Isabel Marant blazer on a clothes hanger in a dry cleaning bag
kair 101

To Dry Clean Or Not To Dry Clean?

So, the care label on your new clothes says dry clean only but, does it really mean dry clean only? With some pieces it’s more of a recommendation, if the label states ‘dry clean’ it usually means the manufacturer is covering themselves in case anything goes wrong when you machine wash. However, there are a small number of items where when it states ‘dry clean only’ then yes, it really is a must.

Usually, the guidance on how to wash is determined by the fabric which has been used to create the clothes. There are certain fabrics which absolutely must always be dry-cleaned: these include suede, leather, velvet, and taffeta.

Tailored suits, jackets and coats also fall under the dry clean only rule. This is because they often contain a mix of different fabrics in the facings and linings that could shrink at different rates and cause the garments to lose their shape.

It may seem like a long list but it's actually only around 10% of "dry clean only" clothing which truly falls into the dry clean only category. And for the rest of your wardrobe? Well, it’s good news! Kair is here to help you wash in confidence so you can wear your most-treasured pieces that have been left at the back of the wardrobe thanks to the laundry fear.

Woman standing in a laundromat with her head inside a large laundry bag

Image via Urban Outfitters

From satin to silk and wools to linen washing at home with premium quality detergents and fabric conditioners is better for your pieces and for the environment too. Dry cleaning can use harsh, tough chemical cleaners which do more harm than good. A classic example is your favourite cashmere sweater: did you know dry cleaning can actually break down the delicate fibres of your knit? A gentle hand wash at home is all it needs to keep that cosy comfort wear after wear, wash after wash.

Of course, if you are planning to wash any delicate pieces at home, it’s still important to take precautionary steps. If you are concerned, performing a simple spot test is an easy way to check. Use a very small amount of water or gentle detergent on an inconspicuous area of fabric. If this leaves any mark, it’s best not to continue.

Whether you are hand washing or machine washing simply remember the word gentle. Gentle detergents and conditioners, gentle heat and gentle cycle. If you’re machine washing, always use a mesh laundry bag too, placing your clothes in here before you wash will give an added layer of protection inside the drum.

With a little tender loving Kair you can free yourself from the fear for good so, you can wash confidently at home, safe in the knowledge your clothes won’t suffer any damage or fading allowing you to wear them as much as you want, for as many years as you want to.


Cover Image by Joseph Molines for Isabel Marant 

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