We use different types of fabrics every day from the linens in our beds, to the clothes we wear, bathroom towels, curtains, and many other things. All these fabrics need to be washed. Many people are not sure how to wash each type of fabric except those that have a manufacturer’s recommendation.
Different types of fabric require certain washing technique.
1. Acrylic – Acrylic is soft and warm and can give you a wool-like feel. It is commonly used for hats, socks, sweaters and gloves.
Washing Tips for Acrylic:
- For extra protection, put acrylic garments in a lingerie bag when machine-washing
- Hand-washing is recommended for delicate garments
- Use warm to cool water in washing
- Use gently cycle
- For a softer result, add fabric softener in the final rinse
- Dry in the dryer using low heat
2. Cotton – Cotton fabric is made from the fibers of the cotton plant. It is characterized by its softness making it an excellent fabric for dresses and baby clothes.
Washing Tips for Cotton:
- Hand-washing is the best option to prevent shrinkage
- Whether you wash it by hand or machine, use cold water
- Line drying is the most ideal although you can also machine-dry with medium heat setting. Remove immediately.
3. Fleece – Fleece is a good insulator and it is the common fabric for baby blankets and baby sleepers. It is also used for jackets, coats, sweatpants, sweatshirts and socks.
Washing Tips for Fleece:
- Hand-wash or machine-wash using cold water with like colors
- To machine-wash, use gentle cycle
- Use mild detergent
- Set the dryer to air-fluff setting to dry. Hot temperature setting can cause its fibers to pill
- Safer way to dry is by air drying
4. Linen – Linen is a fabric woven from flax plant. It requires ironing as it wrinkles easily. Linen is a common fabric for drapery, apparel, tablecloths and handkerchiefs.
Washing Tips for Linen:
- Hand or machine wash, use cold water and mild detergent
- Machine-wash on gentle cycle
- To hand-wash, avoid wringing, scrubbing and twisting the cloth
- Air-dry as much as possible
5. Nylon – Nylon is popularly used for windbreakers, shorts, active wear, swimwear, and bedspread.
Washing Tips for Nylon:
- Machine-wash using cold water
- Don’t mix with other fabrics when washing
- To remove stains, use non-chlorine bleach
- Use low heat to dry on the dryer
6. Polyester – Polyester is a widely used fabric for pillows, carpets, curtains, sheets, and bedspreads.
Washing Tips for Polyester:
- Machine-wash using warm water in permanent press cycle
- For softer result, add fabric softener in the last rinse
- Air-dry or use low heat temperature setting in the dryer
7. Rayon – Rayon is cool and comfortable making it an excellent fabric for many clothing articles. However, it has the tendency to shrink, bleed and lose its crispiness if laundered.
Washing Tips for Rayon:
- Dry-clean as much as possible
- Or if you wash it, use cold water and mild detergent only
- Iron while slightly damp
8. Silk – Silk fabric is made from the protein fibers of silkworm. It is a luxurious fabric commonly used for dresses.
Washing Tips for Silk:
- Dry-clean your silk fabric as much as possible
- You may also hand-wash it in cold water
- Air drying is recommended
9. Spandex – This type of fabric is used for clothing where stretch is desired such as exercise apparel, belts, swimwear, underwear, cycling shorts, slacks, skinny jeans and many more.
Washing Tips for Spandex:
- Hand-wash using lukewarm water to retain flexibility
- Do not wring or twist when washing
- Rinse thoroughly using cool water
- Air-dry as much as possible
- Dry on the dryer using lowest heat temperature setting
10. Wool – Wool fabrics are woven from the undercoats of hairy mammals such as sheep. It is very durable and commonly used in winter clothes such as sweater, blankets and also suits.
Washing Tips for Wool:
- The ideal washing technique for wool is dry cleaning.
- You can also wash wool fabrics using cold water and mild detergent.
- Air-dying is very much recommended.