This is the first video in our new series of sustainability in sewing. Sustainability and trying to reduce our impact on the environment is really important to us at Sew DIY and we're excited to share some of our favorite tips and practices. In today's video, we will share tips on how to care for your handmade garments and make them last longer.
Six Tips for Taking Care of Your Handmade Clothing
1. Sew for longevity
One way to ensure that your handmade garments will last is to make sure that you construct them well. That includes things like finishing the seams, backstitching or tying off threads in a knot. You can also select sturdy (or at least thicker) fabric that will stand up to being worn and washed.
2. Wash gently
Garments can go through a lot of wear and tear when washed. To make them last longer, use a short, gentle cycle with cool water (forgot to mention water temp in the video but it’s also important) and gentle laundry detergent. And if you’re able to, hand washing is the most gentle way to wash of all.
3. Wash less frequently
I know this might seem gross. But you might be able to wash your clothes less frequently, especially if you’re wearing them in layers. Definitely change your undies everyday but your trousers and jeans can usually be worn for a few days before needing to go in the washer. You can refresh clothing without a washing machine by putting it in the freezer for a few hours or spritzing it with a mixture of vodka and water. The vodka will remove odors that are lingering in a garment.
4. Limit drying time
Using a dryer, especially with high heat, can damage your clothing over time. To keep your handmade lasting longer, air dry as much as possible. If completely air drying your garments isn’t feasible (for example if you live in a very humid climate), then try using the dryer for a short period of time on medium to low heat and then allow the clothing to hang to dry the rest of the way. You’ll save energy and your clothing.
5. Store Carefully
This basically comes down to hanging or folding. Garments that are made out of knit fabric or a very stretchy woven should be folded. If knit garments are hung up in a closet, gravity may pull them out of shape and even create divots where the garment is pressed against the hanger.
Also, if you have wool garments, you should store them with cedar blocks or lavender sachets to prevent moths from eating them.
6. Mend regularly
Take the time to mend your clothing when needed. The longer a tear or hole is worn, the bigger it’s going to get.