Lingerie, Clothing and Leather Care

It seems that the more expensive and desirable clothing items are also the costliest to care for, clean and maintain. Most of these clothing articles are also finicky and come with a complete set of rules for proper care. Because items like leather, suede, delicate lingerie can be so expensive, it is best to take the necessary measures for leather care and general clothes care and maximize their longevity.
The first rule for leather care as for any clothes care is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Leather care for instance, requires a litany of things to watch for and avoid, along with special “treatments” for certain conditions. For instance, always allow a leather garment to dry at room temperature should it get wet. Leather jackets or leather lingerie should be hung on a shoulder width wooden, plastic or padded or it may lose its shape. Plastic covers will dry leather out, so if you must cover or store the garment, do so in a breathable fabric such as cotton. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight for a protracted period of time and treat the item with a leather care conditioner, using a soft cloth. This step will clean and condition the garment, extend its life and act as a repellent against water.

Baby shampoo or other mild soap in warm water can be used to clean leather products. Avoid strong detergents and prolonged exposure to the water. Again, air dry at room temperature after cleaning. Leather care need not be laborious, but it does require that you adhere to certain procedures and products and avoid others.

The delicate nature of women’s lingerie requires equally delicate treatment when cleaning. Most lingerie should be hand washed and laid flat on a clean towel to dry. Never wring out or twist the fabric or wrinkles may remain.

If you choose to machine wash your lingerie, always select the gentlest cycle, use a garment bag an turn all garments inside out. Buttons and zippers should always be in the closed position and colors should be separated and washed separately. If using a clothes dryer, select the cool temperature settings and gentlest tumbling action.

Most fabrics used to make women’s lingerie may require different cleaning processes. The most common fabrics used are acetate, acrylic, cotton, linen, nylon, polyester, rayon, silk, and spandex.

Acetate should be dry cleaned, but can be hand washed. Do not soak colored items, let them dry in room temperature and if ironing is necessary, do so while slightly damp with a cool iron. Acrylics can be machine washed or dry cleaned, machine dried at low temperatures and ironed with a warm iron. Cotton may be machine washed, dried and ironed at high temperatures. Check your label before cleaning linens to see if it can be machine washed or dry cleaned only. Most nylon products can be machine washed and dried at warm temperatures, but should be removed from the dryer immediately. Most polyester items can be machine washed and dried on warm cycles and ironed with a moderately warm iron. Be on the safe side with rayon and have it dry cleaned. It is best to dry clean silk garments also, since only pre-washed silk can be machine washed. In addition, harsh detergents may compromise the silk fabric. Hand or machine wash spandex in lukewarm water and drip dry if possible. Iron only on low temperature and avoid prolonged contact with the fabric.

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, always err to the manufacturer’s recommendations for leather care, and cleaning and care of delicate lingerie. The store where you buy your clothing should also be able to counsel you regarding alternative cleaning methods.
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