“Really? There’s a MACHINE in the basement that would do this for me. This is so stupid.” Ok, I didn’t say the “it’s so stupid” part, aloud. I said it in the comfort of my own mind.
This was a common semi-dialogue I would have with ma grandmere when I stayed the night.
Every night before bed, she made me wash my undergarment, by HAND. She did the same.
Until this day, I can still see her toffee tone stockings and brassieres draped over the shower rod.
I dreaded it.
It wasn’t until I became an adult that je remercie beaucoup ma grand-mère for prepping me.
Before having disposable income, undergarments were one of the items I splurged on. When studying in Milano, my flat mate asked me one day “if you’re so broke (which I was) why did you just spend €60 on a brassiere?”
In “Knock (off), knock (off.) Who’s There?” I discussed cost-per-wear. That €60 Italian lace brassiere lasted longer than I’d like to admit. As I began to type how long I had the brassiere, I started to feel ashamed. THAT’S how long I had that brassiere, I’m embarrassed.
Not only did the craftsmanship play a tremendous part in the brassieres longevity, it was also the proper care.
Delicate garments and undergarments deserve the extra care. The few times that I lazily tossed “handwash only” items into the wash, on a hot setting, I regretted it shortly thereafter.
I will admit that there are times when hand-washing just isn’t practical. Below I will note garment symbols (in the event that your tag is in another language) and mostly safe short cuts to save le jour.
Delicate tips & tricks
Diamond et Pearls or Sequins.
When I’m in dire need of sequins or jeweled garments for a soiree (or a Tues. in the office) and I cant make it to the cleansers, I use mesh laundry bags. First, I fold the garment inside out and then neatly fold it into the mesh laundry bag. For the best results, I also use the delicate wash cycle and a gentle detergent.
If an item you want to wear (isn’t soiled) is in need of a quick refreshing, add vodka! Oui! Place vodka in a spray bottle and lightly splash this Russian nectar all over the item. You can either let the garment air dry or use a steamer to get add a crisp touch!
Let’s let Fuzzy-Wuzzy remain a bear.
Those tiny annoying “balls” that not even a heavy duty lint brush can remove are called “pills.” I used to think that pilling only occurred with bargain priced garments, until I took a textile course in undergrad. Pilling is typically caused by two things, fiber tear and friction. When the fibers of a fabric tear, the remaining surface stubble creates those annoying little balls that we now know is called pilling.
Friction pilling. This is commonly found on the inner sleeves of a top, or the inseam of pants (YASSSSSS thick thighs! I’m jealous) wherever constant rubbing occurs. The most cost effective treatment is to use a shaving razor. I used to purchase fancy swirly battery operated fabric shavers. If you’re not purchasing an industrial shaver, or need to de-pill ten-thousand sweaters, I don’t think it’s worth the cost. A good ole razor will suffice.
Do you have questions about garment care?
What are some DIY tactics you use to keep your items in great condition?
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