How do I care for my 100% cotton clothes?
There are particular ways for a person to wash and clean their 100% cotton clothes that will make a significant contribution to the longevity and appearance of them. The greatest concerns by those that love the feel and appearance of cotton cloths is its nature to shrink. This can be prevented with proper care.
The shrinking of cotton clothes generally occurs in the drying process only. This drying process also has to have a heat source like a gas or electric dryer. This rapid drying process causes the natural fibers of the cloth to become scrunched together. This is the shrinking process. What must be made clear is that a clothing item made of cotton will only shrink so much over time. The shrinking process will never make the cloth item to be two or three sizes smaller. For those that love tight fitting jeans, this shrinking process is actually a bonus. To prevent shrinking in the drying process, the clothes should be hanged to dry naturally. In the summer a clothes line outside will accomplish this. In the winter months clothes can be placed on a towel in the laundry room until they are dry.
Another concern of caring for 100% cotton clothes is the loss of the dye in which the fabric’s color originates. This can easily be preserved if certain precautions in the washing process are adhered to. The leading path to prevent not only the loss of the dye in the cotton cloth but also a small amount of shrinkage is to wash 100% cotton fabric items in cold water. For most of America this is normal tap water. The warmer the water becomes the more the increase bleeding of the dye in the cotton fabric. There will also be a small amount of shrinkage as the temperature of the water increases.
Most manufactures of 100% cotton clothes recommend that they be washed by hand in cold water with a mild detergent. This will make it possible for their good appearance to last the longest. Another process to help keep the outward appearance of 100% cotton fabric clothes is to turn the shirt or pair of pants inside out. This process will help to protect the outward side of the clothes which is what is desired of most wearers of cotton cloths. It also protects the appearance side of cloths that are cleaned in a washing machine.
Caring for 100% cotton clothes is easier than what most people think of. When hand washing is not an option, the delicate cycle on your machine is preferred. The use of cold water is recommended. If you feel you must, then warm water but never hot water unless you intend to have the cotton item to shrink. Also always turn the cloths inside out to protect the outer side when washing. When drying on a clothes line outside keep the cloths turned inside out. This will prevent the sun from fading the fabric.