Mint Velvet Magazine

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Looking after your clothes

To wash or not to wash, that is the question. Sometimes it can be tricky to determine how often our clothes need a good clean – most of the time, airing or a quick spot clean can do the trick just as well, which can help extend their lifecycle (and bonus, it can do wonders to lower our impact on the environment). Keep reading for our washing, drying and dry cleaning tips, and our handy care label guide below.

WHEN TO WASH

Only wash your clothes when necessary. Not all garments need washing after every wear – not only is this environmentally friendly, it is kinder to your clothes and will make them last longer. If it looks and smells ok, then it probably doesn’t need a wash.

what method to use

Always read the care labels, as the methods described will be the ones we’ve tested ourselves and can vouch for.

Every single fabric we use gets tested by our suppliers at independent labs to mimic wear and wash: we evaluate colour fastness, shrinkage, strength of seams, stretch and recovery (so they keep their shape over time), and abrasion (so the fabric doesn’t wear too thin). We also test the care instructions using our in-house washing machine. It’s all about mking sure each garment we make is as durable as possible.

HOW TO READ A CARE LABEL

Care labels on garments give special instructions to help keep clothes looking their best. This guide explains what the washing and clothing care symbols on garment labels say about how you should wash, dry, iron and bleach clothes – taking you through all the essential steps.

SYMBOLS & MEANINGS
NOT SUITABLE FOR WASHING
HAND WASH ONLY
COTTON WASH

(The number shown within the wash tub is the maximum wash temperature)

SYNTHETICS WASH

(Mild washing conditions)(The number shown within the wash tub is the maximum wash temperature)

WOOL WASH

(Delicate washing conditions)(The number shown within the wash tub is the maximum wash temperature)

DO NOT DRY CLEAN OR REMOVE ANY STAINS WITH SOLVENTS
MAY BE DRY CLEANED

(The letter tells the dry cleaner what process is required)

SPECIALIST DRY CLEAN
DO NOT TUMBLE DRY
TUMBLE DRY LOW

(Low heat setting)

TUMBLE DRY

(Can be tumble dried at a higher heat setting)

DO NOT IRON
COOL IRON
WARM IRON
DO NOT BLEACH

Spot cleaning is a great way to get rid of any dirty marks or stains, and airing them after every wear helps to prevent odours.

Top tip – if creasing is an issue, hang your clothes in the bathroom for a day or two. The steam from the shower should reduce them.

USING A WASHING MACHINE

Quick wash cycle. Most modern washing machines have a quick wash cycle, which is set at 30 degrees and ranges between 14-30mins. This is great for items that just need a quick refresh and you won’t find yourself waiting around for the achine to finish.

Set the temperature to 30 degrees. If your washing machine doesn’t have a quick cycle, it’s still a good idea to wash at 30 degrees. Modern detergents are designed to work just as well at low temperatures, which means your clothes will feel just as clean and fresh, but the process will use up a lot less energy (which will lower your carbon footprint), all the while keeping colours from fading and fibres from wearing too thin.

Avoid using too much detergent. This can damage your clothes and reduce their longevity as it leaves a residue after rinsing.

Use microfibre laundry bags. This will protect your garment against abrasion from other garments and catch any loose fibres, reducing the amount that gets into our water system. This is especially important for man-made fibres such as polyester and viscose, as keeping microplastics away from our oceans and wildlife is something we all care about.

Turn your clothes inside out, close zips and bra hooks when washing this will protect prints and embellishments and reduce snagging caused by other garments.

HAND WASHING

There’s an art to hand washing, but it’s not nearly as tricky (or time-consuming) as it seems… check out our dedicated step-by-step guide to find the best way to give your clothes (especially knitwear) a gentle wash.

DRYING

Tumble dryers can shrink and fade your clothes, making the lifecycle of your wardrobe much shorter. We recommend air drying wherever possible.

DRY CLEANING

Some of our garments need a little more TLC than others to stay in perfect shape. These won’t need cleaning after every wear, but to make things easier we’ve partnered with Johnsons Cleaners to offer you 10% off their eco-friendly GreenEarth® treatment – a gentle, non-toxic alternative to harsh petrochemical dry cleaning that is better for your clothes as well as the environment. All you need to do is quote ‘Mint Velvet’ at one of their 200 branches nationwide – find a location near you here

EMBELLISHMENTS

From studs and sequins to heat-sealed trims, embroidery and even feathers, we occasionally like to embellish our garments for some extra glamour. These premium details can be delicate, and always require a little extra TLC. Always refer to the care label and turn it inside out before washing: most of the time, we recommend hand washing it, but if it’s machine washable, using a laundr bag can help protect it. Avoid steaming embellished garments as this can cause them to tarnish.

VISCOSE

Viscose is a regenerated cellulosic fabric, made from plant fibre pulp (cellulose). It is a manmade alternative to silk, with a similar feel and drape.

Washing – Viscose should be washed with as little agitation as possible. If the care label recommends hand washing, we advise using cool water and avoid rubbing, wringing or twisting to help retain its length and keep it from shrinking. Once done, place it on a thick towel and roll to remove any excess water.

Drying – Woven viscose garments (such as blouses or dresses) are best dried on a hanger away from direct heat. Our jersey viscose styles should be dried flat away from direct heat to avoid stretching the fabric.

Dry clean – Most of our formal viscose items, such as jackets, are dry clean only (always check the care label). Remember we’ve partnered with Johnsons Cleaners to offer you 10% off any treatment! Find a location near you here

Shrinking – If the garment shrinks slightly after washing, it can be lightly pressed out with a warm iron on reverse (avoid steam).

DIP DYE

The most common method to achieve a dip dye effect is to actually dip dye each garment by hand. As this is a manual process, the pattern can vary slightly from garment to garment, making each piece unique. As always, read the care label before washing any dip dyed styles: if they can be hand washed, we advise using cool water and not leaving them to soak… colour will transfer over time if left wet.

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