drawers, as hangers can cause them to become misshapen in a relatively short amount of time.
Although many people now opt to wash their clothes at low temperatures for eco-friendly reasons, it’s also a good idea to do this to protect your clothes. High temperatures and large amounts of detergent can damage clothing causing it to rub and fade. Try washing your clothes inside out, and wash delicates on a ‘delicate wash’. You could also try buying fabric detergent and conditioner that is especially suited to your clothes, Woolite for example.
Dry cleaning is not only expensive, but the chemicals involved in the cleaning process can also harm the fabrics. Most people tend to dry clean clothes too regularly, when using a home steamer could do just as good a job. If dry cleaning is a must, it’s recommended to ask for your clothes to be laundered (if the clothing tag says it’s okay) as opposed to dry-cleaned as this puts less stress on the fabrics.
It’s always best to air dry your clothes when you can, as tumble drying is done by using heat, which again is expensive and can damage clothes. Heat shrinks material and causes colours to fade, and it can also cause clothes to break or stretch. If you desperately you need your clothes to dry quickly, and airing them won’t work, try using a dryer ball to speed up the length of time it takes for your clothes to dry. Dryer balls can help separate your clothes in the dryer, making them dry quicker and produce less wrinkles.