Cotton is by far the most used fabric around the world. It is affordable, it is comfortable and it is relatively easy to care for. Take your home for example; I am sure you will find cotton almost everywhere – curtains, bed sheets, towels, pillows, clothing and the list goes on. When the idea of Ninel Studio first came around I did A LOT of research on fabrics – I read articles upon articles, I watched many YouTube videos, I watched documentaries and so on. After going through so much research I finally began to pay attention to an industry that as consumers we tend to overlook and take for granted.
Since then, which was about two years ago, I have become a big believer in buying quality products and caring for them properly. This will not only save you money in the long term but you will help create just a little less pollution in the world among other downsides the textile industry has. I wrote a post a several weeks ago – Natural vs. Synthetic Fabrics – where I discussed the differences between natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics and their pros and cons. For a couple of years now I have tried to steer away from synthetic fabrics and opt for natural fabrics whenever I can. I have come to realize of the negative impact synthetic fibers can have on our eco-system but also on our bodies and in our homes.
However, I have learned that high quality fabric does come with a higher price tag, which I do not always welcome but at least I know that there is a reason for it. Now that I have a better understanding of the textile industry I understand I understand the reason behind the higher price tag and in some cases those reasons are deep. So deep that I can write an entire blog series on the negative effects the textile industry has on humans and our eco system. With that said, when we invest in high quality products we need to take good and proper care of them so that they last as long as they can and we do not need to re-purchase the same items over and over again throughout our lifetimes.
So, I am going share the things I do to care for my cotton garments so that they can last as long as possible. Like so many other things, there are okay ways to do things and there a great ways to do things. I hope you can take these easy tips and apply them next time you need to care for any cotton garments around your home.
Wash your cotton in cold water to reduce the amount of shrinkage that can possibly happen. Increasing the water temperature can also increase the amount of shrinkage that can happen. However, cotton is a strong enough fabric that could easily withstand warm (even hot) water - just know that some shrinkage can happen at an increased temperature of water.
Some fabrics are very sensitive to heat from an iron, but not cotton! Cotton can withstand a scorching hot iron and it will not easily ruin the fabric. Now, this does not mean you can leave your iron on a piece of cotton unattended! Please do not EVER do that. But it is also good to know that high heat from an iron will not ruin your cotton fabrics.
I think we can all agree that line drying is the most environmentally friendly alternative, however, if time is a concern, it can take a while for the fabric to fully dry. The best way to dry cotton is to line drying it and if you have the space in your home to lay out fabric and the time to wait for the fabric to dry, go for it! If not, I would suggest you dry it on the low heat setting on your dryer. The reason to avoid too much heat on cotton when drying it goes back to idea of minimizing the amount of shrinkage cotton can have under too much heat.