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Garment Care for Various Fabrics

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How to wash and treat some common fabric types.

Here are some general care rules for common fabric types, excerpted from Mend & Make Fabulous by Denise Wild, published by Interweave and available January 2014. Mend & Make Fabulous is a sewing reference book that provides that basic mending knowledge plus more advanced techniques such as replacing a zipper and adding lining. On top of the how-tos, Mend & Make Fabulous also shows some “fabulous” options for adding creativity and style to existing garments. So it’s a combination of a basic skill manual and sewing reference plus an inspirational, creative D.I.Y. how-to.

If you’re purchasing fabrics from Fabricana, we have the care instructions listed under each fabric on our online store! If you are purchasing from in-store, be sure to ask one of our sale associates what the best way to care for your fabric is. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Care Instructions” button to find out!

If you’re not sure about how to take care of your fabric or store bought garment, read on to find some general instructions!


  • Machine-wash acrylic fabric with warm water, and use a fabric softener to keep static electricity at bay. You can tumble-dry your acrylic garments, but pull them out of the dryer while they’re still slightly damp and hang them up to finish drying in order to prevent wrinkling.


  • Hand-wash cashmere garments in warm water, and use a mild shampoo as a detergent. Dissolve a capful of shampoo in a water basin before adding your cashmere, then rinse the cashmere with hair conditioner for added softness.

Faux Fur

  • It’s best to take your faux fur garments to a dry-cleaner, although you should check the care label in case yours can be cared for at home. Fill a top-load washing machine with cold water, setting it for a medium-size load. Add a mild, colour-safe detergent to the water, then gently add your faux fur. Let it soak in the water for 15 minutes with no agitation, then set the machine to drain and spin. Fill the machine again with cold water and let it drain and spin again. Make sure the machine never agitates the faux fur – only spins it dry. Hang the faux fur over a shower curtain rod for one to two days, repositioning it frequently to prevent marks from appearing.


  • Hand-wash delicate lace in cold water using a mild detergent. More durable items can be machine-washed in a netted lingerie bag on a delicate cycle. Roll your lace in a towel to absorb excess water, then lay it flat to dry, reshaping as needed.


  • Nylon garments can be washed in warm water both by hand and also in a washing machine using a delicate cycle. Add fabric softener to reduce static electricity.


  • Check your garment care label because most rayon garments are damaged by water and should only be dry-cleaned. Those that can be washed should be cleaned by hand or on a delicate machine cycle (in a netted bag) in cold water using a mild detergent. Don’t wring or twist a rayon garment, and lay it flat to dry.


  • Most silk garments should be dry-cleaned, but check the garment care label. Silk that can be washed should be hand-washed only in cool water using a mild detergent or baby soap. Don’t agitate, wring, or twist silk, instead gently swirl the garment through soapy water. Rinse it carefully, then blot the silk garment with a towel to absorb excess water before laying it flat to dry.


  • Check your garment’s care instructions to see if the velvet needs to be dry-cleaned. Velvet garments that can be washed at home can be hand-washed with minimal agitation then hung to dry or laid flat carefully so they don’t crush. You can also brush the velvet (in one direction) with a fabric brush or cloth, steam it, then brush it again.


  • Most wool garments should be dry-cleaned, so check your garment’s care label. Those that can be washed at home should be gently hand-washed in cool water using a mild detergent. Don’t rub, wring, or twist the garment, instead squeeze it loosely and carefully. Roll your wool garment in a towel to absorb excess water before reshaping it and laying it flat to dry.


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