N. LOTHUNGBENI HUMTSOE
New Delhi – Hand embroidery is a beautiful craft, done intricately over many hours and days. In a culture rich in craftsmanship like India, these pieces become heirlooms passed down from generation to generation. So how do you take care of the clothes you love to wear? Speaking to Shreya Mehra, Founder Aab Label shares her thoughts on washing tips for luxury clothes:
The threads used for embroidery often contrast with the base color of the fabric. So, it’s a good idea to spot clean with a damp muslin cloth or mild fabric shampoo. This will prevent the thread colors from bleeding onto the base fabric. This is a great way to care for light colored garments and those with multicolored hand embroidery.
Avoid regular washing
To prolong the life of a garment with delicate handwork, do not wash it frequently. In particular, pieces that are worn in layers or are season-specific can usually be worn multiple times before needing a wash.
After a few uses, wash handcrafted garments at 20 degrees Celsius or less with a mild detergent. While a hand wash is suggested to maintain the fabric’s delicacy and softness, a gentle machine wash cycle can serve as a substitute. However, hand washing ensures that the bright colors do not bleed and the garment does not fade.
If stains are stubborn and won’t go away with spot cleaning, dry cleaning is recommended. This will ensure that the embroidery thread colors do not bleed and mar the garment while the stain is also removed.
Alternatively, stubborn stains can be pre-treated with a stronger stain remover before the entire garment is washed in cold water. However, before experimenting with any type of stain remover, it is suggested to try a small patch on the back of the garment to prevent damage.
Air out clothes
A good trick to keep clothes fresh even when worn in layers is to air them out. Once you’ve worn an item of clothing, try hanging it out in the cool air for 20-30 minutes before putting it away in your closet. This will prevent moisture from being trapped in the weaves of the fabric, which can cause odors. Storing a well-ventilated garment helps increase the life of our favorite pieces. (IANS)