Care and Washing Guide
We get asked on an almost daily basis how best to wash our items, so we thought it might be best to put some info here because our products are naturally dyed. Natural dyes are more like food & wine - you can really mess with them if you use harsh chemicals we've grown used to in the modern world. If you've ever handled washing detergent with your bare hands you'll know how harsh they are (you aren't meant to touch with bare hands because they irritate your skin).
The official (best-results) recommendation (which is on the inside tag of all garments) is:
Hand wash your item with pH neutral soap and cool (or warm to the touch) water. Air dry.
If you’re precious about your clothing - the above should keep your items in great nick. When hand washing its important not to rub or wring your clothing otherwise you're likely to rub away dye or create streaks. You dip, swish, and hang dry.
If you’re not quite so precious, and more worried about convenience, you can put your clothes in the washing machine on a 30 degree cycle and use a gentle detergent (we use ecover).
For what it's worth, we (Saeed and Katy) wash almost all our clothing in the machine, but we are also very relaxed about natural changes in the way our wardrobe looks. We wear the streaks, blobby and bleachy bits with pride as natural patina. The big exceptions for us are hand knits and items with crochet or hand embroidery - we will always hand wash these items.
A known issue for our clothing (and raw denim from other brands) is having bleached out stains left by washing detergents that are left to sit on the garment. This can happen especially with pods that don't fully dissolve/get stuck in a fold of clothing in the drum. If you use pods, we recommend putting the contents in the draw not the drum.
DO NOT dry clean. Dry cleaning chemicals are super-not-cool for the planet and we have not and will not test our clothing with them. We think they will likely be quite damaging to the natural dye because they are usually harsh chemicals, but we aren’t certain.
Why pH neutral soap?
Detergent generally has a specific pH level which is part of its chemical make up as a cleaner - if you use this the colour may change slightly or even entirely. This is because many natural dyes are sensitive to pH (acids and alkaline) - changing the levels during dyeing is actually part of our method of controlling colour. In our experience the older the dye the less reactive it is - so the longer you’ve had something the less trouble it becomes. The exception to this rule is indigo - which is not pH sensitive.
Don't forget (and this is crucial)
- Your clothes will not explode.
- They are just clothes.
- Change is natural. If you end up with an interesting streak or different colour its all part of natural progression.
Ceramics are hand wash only.