Saturday, November 3, 2007

TLC for your togs

Ever drop off half your wardrobe at the dry cleaners and wonder if it really needs to be there?

Take a few tips from Allure's interview with Chris Paulocik, conservator for the Costume Institute at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. According to Paulocik, dry cleaning can actually be hard on some fabrics, and many pieces can be cared for at home.

  • If a garment's been worn only once and isn't soiled, just air it out for a bit. If you notice a lingering odor, place the garment in a cupboard with an open box of baking soda.
  • Choose your detergent carefully when washing pieces at home (Paulocik prefers Orvus Paste, available online), and no bleach, please!
  • Keep heat at a minimum when washing, drying, and ironing.
  • When it comes to sweaters, hand-washing at home is actually better than repeated dry cleaning. Turn the sweater inside-out and soak in a tub of warm water with your gentle detergent of choice, then rinse thoroughly. To dry, roll it up in a clean towel and squeeze gently to blot. Finally, place it on another dry towel (right-side out) and shape it the way you want it to look, then let dry overnight.
  • If you have a stain, take the item to the dry cleaner as soon as possible and tell them exactly what the stain is so they can use the appropriate solvent.
(Hat tip: Allure)

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