Caring for your cocoon

Follow these handy tips to keep your bed as soft and lovely as a dream

In the wake of the hustle and bustle of the past few months, and with the goals and pressures of 2024 already making themselves felt, you may be fantasizing about retreating to your bed for a long winter’s nap. If so, you’re in luck—the early months of the year often coincide with white sales, which means now is the time to give your bedding some much-deserved attention. Follow these simple tips to turn your bedroom into a clean, sweet-smelling haven of rest.

 

Bed sheets and pillow cases:

  • Check the label. Most bed sheets are machine-washable, but be sure to check the label anyway. Certain delicate fabrics are better suited to dry-cleaning or hand-washing, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  • Choose the right program. If your bed sheets are machine-washable, launder them in hot, warm, or cold water according to the indications on the label, bearing in mind that higher temperatures are more effective at eliminating germs and dust mites. Certain washing machine models have a dedicated “bedding” program; otherwise, the “normal” setting is generally fine for sheets. If you are washing delicate fabrics such as silk, choose the “delicate” setting.
  • Add detergent and softener. Any mild laundry detergent should be suitable for washing your bed sheets. For extra softness, especially if you have hard water, don’t forget to add fabric softener.
  • Dry completely. Bed sheets must be dried completely before being used or stored. Tumble dry using low heat until optimal dryness has been reached. Alternatively, if your home is equipped with an outdoor clothes line, and the weather is pleasant, why not dry your sheets (and towels) in the fresh air? They’ll smell great, and your budget will benefit, too.
  • Sheets and pillow cases should be cleaned every one to two weeks depending on the season and whether or not you suffer from allergies.

 

The above steps will ensure that your bed sheets remain in optimal condition. But what about trickier bedding items such as pillows and duvets? They need to be cared for also—read on to learn how.

 

Pillows and duvets: 

  • Check the label. While some pillows and duvets can be machine-washed (provided your machine is big enough), others cannot. Because the large dimensions of duvets make machine-washing tricky, the wisest choice may be to have them dry-cleaned.
  • Be gentle. If you opt for machine-washing, choose the gentle cycle and a mild detergent.
  • Dry thoroughly. You don’t want your bedding to smell like mildew, so be sure that your pillows and duvets are 100% dry before storing or using them. Either tumble dry on low heat (along with a tennis ball or two to ensure optimal fluffiness) or hang them outside to dry in the fresh air.
  • Repeat (just not too often). Over-washing can damage your pillows and duvets, so wash in moderation. Pillows should be washed only once or twice per year; duvets are generally protected by a cover and thus only need washing once every several years.

 

For more tips on how to care for your favorite clothes and linens, visit our special fabrics section.

Baby, it’s cold outside

How to keep your winter coats and jackets looking their best?

When the days begin to shorten and that chill in the air becomes more persistent, it means the time has come to pull our cold weather coats and jackets out of the closet and put them back into active duty. Unfortunately, if we neglected to store our outer wear properly last season, chances are it may not be in the best shape. But never fear—with a little care, your coats and jackets will be as good as new.

Prepping your outer wear for immediate use:

  • Examine it. Your coat or jacket may look clean, but looks can be deceiving! There may be small or light-colored stains that have escaped your attention, and if you did not clean your garment prior to storing it, it may have an unpleasant musty smell.
  • Treat it. If your garment is machine-washable, be sure to pre-treat any stains that you notice. A variety of stain removers are available; just remember to be gentle when treating stains.
  • Clean it. Refer to the label on your garment and follow the indicated cleaning instructions. If your coat or jacket can be washed in the machine, be sure to use the appropriate setting, as well as the right quantity of laundry soap (adding extra soap will not make your garment extra clean!).
  • Dry it. Even if your coat or jacket can be machine-washed, you should avoid the risk of tumble-drying it and instead hang it out to dry. Your garment (and your budget) will be all the better for it!

Once you’ve followed the above steps, you’ll be all set to get the most enjoyment out of your warm (and clean) winterwear. Remember to keep your garment looking its best throughout the colder months by periodically checking for stains, removing any lint or debris with a lint roller or damp cloth, and, if necessary, giving it a full cleaning. Once warmer days return, simply follow the guidelines below to ensure optimal storage of your garment until it’s needed again!

Storing your coats and jackets during warm weather: 

  • Clean and dry again. Follow the above-mentioned steps to ensure that your coats and jackets are in the best possible shape prior to storage. Take care not to store your garments until they are fully dry.
  • Use fabric rather than plastic protection. Your coats and jackets will need to “breathe” during their storage time. Fabric storage bags allow air to circulate, and should be preferred over plastic ones.
  • Choose the right storage position. Keep in mind that some coats are best stored hanging, while others are better off folded in order to maintain their attractive shape (leather jackets, for example).

 

For more tips on how to care for your favorite clothes, visit our special fabrics section.

