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Fabric Types & Care Guide
Laundry, Labels and Tips

These fabric care suggestions are provided as a general guide
for the convenience of our customers and visitors.

** For specific instructions **
always refer to the garment's sewn-in care label


: is a man made fine soft and luxurious fabric with the bulk and hand of wool. Light weight and springy, this fabric is non-allergenic, dries quickly, draws moisture away from the body.

* May be machine washed or dry cleaned.
* When machine washing, use warm water setting and add a fabric softener during the final rinse cycle.
* Machine dry at low temperature. Remove from dryer as soon as garments are dry.
* Wash delicate items by hand in warm water.
* Static electricity can be reduced by using fabric softener in every third or fourth washing
* Gently squeeze out water, smooth or shake out garment and let dry on a non-rust hanger.
* Sweaters and circular knits should be dried flat.
* If ironing is required, use moderately warm iron.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


: Is a Natural Fiber from the cotton plant’s seed pod

* Can be easily laundered. Cotton can withstand high temperatures (boiling water does not hurt the fiber).
* Machine wash warm, tumble dry low. Use cool iron.
* Any good detergent can be used to wash cotton.
* Chlorine bleach can be used safely on cotton whites. Use color-safe bleach on dyed cottons.
* Since cotton fibers are fairly inelastic, they may wrinkle easily. Fabric may need frequent pressing.
* Cotton fabric can be treated with a wrinkle resistant finish to create a more resilient fabric/garment.
(The label will tell you if this finish has been applied)
* A higher heat setting is needed in the dryer. (Cotton takes longer to dry than less absorbent fibers)
* Can be ironed with a hot iron, and does not scorch easily

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


Fleece: a modern synthetic material used to make cool-weather clothing

* Machine wash warm and remove quickly to avoid matting.
* Hang to dry; do not use dryer.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

Linen: is a natural fiber from flax, a bast fiber taken from the stalk of the plant. Hemp, Ramie & Jute are similar to Linen but the plants are processed slightly differently.

* Some linens are washable, while others are dry clean only. (Be sure to check the label)
* Dry clean is recommended to retain the original crisp finish to the fabric.
* Hand wash in mild soap no chlorine bleach dry by laying flat on clean non-colored towel.
* Hand washing softens the feel of the linen which is sometimes preferred
* Washable linen apparel can be washed easily and become softer with use.
* White linens should be dried in the sun, if possible, to help them to keep their whiteness.
* Linen fabrics may need frequent pressing, unless treated for crease resistance.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

Microfibers: also known as microdeniers, are now very popular in the garment industry. Their popularity can be attributed to their ability to repel moisture and their strength and durability. The fibers are so small that they can be tightly woven together, and as a result are strong enough to repel moisture and are more durable. The best known family of microfibers carries the name brand "Ultra-Suede"

* Acrylic, nylon and polyester microfibers are machine washable, machine dryable or drycleanable.
* Follow the instructions for washing fabrics consisting of these individual fibers.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.

Nylon: Since 1940, Nylon became one of the most versatile fibers of the man-made fabrics. In addition to hosiery, nylon is used in tricot, netting for bridal veils. Nylon is stronger yet weighs less than any other commonly used fiber. It is elastic and resilient and responsive to heat setting. Nylon fibers are smooth, non-absorbent and dry quickly. Dirt doesn’t cling to this smooth fiber nor is it weakened by chemicals and perspiration.

* Most items made from nylon can be machined washed and tumbled dried at low temperatures.
* Use warm water and add a fabric softener to the final rinse cycle.
* To minimize static electricity use a dryer sheet when machine drying.
* Remove articles from the dryer as soon as the tumbling cycle is completed.
* If ironing is required, use a warm iron.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

Polyester: is a strong man made fiber that is resistant to crease and thus keeps it shape. Blends of polyester with cotton gives a permanent press property and extend the wear of the garment. You can't go wrong with clothing that is made of polyester and blended with rayon-viscose or spandex. It's the polyester component in a garment that will give it it's pristine drape and crease-free finish. Natural fibers do not possess this incredibly appealing attribute. Polyester is hydrophobic in nature and quick drying.

* Most items made from polyester can be machine washed and dried.
* Use warm water and add a fabric softener to the final rinse cycle.
* Machine dry at low temperature setting and remove articles as soon as the tumbling cycle is complete.
* If ironing is needed, use a moderately warm iron.
* Most items made from polyester can be dry-cleaned.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

Rayon: from cellulose, has many of the qualities of cotton, a natural cellulose fiber. Rayon is strong, extremely absorbent, comes in a variety of qualities and weights, and can be made to resemble natural fabrics. Rayon does not melt but burns at high temperatures. Rayon drapes well, and has a soft, silky feel. Rayon will wrinkle easily and may stretch when wet and shrink when washed.

