Basic Information For the Wash & Care of Fabric & Handkerchiefs
Linen is generally used in situations where you will want to be able to launder the item after it is made. With this in mind, it is best to pre-wash linen using a hot water cycle. Expect to lose 2-4 inches length per yard in shrinkage for most linens. (Be sure to finish your cut ends by serging or basting a hem prior to washing, or you will have a washing machine full of string at the end of the wash cycle!)
To pre-shrink your linen fabric:
- Wash your linen fabric in a washing machine using a hot water cycle.
- Dry the linen completely in the dryer for added shrinkage.
- Wet the linen back down and press it dry to remove any wrinkles. You can also not dry it fully and press it the rest of the way dry.
After your clothing is made it is best to cold water hand wash and hang to dry to avoid any further shrinkage.
- Note: You do not always need to wash your linen fabric. Exceptions include linen used for sewing/making stays or corsets, and linen used to line a coat or other wool garments that will not be washed.
Worsted wool typically has a hard finish which makes it resistant to heavy fulling by agitation and heat. If you will not be washing your wool in the future, it is safe to work with the wool without laundering. If you feel you will be washing or even dry-cleaning the wool at some point, it is best to pre-shrink the fabric. Most worsted wool will have very little shrinkage - a couple of inches at most. Some worsted wools are woven so tightly that they can stand up to gentle washing in the machine without changing the “hand” of the fabric in any way. Cut a small piece of your fabric and try it first if you are unsure.
To pre-shrink your worsted wool fabric:
- Fill your washing machine or bathtub full of hot water and immerse your fabric. Allow the fabric to sit until the water has completely cooled.
- Spin the extra water out or wring the fabric by hand.
- Lay the fabric flat to dry in order to avoid any stretching.
After your clothing is made, it is best to always wash with a cold-water hand-wash and lay flat to dry.
If you do not plan to wash your wool in the future, it is safe to work with the wool without laundering. If you feel you will be washing the wool at some point, it is best to pre-shrink the fabric. If you are going to dry clean only we still suggest you shrink the fabric. Expect to lose as much as 6 inches per yard depending how tightly woven your fabric is. The more loosely woven the fabric is, the more shrinkage you can expect as the fibers tighten.
To pre-shrink your non-worsted wool fabric:
- Fill your washing machine or bathtub full of hot water and immerse your fabric. Important: Be sure to immerse it all at the same time as hot water will immediately cause the wool fibers to tighten - uneven immersion will cause and you will have uneven shrinkage.
- Allow the fabric to sit until the water has completely cooled. Do not agitate or rub the wool unless you purposely want to thicken (full) it.
- Spin the extra water out or wring the fabric (very gently) by hand.
- Lay the fabric flat to dry on a rack or towel in order to avoid any stretching.
After your clothing is made, it is best to launder by lightly soaking in cold water or dry cleaning, to avoid further shrinkage.
We recommend that you never wash our silks. If you must clean silk, we recommend spot cleaning or dry cleaning. The exception to this is our silk handkerchiefs. If you must clean them and do not wish to dry clean, you can hand wash in cold using a gentle soap. Be aware that the color may not be completely permanent, so you should never soak the handkerchief.
Cotton is a fabric that can always be laundered. We do suggest, that whenever dealing with a new fabric, you wash a small test piece first to check for color-fastness. Red dyes, especially, can be less permanent.
To Pre-shrink your Cotton Fabric:
- Wash your cotton fabric in a washing machine using a hot water cycle.
- Dry the cotton completely in the dryer for added shrinkage.
- Spray or steam iron to remove any wrinkles.
Note: If your fabric retains residual dye, you can wash it in cold water or try using a product such as a "Color Grabber" sheet or Synthrapol soap. We strongly urge that you ALWAYS test your fabric before washing, especially if using a front loader washer, launder with well water or with hot water temperature being higher than 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
After your item is made it is best to launder with a cold water wash, and dry on a cool cycle or by hanging to dry.
In the case of our cotton HANDKERCHIEFS we suggest hand washing in cold water with gentle soap and white vinegar to help set the dye.