This may have not been what the S.O.S. band had in mind, but taking care of your clothes is a very important commitment. How many times have you checked the care instructions prior to deciding if you should invest in a piece or leave it where you found it? Do you even know what those little symbols mean? Well, keep reading and you;ll be a care label expert in no time.
Care symbols provide information that can save you time and money. It's important to know what they mean to ensure that you get the most use and wear out of your clothing. After-all, you should always protect your investment. Care symbols were first allowed (instead of written instructions) by the Federal Trade Commission in July of 1997. They were developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials with the help of apparel and appliance industry experts. However, if you're like most people, you probably don't know what those foreign symbols mean. Below is a helpful guide that you should memorize for your next laundry day.
This easy to follow chart should come in handy the next time you are unsure of what your garment's care label is trying to tell you.
For example our Fashion Made Me Do It Crewneck:
Did you get it? No, well let me break it down for you. For this garment, you should wash in warm water, use non-chlorine bleach if necessary, dry on warm, do not iron and do not dry clean. Simple right?!
One of the most important things I learned while getting my Fashion Merchandising degree came from my Textiles instructor. She taught me one of the best kept secrets in the fashion manufacturing world: Not everything that is listed as "Dry Clean Only" actually needs to be dry cleaned. Manufacturers sometimes use this as an easy way out. Did you know that manufacturers can be held accountable if you wash your garment according to their care instructions and it ends up ruined? That could be a costly mistake for manufacturers. What better way to avoid that than to "dry clean only"? Now, of course some items may require special handling like dry cleaning, but not everything in your closet does. Use your best judgement and save yourself some time, money and save the environment from the harsh chemicals used during the dry cleaning process.
Well, there you have it. Hopefully you've learned something useful for your next laundry day. Happy washing!