* Use mild lukewarm or cool suds. Gently squeeze suds through the fabric and rinse in lukewarm water.
* Do not wring or twist the garment.
* Smooth or shake out the article and place on a non-rust hanger to dry.
* Rayon sweaters should be laid flat to dry
* Press the article while damp on the wrong side with the iron at a moderate setting.
* If finishing on the right side is required, a press cloth should be used.
* Between wearings, rayon articles may be pressed with a cool iron.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

: Is a natural fiber from the cocoon of the silkworm

* Dry cleaning is preferred, since laundering detergent and dyes in other clothes may adversely affect silk.
* For washable silk, follow the care instructions carefully.
* Careful handwashing is possible with mild soap and lukewarm water,
* Chlorine bleach should never be used on silk.
* Lay flat on a clean non-colored towel to dry.
* Only pre-washed silk is washable. Be sure to read the label.
* For long-time storage, silk should be sealed against light, air and insects.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

is an man made elastic type fiber that can be stretched many times its length and then spring back to the original length. Spandex is more resistant to washing, perspiration, and heat than latex. Spandex is often used in foundation garments, hosiery and polyester blend garments

* Hand or machine wash in lukewarm water.
* Never use chlorine bleach on any fabric containing Lycra.
* Either drip dry or machine dry using low temperature settings.
* If ironing is required, iron rapidly and don't leave the iron in one place too long.
* Use a low temperature setting on the iron.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

: Most commonly refers to a type of leather with a soft, napped finish

* Recommendation is dry cleaning. (Machine wash gentle cycle is possible)

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)

Wool: Natural Fibers from animal coats: Sheep, goats, rabbits, alpacas, llama

* Recommendation is for dry cleaning. (Can be spot cleaned with a damp sponge)
* Give wool garments a 24-hour rest between wearings.
* Hang on shaped or padded hangers, leaving lots of space.
(wool fibers will shed wrinkles and return to their orginal shape)
* Empty pockets, remove belts and hang with closures zipped and buttoned.
* Fold knits.
* Brush wool to remove surface soil.
* Use a damp sponge for knits and finer fabrics.
* Refresh wool garments quickly after wearing or unpacking by hanging them in a steamy bathroom.
(Moisture from the steam will remove wrinkles)
* If wool gets wet, dry the garment at room temperature away from heat. If there's a nap, brush with the nap.
* Remove spots and stains promptly.
* Keep moths away by storing wool with fresh cedar blocks.
* Dry clean once a season (or when stained), and especially before storing.
* Always steam when pressing wool. Use the wool setting. Avoid pressing wool totally dry. When possible, press on the reverse side of the fabric. When necessary to press on the right side, use a press cloth to avoid a shine. Lower and lift the iron, don't slide it back and forth. Prevent imprinting inside detail by placing a piece of brown paper or tissue paper under folds, seams or darts.

(For specific instruction refer to the garment's sewn-in care label.)


Leather n' Vinyl Care - Protect Your Investment!

Leather Care

  • Store your leather garment in a well ventilated area out of the garment bag
  • Allow a wet or damp garment to air dry away from any heat source
  • Remove small stains as soon as possible with a cleaner like saddle soap
  • Polish with a good quality leather polish
  • Use professional dry cleaners for more serious stains

Vinyl Care

  • It is recommended that Vinyl garments be stored in a garment bag away from other clothing
  • Hand wash in warm water with a small amount of liquid detergent
  • Wash both the inside and outside of the garment, rinse thoroughly in cool water
  • Hang to dry inside out then turn to let Vinyl side dry
  • Polishing can be done with small amounts of silicone spray
  • Different colors of Vinyl should be washed and stored separately as dark colors can bleed onto lighter ones.


Care Labels

The symbols were developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), using a system that is simple and easy to learn. Members of the detergent, textile, apparel and appliance industries, as well as retailers and related media and educational organizations, are working with the FTC to help consumers become familiar with the new symbols.

To make the learning process even easier, The Soap and Detergent Association has developed two teaching tools:

A little extra effort in laundering can extend the life of a garment. Proper handling and cleaning will have the following benefits:

* Garments will maintain a fresh appearance longer
* Color fading will be minimized
* Damage to fabric from laundering will be reduced
* The useful life of fabric will be extended, making your money go farther


Sort articles by color, keeping whites, darks, and medium colors together. Lighter garments can pick up dyes from darker colors.

Separate man-made fabrics, like polyester from natural fibers such as cotton. Man-made fibers can attract the oils that are released from natural fibers during washing. These oils can build up and make spots more noticeable.

Wash heavily soiled, dirty, items separately from slightly soiled items. This will help prevent fading and keep colors brighter.

Try to have large and small items in each washer load. This will let the items move more freely during the washing cycles.

Sort delicate fabrics and loose knits from "tougher" fabrics.

Garments which generate lint, such as fleece sweat shirts and towels, should be washed separately.

It used to be you could help make dyes colorfast by adding 1/2 cup of WHITE vinegar to the washer, before adding the clothes. However, this does not work on today's dyes. If dyes bleed, continue to wash the garment separately until no color bleeds in the wash water.


