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Fashion In Harmony, Toll Free (888) 818-5190, P.O. Box 31498, Walnut Creek, CA 94598



Fabric Care

 With a few exceptions, we recommend test washing a small sample of each fabric you purchase from us, then pre-washing the larger piece if appropriate. The exceptions call for dry cleaning. Our fabric care recommendation for each fabric we offer is noted on the web page describing that fabric.

 
Why Test Wash?
We choose fabrics to complement our beautiful bias design patterns. We focus on natural fibers like rayons, wools, silks, linens, and some oriental polyesters. Most ready-to-wear garments made from these fabrics automatically call for dry cleaning. This is because it is faster and less expensive for mass manufacturers to sew fabric directly from their supplier rather than testing and pre-washing. As home sewers, we can take the time to test our fabrics and to pre-wash them if appropriate. There are four main reasons we recommend you test wash a fabric sample and consider pre-washing.
 
1.    It is better for our environment to reduce the usage of dry-cleaning chemicals.
2.    The finish used by manufacturers changes the drape of the fabric.
3.    The chemicals in the finishes can irritate skin.
4.    Cost. Dry cleaning is expensive!
 
Ultimately you decide how you are going to care for your fabrics. 
 
Should I Ever Dry Clean?
As mentioned, we occasionally recommend dry cleaning. Some fibers, like wool, can be damaged easily. If you see a dry cleaning recommendation and you want to wash your fabric, we recommend you test wash a sample prior to washing the whole piece. 
 
Why Test Wash a Fabric Sample?
We recommend always doing a test sample prior to washing the whole piece of beautiful fabric for the following reasons:
 
1.    Not all washers are alike. Excessive agitation can ruin some fabric. In general, front loaders are gentler on delicate fabrics.
2.    The cycle used can affect the fabric.
3.    The amount of minerals in the water can affect the fabric.
4.    The temperature used in the washing machine can affect the fabric.
5.    The detergent used can affect the fabric.
6.    Washing might change the look and feel of the fabric or make the fabric limp or stretchy.  Usually it will make the fabric softer and improve the drape. You are the only one who can decide if you prefer the hand of the fabric before washing or after.
7.    Fabric will shrink when washed. You want to know how much the fabric will shrink prior to cutting.
8.    Dyes vary greatly in how much they will run. Some wont run at all, others will run some for the first one or two washes, others will run every time you wash them.
 
Please take the time to test wash a fabric sample. 
 
How does Fashion in Harmony Test Wash?
1. Cut two identical squares, approximately 6-8 inches.
2. Trim salvages.
3. Trace around one piece of fabric on plain paper.
4. Place one swatch in a laundry bag with the detergent you plan on washing your finished garment in. Wash the swatch exactly the way you want to wash your finished garment.
5. Toss in a color magnet sheet. The amount of dye on the sheet will help you determine how much your fabric is going to fade.
6. After the washer is done, place the swatch in the dryer using the same setting you plan to use for the finished garment. 
7. Check your washed sample against the rest of the fabric and against the tracing you made prior to washing. Do you notice any difference in the color? Are the two swatches the same size? Note any differences, keeping in mind that even a fraction of an inch can mean one inch for the width of your fabric. Is there any distortion of the fabric which was washed? Did the fabric stretch?  Did the fabric change shape? Note any changes.
8. Did the hand of the fabric change?  
 
Now you can confidently decide how to care for each garment you finish. Below is a chart we hope will help you care for your finished garments.
 
Fabric Care Chart
Fiber
Wash
Dry
Notes
Rayon
·         Machine wash in cold water
·         Hand wash
·         Dry clean
Machine dry with low heat until fabric is slightly damp. Finish drying on a line.
Always check for color fastness.
Silk
·         Hand wash in cold water
·         Steam press
·         Dry clean
Line dry
Always check for color fastness.
Wool
·         Dry clean
·         Hand wash in cold water
Dry flat
Machine agitation and heat will cause wool fibers to felt.
Polyester
Machine wash in warm or cold water.
Machine dry with low heat.
Excessive heat may set wrinkles.

 


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