General Care and Maintenance of Fabrics
We all know that clothes need care and maintenance when they become dirty due to various reasons like dust, stains, perspiration etc. No one likes to wear stained clothes. Stains and dirt left on unwashed clothes are the cause of bacterial and fungal growth.
Clothes need to be washed every time they are worn. If your clothes haven’t absorbed much sweat or wasn’t exposed to dirt may be because they were worn indoors or you were sitting in air conditioning the entire day, you can reuse your clothes. Keep a few things in mind while you keep your used clothes to be worn again.
- Shake off the dirt off your clothes. Hold the dress with your both hands and shake it to remove dirt or any dust which may be on the surface.
- Put the dress on the hanger and let it air dry. Whilst fabrics suffer from perspiration, oils and dust, a good airing may often be appropriate.
- The technique of dry brushing can be applied to your clothes and not only to the carpets. Always remember that brushing should never be a scrubbing movement, it requires a strong sweeping motion or a firm flick of your wrist on areas where dust has accumulated.
Laundering doesn’t mean only the washing of clothes, it consists of the following steps:
Soaking: Soaking a fabric may become an important step if you have a stain on your fabric or fabrics are exposed to too much dirt because soaking loosens the dirt on the fabric. Some stains may become permanent when they come in contact with detergent or soaps. Different stains require different kind of stain removing agent and specific technique. Take a small soft cloth and dip it in stain removing agent and rub on the stain using light and circular motion and soak. Do not soak too many clothes in a bucket and make sure not to soak for more than 30-40 minutes as you don’t want your fabric to be in contact with detergent agents for too long.
Washing: Several techniques like hand friction, beating stick and scrubbing are available for washing since the old times. Of course, washing machines are everybody’s favorite these days, as they save enormous time and energy. Washing time varies depending upon the type of fabric. Ensure to read the wash instructions for the fabric. Delicate wash setting in your washing machine is a savior for all your delicate clothes e.g. lingerie, silk.
Rinsing: Washed clothes must be rinsed in enough water till the water is clear. You may have to rinse your clothes as many as 3-4 times depending upon fabric and amount of detergent agents used.
Brightening or softening Agents: You always want your fabrics to smell fresh, look stiff and bright. For this, you require the application of brightening or softening agents. Starch for your cotton makes them look stiff and new. You may use one type of fabric softeners for all your clothes and are easily available in the market.
Drying: Sun-Drying, Air-Drying, Machine-Drying are few common methods of drying your clothes. You should always prefer to dry your clothes outside in fresh air and sun. Hang or spread the clothes in sun or shade depending on the fabric. Always remember to turn your clothes inside out if they are colored. Drying your clothes out in air and sun helps kill germs and as well is an environmentally friendly idea.
Ironing and storing: Once your clothes are dry you can iron or steam iron the clothes to remove wrinkles and give it a neat look. There are numerous options available in the market for this like heavy metal heating surface, Teflon etc. If you prefer to iron your clothes right before they are put to use, you can store your clothes nicely by folding them. Ensure to only fold and store once your clothes are completely dry.