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Materials & Care: A Little TLC

Did you know that many clothes that are labelled “Dry Clean” are in fact washable? And that in some countries like Hong Kong, there are no legal requirements for clothing to indicate accurate (or any) care and content information?

At Tove & Libra, we believe in educating, not underestimating, our customer. After all, we've invested lots of thought and attention towards selecting our materials, as we believe this separates good fashion from fast fashion. Read on to learn how to easily keep your clothing looking and feeling their very best long after you take them home.

 

LABELLING

Because we know exactly how important the right clothing care really is, we ensure that every Tove & Libra piece comes with a clear, detailed care & contents label, so you can easily assess your M.O.

We suggest you always take a look at your clothing labels to get an understanding of how to group your laundry – this will then quickly become intuitive. Click here to learn the common meanings of laundry symbols.

HEAT

Excessive heat should be avoided in general. Prolonged high temperatures can damage sensitive materials like stretch fibers and woolen yarns, and can fade colors. Moreover hot washing and drying requires higher energy consumption. Happily, with the modern advances in detergents and washing machines, high heat is rarely required to effectively do your laundry.

We don’t feel it’s ever necessary to wash in water warmer than 40°C. And if you must use a tumble dryer, then do run it on a low setting.

FIBERS

Wool and cashmere:
To avoid pilling and shrinking, the traditional advice for woolen yarns is to dry clean, or hand wash using a gentle detergent. However, since our clothing features machine washable wool and cashmere yarns, you can safely put our garments through the Wools or Delicates cycle of your washing machine, while using a gentle, wool-safe detergent. Items must be placed in a mesh laundry bag for protection. Avoid hot washing and drying cycles. (We only recommend to avoid machine washing for longer pieces like dresses to avoid stretching.)

Silk:
This may be difficult to hear but – silk clothing is best hand-washed. Due to the delicate nature of the silk yarn, it should be handled as gently as possible. If you must wash in your machine, please use the Delicates cycle and first test your detergent on a small section of your silk item. Silk items must be placed in a mesh laundry bag for protection. Avoid the tumble dryer which may damage silk or make it stiff; first lay the item on a towel and then roll gently to absorb excess water, then lay flat or hang to dry fully. 

Tencel:
Tencel can be safely washed in your machine, using a gentle cycle like Wool or Delicates, with the clothing placed in a mesh bag. You can tumble dry Tencel but only on a low setting. On the other hand, if Tencel is hung to dry fully, it could become stiff. To combine convenience and care, we suggest drying Tencel clothing halfway in the tumble dryer on a low setting, then hang to fully dry.

Cotton, Rayon/Viscose and Nylon:
If your clothing is made from predominantly cotton, viscose or nylon yarns, then they’re safe to machine-wash on a regular cycle, preferably at a cold temperature. Items made of finer materials – like thin shirts and blouses – could be placed in a mesh bag. We would also suggest turning garments inside out to avoid color fading.

WOVEN CLOTHING

Woven items like pants and blouses are best turned inside out, then machine washed on a cold or warm water setting. Fine tops can be placed in a mesh laundry bag, which offers maximum protection from snags and fading.

Aim to remove your items from the washing machine as soon as the program ends, to minimize creases from setting in. If there are wrinkles, start with a low temperature on your iron, then gradually increase the heat as necessary. It’s worth investing in a good steam iron or a standing garment steamer, which makes light work of the job while saving your clothes from direct heat. Delicate pieces made from silk or Tencel yarns should always be steamed instead of applying a direct iron.

KNIT CLOTHING

Knit sweaters need thoughtful care as they can easily snag or become misshapen.

Ideally, hand wash in cold or lukewarm water using a small amount of gentle detergent. After you remove from wash, squeeze gently, then roll in a towel to remove excess water – never wring, as this will stretch and misshape the item. Dry flat where possible, but if space constraints mean you can only hang dry, then remove as much excess water as you can before placing onto a padded hanger. Avoid hanging long cardigans or dresses as much as possible, since their excess weight while damp make them likelier to elongate and become misshapen on a hanger.

You can machine wash some sweaters using a dedicated Wool or Delicates program, always placed within a mesh bag for protection. We advise against machine-washing longer length items, such as dresses or long cardigans, as it’s easier for these pieces to tangle and stretch during a machine cycle.

Once dry, tackle knitwear wrinkles by hanging and gently steaming. Avoid ironing as pressing down will damage the fibers and flatten your soft fluffy sweater! Never hang knit pieces for prolonged periods of time as they can elongate and misshape on the hanger.

STORAGE

When stacking your clothing inside a drawer or on a shelf, place your heavier pieces on the bottom and finer ones on top, to avoid crushing and creasing the lighter pieces. 

To safely store your seasonal knitwear, neatly fold each piece and either wrap with acid-free tissue paper or place into a simple cotton bag, to protect from dust and discoloration. A little tip: to tackle the humidity in Hong Kong, save those little packets of dessicants that are often packaged with shoes or food, and place them with your hibernating sweaters until the following winter!