Damn right, they are!
Its a pretty simple formula: Following wash care instructions = making your clothes last longer and looking their best!
Most of us don't really bother with wash care/laundry labels. If anything, they can be a bit annoying and itchy to have inside our clothes so some of us even cut them off (Shenelle and I are guilty of doing this in the past). This might not come as a surprise to those who end up staring at clothes labels for too long before throwing them in the wash, or who frequently end up re-buying t-shirts because they've shrunk, turned pink or grown a hole! This is why we couldn’t recommend reading your labels highly enough! Washing, drying, ironing, the relevant temperatures to be used all go on the wash-care label.
Simply turn your clothes inside out to find these! It’s like following a recipe to get the cake tasting just right. And just like there are different recipes for different cakes, there are different care instructions for different fabrics. The fabric types you might come across are cotton, modal, polyester, viscose, bamboo, hemp, linen, cotton-linen, cotton-lycra, polyester-cotton, and an endless combination of fabrics. Their care instructions will often differ depending on the how the fabric reacts to different temperatures of water and air. Some might shrink more than we like but mostly fade which is to do with the dying of the yarn or printing dyes that are used on the garment. The idea is to keep the garment looking as brand new for as long as possible. Otherwise, we end up blaming the brand for not doing a good enough job for making products that magically last a really long time, and we get into the cycle of buying-using for a couple of washes-and throwing. Agreed, there’s a lot to take care of in our everyday lives anyway and add taking care of your clothes to that list and gets too much sometimes especially when we have busy scheduled to adhere to. But this is the exact reason why wash care labels exist on every piece of clothing along with the make of the garment (e.g 100% cotton, 100% polyester, etc).
Easier said than done, you might say and sometimes these labels can be pretty hard to understand so we thought we'd break it down for you:
Image credit: Laundrapp.com
Another tip to be on the ball with looking after your clothes is to schedule laundry days for when you aren’t too rushed so you can actually take the time to read your labels and segregate all your laundry based on what they need. Over time, you’ll get the hang of what fabrics you mostly have in your wardrobe and how they need to be cared for.
And if you still don’t have the time to do all this, its always safer to go for a cold wash, seperated based on whites and coloured, and air dry. You really can’t go wrong with these basic all-purpose wash care instructions.
Stay tuned for another blog post where we talk about gentler alternatives to laundry detergents and caring for the oceans when using polyester based clothing.