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 create a little guide.
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. 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 whatever detergent you usually do. 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. The big exceptions for us are hand knits and items with crochet or hand embroidery - we will always hand wash these items.
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.
Why hand wash?
Washing machines are great but the spinning motion can be very unforgiving on dyed items - this isn’t just the case for naturally dyed garments either. You’ll find that most people with good quality raw denim face the same issues. If you want to use the machine but also want to avoid (or at least minimise) ‘streaking’ then it's best to turn your items inside out before you pop them in the drum. We also suggest a short, cool and gentle cycle on the lowest spin possible - your clothes will come out wetter than usual but hopefully less beaten up.
Don't forget (and this is crucial)
- Your clothes will not explode.
- Your clothes will not shrink - they have been preshrunk about a billion times through our processes.
- They are just clothes.
- Change is natural. If you end up with an interesting streak or different colour its all part of natural progression.