Go team!

How to care for your young athlete’s sports clothes

Football, gymnastics, tennis, dance, badminton, karate… the world of sports offers endless benefits for youth of all ages. Whether it’s teamwork or leadership skills, determination or coordination, the practice of sports gives young people an array of tools that will serve them their entire lives. However, as every parent knows, sports can take their toll on clothing. To keep those jerseys and leotards looking (and smelling) good, a little extra attention is required.

When washing your child’s sports clothes, keep in mind the following suggestions:

Sweat is nothing to fear—it’s a sign that your young athlete has been working hard!—but if left to sit too long, sweat can cause stains that are tough to remove. So make sure that those sweaty clothes are moved from the gym bag to the washing machine the same day if possible. If any sweat stains do form, try pre-treating the garment before machine washing it. Make a mixture of 1 tablespoon white vinegar and half a cup of water. Soak the stained area for about 30 minutes, then machine wash.

 

Start with the stains. For rough-and-tumble stains like grass, mud, and the occasional bit of blood, pre-treat them either with a ready-made stain removal product or a simple solution you can make yourself from household ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, and water:

  • For grass or mud stains, try mixing together one part vinegar to two parts water. Apply gently to the stains, ensuring that they are fully soaked in the mixture. Allow to sit for 1-2 hours, then machine wash. For especially heavy stains, try using undiluted white vinegar.
  • For blood stains, soak the garment in very cold water as soon as possible. After 20 minutes, gently rub the stained area between your fingers to see whether the stain fades. If it does, continue soaking for another 5-10 minutes, then machine wash. For more stubborn blood stains, try soaking the stain in undiluted white vinegar for 10 minutes. Avoid using bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the stain unless the fabric is white, and even then, be sure to exercise caution so as to prevent any unwanted discoloration.

 

Mind the heat. Stretchy materials like elastane or nylon can be sensitive to high temperatures, so make sure that your wash cycle isn’t too hot. Also bear in mind that certain stains can be far more difficult to remove after having been exposed to heat. For both of these reasons, skip the dryer altogether and let your sportswear dry in the fresh air.

Choose the right laundry detergent. Most sports clothes can be washed with any all-purpose detergent. However, you may want to choose a dedicated sports detergent, which often includes an anti-bacterial additive for an extra dose of odor-fighting action.

Softener is optional. The moisture-absorbing properties of some kinds of sportswear may be hindered by fabric softener. If softness is a must for you, check the label of your garment first.

And when washing your young athlete’s sports clothes,

always refer to the care instructions on the label!

 

For more tips on how to care for your favorite clothes, visit our special fabrics section.

Does “hand wash only” mean what it says?

Certain garments require a little extra care—but it’s easier than you think!

We all have clothing whose label bears those three ominous words: “hand wash only” or/and this little pictogram. The modern convenience of washing machines has made manual laundering unnecessary for many types of garments. Nevertheless, when it comes to certain fabrics, extra care is non-negotiable. For these items, hand wash only means exactly what it says.

 

 

Why? Because vintage, hand-knit, or fragile fabrics such as wool, silk or lace, as well as decorative details such as paint, beads, or sequins, may be damaged by water that’s too hot or by a spin cycle that’s too rough. And while you may be tempted to reach for the “delicate” setting on your washing machine, the risk of shrinking, snagging, or otherwise damaging your hand wash only garments is just too great.

 

But there’s good news—hand washing your delicate items is nothing to be feared! Simply follow these easy guidelines and your favorite delicates will keep on looking their best.

 

  • Use a clean, empty wash basin.
  • Fill with warm water—neither too hot nor too cold, at maximum 40°C.
  • Choose a detergent that suits your item. For example, you can choose a multi-use detergent, a wool detergent, a special detergent for washing by hand, etc.
  • Place your clothing in the basin and ensure that all the fabric is fully saturated with the soapy water. Allow to sit for around 30 minutes, then gently agitate in the water, taking care not to twist anything as this could stretch the fabric.
  • There is no need to leave your clothing to soak for an overly long amount of time; 30 minutes should suffice.
  • Thoroughly rinse your clothing, ensuring that any trace of detergent is gone.
  • Gently squeeze out the excess water from top to bottom, avoiding any twisting motions. You may briefly roll your clothing in a like-colored towel to absorb some of the moisture.
  • Never put your hand wash only items in the dryer, as the heat will most likely damage them. Instead, hang them out to dry.
  • That’s it! Your delicate garments will be ready to wear again in no time. Washing them may have taken a few extra minutes, but sometimes there’s just no substitute for your own two hands.

 

 

For more tips on how to care for your favorite clothes, visit our special fabrics section.

Jeans, the iconic garment of your wardrobe!

A “closet must” - Jeans can be seen on catwalks or worn by just about anyone on the street.

