Did you know that many clothes that are labelled “Dry Clean” are in fact washable? And that in some countries like Hong Kong, there are no legal requirements for clothing to indicate accurate (or any) care and content information?
At Tove & Libra, we believe in educating, not underestimating, our customer. Read on to learn how to easily keep your clothing looking and feeling their very best long after you take them home.
Because we know exactly how important the right clothing care really is, we ensure that every Tove & Libra piece comes with a clear, detailed care & contents label, so you can easily assess your M.O.
We suggest you always take a look at your clothing labels to get an understanding of how to group your laundry – this will then quickly become intuitive.
Common Laundry Symbols
Excessive heat should be avoided in general. Prolonged high temperatures can damage sensitive materials like stretch fibers and woolen yarns, and can fade colors. Moreover hot washing and drying requires higher energy consumption. Happily, with the modern advances in detergents and washing machines, high heat is rarely required to effectively do your laundry.
We don’t feel it’s ever necessary to wash in water warmer than 40°C. And if you must use a tumble dryer, then do run it on a low setting.
Wool and cashmere:
To avoid pilling and shrinking, the traditional advice for woolen yarns is to dry clean, or hand wash using a gentle detergent. However, since our clothing features machine washable wool and cashmere yarns, you could safely put our garments (please check the label first) through the Wools or Delicates cycle of your washing machine, while using a gentle, wool-safe detergent. Items MUST be placed in a mesh laundry bag for protection. Avoid hot washing and drying cycles.
We recommend to avoid machine washing for longer pieces like dresses or long cardigans to avoid twisting and stretching.
This may be difficult to hear but – silk clothing is best hand-washed. Due to the delicate nature of the silk yarn, it should be handled as gently as possible. If you must wash in your machine, please use the Delicates cycle and use a gentle, silk-safe detergent. Silk items MUST then be placed in a mesh laundry bag for protection.
Avoid the tumble dryer which will damage silk or make it stiff. First lay the item on a towel and then roll gently to absorb excess water, then lay flat or hang to dry fully.
Tencel can be safely washed in your machine, using a gentle cycle like Wool or Delicates, with the clothing placed in a mesh bag. You can tumble dry Tencel but only on a low setting. If Tencel is hung to dry fully, it could become stiff - soften it up with some shaking.
Cotton, Rayon/Viscose and Nylon:
If your clothing is made from predominantly cotton, viscose or nylon yarns, then they’re safe to machine-wash on a regular cycle, though preferably at a temperature 40C or below. Items made of finer materials – like thin shirts and blouses – should be placed in a mesh bag for protection. We would also suggest turning garments inside out to avoid color fading.
II. WOVEN CLOTHING
Woven items like pants and blouses are best turned inside out, then machine washed on a cold or warm water setting. Fine tops can be placed in a mesh laundry bag, which offers maximum protection from snags and fading.
Aim to remove your items from the washing machine as soon as the program ends, to minimize creases from setting in. If there are wrinkles, start with a low temperature on your iron, then gradually increase the heat as necessary. It’s worth investing in a good steam iron or a standing garment steamer, which makes light work of the job while saving your clothes from direct heat. Delicate pieces made from silk or Tencel yarns should always be steamed instead of applying a direct iron.
III. KNIT CLOTHING
Knit sweaters need thoughtful care as they can easily snag or become misshapen.
Ideally, hand wash in cold or lukewarm water using a small amount of gentle detergent, or else use the Wools or Delicates cycle on your machine. After you remove from wash, press water out gently and do not wring, as this will stretch and misshape the item. A good trick is to lay out a towel, place the sweater on it and then roll up to remove excess water. Dry flat where possible, but if space constraints mean you can only hang dry, then remove as much excess water as you can before placing onto a padded hanger. Avoid hanging long cardigans or dresses as much as possible, since their excess weight while damp make them likelier to elongate and become misshapen on a hanger.
You can machine wash some sweaters using a dedicated Wool or Delicates program, but always placed within a mesh bag for protection. We advise against machine-washing longer length items, such as dresses or long cardigans, as it’s easier for these pieces to tangle and stretch during a machine cycle.
Once dry, tackle knitwear wrinkles with gentle steaming. Avoid ironing as pressing down will damage the fibers and flatten your soft fluffy sweater!
Store your sweaters flat or rolled up. Never hang knit pieces for prolonged periods of time as they can elongate and misshape on the hanger.
When stacking your clothing inside a drawer or on a shelf, place your heavier pieces on the bottom and finer ones on top, to avoid crushing and creasing the lighter pieces.
To safely store your seasonal knitwear, neatly fold each piece and either wrap with acid-free tissue paper or place into a simple cotton bag, to protect from dust and discoloration. A little tip: to tackle the humidity in Hong Kong, save those little packets of dessicants that are often packaged with shoes or food, and place them with your hibernating sweaters until the following winter!