It's best to deal with the stain as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more time the stain has to soak in and/or dry, making it more difficult to remove.

Lift or gently scrap off any excess material from the fabric. Use a cloth or a towel to gently blot and soak up any liquid. Don't rub! Rubbing can spread the stain and cause it to penetrate deeper into the fabric.

Identify what caused the stain. In order to know what to do for the stain, you need to know what caused it.

Follow the instructions on any presoak, prewash or stain removers. It's best to test a small out of the way area of the fabric first.

If stains aren't entirely removed after washing, try rewashing the item. Allowing the item to dry, or putting it in the dryer, can set the stain for good.

Here are the Top 7 Little Known Ways to get Rid of Your Fabric Stains:

1. Blood. Believe it or not it can come out. This trick depends on how much blood there is. First, you want to treat the stain with a cold water and table salt mixture (2 tablespoons of salt to 1 quart of water). Rinse and blot with a towel. If the stain persists, try using diluted ammonia.

2. Candle Wax. Luckily, you have more than one way to clean up this stain. The first step is to gently scrape away the surface wax with a spatula or a dull knife. Now you have two options: you can either spot clean with a water-free cleaning solvent or you can get creative. Getting creative involves covering the spot with several layers of paper towels and applying a warm iron. This should heat the wax and make it easy to scrape off.

3. Chewing Gum. All you have to do is freeze the gum with ice and then use a spatula or dull knife to remove it.

4. Chocolate and Coffee. Chocolate and coffee are two very easy stains to remove from your fabric. Just dampen a sponge with lukewarm water and blot the stain.

5. Ink and Markers. Use rubbing alcohol to lift the stain.

6. Mud. The first step is to lift away whatever can be removed easily with a spatula or a dull knife. Let the mud dry, and then vacuum it. If the stain persists, clean it with a cloth dampened with ammonia-water solution.

7. Wine and Alcohol. You're going to have to take a couple extra steps with this stain. Spot clean only with water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Make sure that you pretest for color loss and fabric compatibility. Do not over wet.

Some stains are easier to get out then others. There are many factors that play into the difficulty in lifting a stain from the fabric (i.e. age of stain). Remember, if you are unsure of how you should clean any piece of fabric, it's best to have it done professionally.



Be sure to check the label for proper care instructions, including the water temperature and wash cycle to use.

Don't overload the washer. If the washer is too full, the clothes won't get enough agitation, and may not get clean. Also, all the detergent may not be dissolved, leaving globs of detergent paste on fabric.

Make sure the items are equally distributed around the tub of the washer to keep the load balanced during spinning cycles.

To minimize wrinkling when washing fabrics containing man-made fibers, wash in hot/warm water using a permanent-press cycle. If your machine does not have a permanent-press cycle, use warm/cool water.

Very important tip - Always be sure to check the pockets of all garments before washing and drying. The stains and damage which can result from one hidden lipstick, lip balm, stick of gum or crayon goes beyond words!



Lightly shake out items taken from the washer, before placing them in the dryer. Tightly balled up fabric dries slower and will likely come out wrinkled.

Don't overload the dryer. A stuffed dryer will not allow the items to tumble. Drying will be slower and clothes will wrinkle.

Keep like garments together. Permanent press items should not be dried with towels, and delicate items, such as lingerie should be dried separately.

All clothes should be left in the dryer just long enough to remove wrinkles and moisture. Any longer and the heat can actually "set" wrinkles, increase static cling, and cause shrinkage. This can be true for both natural and man-made fibers.

Use the proper heat setting and time cycle. Don't use a high or regular setting for all clothes. Read the label! Fabrics made from fibers which have low moisture absorbency are fast drying and should be dried using a low temperature setting. This includes: Acrylic, Nylon, Polyester, Polyolefin, Microfibers

After removing garments from the dryer, immediately hang them up or fold them. Don't let them lie in a heap. This can cause them to wrinkle.

Permanent press items should be taken out slightly damp and hung on a non-rust hanger. Close clasps and button buttons. Straighten fabric lines and creases, and gently brush out any wrinkles.

Keep the lint filter clean. A clogged filter increases drying time and costs more money in electricity/gas usage.



Use the washing and drying tips to reduce the amount of wrinkles from laundering.

Be sure you read the care label for the proper ironing procedure and temperature setting to use.

Do not iron items which are dirty or stained. Heat from the iron will set stains.
Keep the iron and the ironing board cover clean to avoid soiling the clean garments/fabric being ironed.

Garments which are drip-dry should be pressed while damp on the wrong side, using a cool iron. If finishing the right side, use a pressing cloth.

Circular knits and sweaters should be laid flat to dry.


Also, Check Out Our Laundry Stains Cheat Sheet Here
and also Check Out  When to Wash Everything Guide Here
If you have a tip to share, please email and let us know.

written: 04/30/07

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