It dresses all silhouettes and finds its place in women’s, men’s and kid’s wardrobes. Available in several colours and cuts, jeans remain the best-selling garment, with 73 pairs sold every second in the world.

Jeans became popular in the 1850s, with Levis’ famous 501 model. But the creation of this garment dates back to the 16th century.

Falsely, “jeans” are often referred to as a fashion item. This multipurpose word is used to describe the famous pair of blue pants, but this use really outshines its essential meaning: its fabric. Indeed, what we commonly call “jeans” happens to be a fabric (denim), which differs from the actual jeans “garment”.

 

How to wash your jeans properly:

  • Before washing, look for instructions on your jeans’ textile care label
  • Turn your jeans inside-out before putting them in the washing machine, to avoid white streaks
  • Wash your jeans in almost cold water
  • Do not leave them in the drier for too long (15 minutes maximum)
  • Finish drying your jeans by hanging them on a special trouser hanger
  • To prevent the initial colour of the jeans from bleeding, they must be soaked for one hour before the first wash, in a bath of lukewarm water (2 litres) with a half cup of white vinegar.

     

    For more tips on how to care your jeans, visit our special fabrics section.

Your swimsuit: the true holiday star!

Want to know more on how to care for your textiles and keep them longer…? Here are tips and tricks to take care of your essential summer must-have!

Although our swimsuit is an essential summer garment, we really tend to give it the roughest time! From chlorine to salt, oil, and sunscreen… it endures a good share of treatments that shorten its lifespan considerably, if you don’t take care of it properly.

 

Ok, but how exactly should we care for our swimsuit if we want to wear it again every season?

How to wash your swimsuit properly

  • Rinse your swimsuit in clear water after each use
  • Do not wring your swimsuit manually, this could eventually damage the fibers
  • Look at the textile care label of your swimsuit, to make sure it can go in the washing machine
  • Prefer washing by hand or using a delicate cycle
  • Use a special detergent for delicate fabrics
  • To get rid of a sunscreen stain, you can pour a bit of liquid detergent or washing-up liquid directly on the stain before rubbing it gently

The essential step: rinsing!

To preserve your swimsuit, make sure you rinse it with cold water after each use! This is essential to eliminate salt or chlorine residues which can be corrosive to its textile over time.

 

For more tips on how to care your swimwear, visit our special fabrics section.

Laundry: how washing machine programs affect your electricity consumption

We all have the power to change our habits. Here’s how to push the right buttons…

We all have the power to change our habits.
Here’s how to push the right buttons…

Energy savings have become a priority for most households. In addition to environmental concerns, the current economic climate urges us to curb our energy bills. Most of us are willing to change our household routines, but we also want to make sure our efforts are worthwhile. With regard to laundry, the washing machine is a good place to start.
How should we use it? What temperature and what program should we choose?

To find the right answers actions, GINETEX (the International Textile Care Labelling Association) launched a survey conducted by Testex*, to examine which factors influence our electricity consumption when we turn the wash on.

Choosing the right temperature

Looking at Testex’s figures, the washing temperature impacts electricity consumption the most. Reducing the washing temperature from 40°C to 30°C increases energy savings by 30%, while washing at 60°C uses 50% more electricity than at 30°C. Using the 90°C programs (the highest temperature on washing machines), doubles the energy consumption of washing at 40°C.

The lower the wash temperature, the greater the savings!

The use of washing temperatures higher than 40°C may help to remove difficult stains but leads to significantly higher energy consumption.Heavily soiled items may need a higher temperatre wash setting, (if authorised by the care label), which will mean higher energy consumption. However, this will preserve the durability of your textile!

Manage your spin speed

The same goes for the spin cycle. Higher speed use more electricity but is more effective in eliminating excess water, and the drier your clothes come out of the washing machine, the less time they will spend in the dryer.

In other words, if you’re not using a dryer, reduce the spin speed to save energy. If  you are using a dryer, you may want to increase the spin speed – remember that spin + dry will increase  your total energy bill.

 

Laundry load capacity, don’t do things by half

With the same program, a half-loaded machine will use 50 to 70% more energy per kg of textiles than a full load. Remember:

Use the washing machine less often and only with a full load. It will also preserve your textile quality as mechanical shocks will be avoided.

 

Quick wash programs may save energy consumption

If you’re used to selecting the pre-wash button, bear in mind that it increases energy consumption by 15 to 20% – in addition to using more water! Consider using it only for occasional heavy-duty washes.

Testex also reveals that “quick wash” programs, when used at low temperature (30°C), offer almost 20% energy savings. At high temperatures (90°C) however, the savings are less significant.

If your laundry isn’t too dirty, the recommendation is to do a quick wash at 30°C instead of 40°C.

The occasional hot wash is still acceptable, as it will help keep your machine clean and will extend its lifespan.

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