Caring for summer fabrics the right way

Caring for summer fabrics the right way

Delicate summer clothes look and feel beautiful, but they can be difficult to care for. Follow our fail-safe guide to help keep them looking like new.

Delicate summer clothes look and feel beautiful, but they can be difficult to care for. Follow our fail-safe guide to help keep them looking like new.

You’ve bought that special summer dress you’ve had your eye on for ages and taken the plunge with a pair of white linen trousers, but you’re already thinking about how well they’ll clean at home and worrying about stains.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help…

Chiffon

Typically made from silk, rayon or nylon, with a thin feel and transparent look, chiffon needs careful cleaning to preserve its life. This is best done by hand, washing with a liquid detergent such as Ariel, or on its own on a delicate cycle in the washing machine. Ariel 3in1 Pods provide effective stain removal even at low temperatures, so perfect for delicate fabrics.

Try to wear your chiffon clothing as much as possible in between washes to prevent fading the garment by over-washing.

If you do find a stain, as with any other fabric, quickly massage liquid detergent directly on the mark, leave for 10 minutes, then soak the entire garment in a bucket of warm water for 30 minutes, gently rinse and leave to drip-dry on a hanger.

Linen

Linen is a cool, breathable summer option, but it can be difficult to keep crease-free. Although light wrinkles are part of the look of this fabric, avoid deep creases by regularly ironing and hanging the garment when not in use.

When machine washing, don’t squash in linen items as this can cause creasing. Instead, half fill the machine and use a maximum temperature setting of 60°C. Ideally, use a setting with a pre-rinse option to saturate the fibres before the detergent is added so that it cleans better.

Straighten out the garment after washing and hang or flat dry; do not tumble dry, as this can cause shrinkage and permanent creasing.

Silk

Silk feels wonderfully cool and light against the skin, but it needs specialist cleaning care to keep it looking like new.

The best option is hand washing in lukewarm water with a small amount of liquid detergent such as Ariel Original Washing Liquid, which is gentle on clothes and cleans efficiently even at low temperatures. Soak for five minutes before rinsing in cold water with a small amount of fabric conditioner added to stop the silk drying out, then very gently squeeze out any moisture with a towel.

Silk can crease very quickly, so once it has dried flat and has no excess water, hang it quickly to avoid any creases. If it needs ironing, use a low heat setting and place a pillowcase over the garment as protection from the heat. Always hang silk to keep it looking its best as folding causes creases.

You might also like to check out our articles How to keep cool and stay covered and Seven ways to rekindle the love for your old clothes for more advice on caring for your favourite pieces.

What are your top tips for looking after summer fabrics? Please share them with us by adding your comments below.

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