You may be washing and ironing your clothes unnecessarily.
Do you wash your tops after every wearing? A recent conversation at a craft fair sparked today's blog subject. A customer told me that after years of teaching high school she had begun teaching first grade and found that she no longer had the time to iron her Sympatico tops. She also told me she usually laundered those tops after every wearing. I let her know that from years of wearing Sympatico's hemp/Tencel fabric, I’ve found I can often get away with a second or even third wearing before tossing tops in the laundry hamper. And ironing is often unnecessary too, thanks to the fabric’s nicely textured hand that is quite forgiving. I find that a quick spritz with some water, or alternately, hanging Sympatico styles in a moist bathroom overnight will allow wrinkles to relax. In most cases, unless wrinkles are really deep-set, they’ll disappear on the hanger overnight.
Eco-friendly clothing should work with eco-friendly laundry techniques. Eliminating unnecessary washing and drying is a great first step.
The beauty of the hemp/Tencel blend I use is its tendency to release odors as well as wrinkles with a minimum of fuss. Here’s my approach: After a day’s wear, I check the top in good light to confirm there are no spills or stains. If it looks rumpled, I put the garment on a hanger and spritz it with a little water. If the wrinkle factor is especially notable, I hang the garment in the bathroom where the moisture will help the fabric relax and smooth out. The next day, the garment is usually fresh, rumple-free and ready for another day’s wear! Only as a last resort do I break out an iron.
Hemp is not only a highly sustainable agricultural crop, its antimicrobial properties when used in clothing means those clothes can go longer between washings. And the hemp itself is grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. Hemp cultivation improves soil aeration and enriches the soil when the hemp stalks are cut down, returning nutrients to the earth.
I understand that everyone has different rumple-tolerance standards. And there are several factors that influence the look of an un-ironed Sympatico top: its age, whether it's in Light Weight or Mid Weight fabric, and even the amount of dye in the garment can all impact its appearance. But for many folks, the spritz-and-hang method results in a perfectly wearable look. The payoff, of course, is extended garment life and a reduced environmental footprint, thanks to reduced energy use. Give these tips a try and let me know what you think.