Clothing Care 101: Care For Your Clothes To Make Them Last

Clothing care isn’t the sexiest topic, but it is crucial to keeping your items looking like the day you bought them. If you’ve ever purchased something, wore it once, washed it and then never worn it again because it doesn’t fit right, it’s likely because you aren’t caring for it properly. Clothing care comes down to two things: reading your labels and understanding fabrics. 

Read Clothing Labels for Care Instructions

Nobody understands how to care for a particular item more than the manufacturer. They place care instructions on the labels typically found along a seam or at the back of the neck. The instructions aren’t just there for looks, they’re there to be used! Sometimes, the instructions can seem odd, or even like extra work; but we’re here to dispel that myth and help you understand what these tags are staying! 

Deciphering Clothing Care Labels

  • Hand Wash – While you can perform this by scrubbing the item in a sink by hand, you can also use your machine! Set your washer on the most gentle cycle, cold water. This will ensure the fabric doesn’t stretch unnaturally or ruin any dyes.  


  • Lay Flat / Hang To Dry – Drying fabric using heat will break down fibers in the fabric faster. The faster they break down, the more worn they will appear or will even look stretched out. If your label says lay flat or hang to dry, utilize a drying rack or a surface like a counter to dry the item. 


  • Dry Clean Only – If your tag says this, IT MEANS IT! While dry cleaning can seem costly or inconvenient, NEVER try to wash items yourself. Dry cleaning will ensure the clothing item retains its shape, texture, or dye.  


rack of clothing at Love Marlow


Tags can be confusing at times. That's why we always interpret the care instructions and include them in our product descriptions on our website. If you're still needing help, never hesitate to reach out to our shop

Another trick is to know how to care for certain fabrics, because when all else fails, caring for the fabric is the best way to handle tricky items. Keep reading to understand common fabrics and how to care for them! 


Understanding Fabrics

  • Denim – Most commonly found in jeans or jackets, denim is one of the fabrics you’re likely familiar with. Denim should be air dried, and if desired, can be tumble dried on low for a few minutes to finish the drying process. Drying denim on higher heat or for the entire drying process will break down the stretch of the fabric faster, causing it not to fit properly. 


  • Rayon – This is one of the most versatile fabrics and you’ll likely find it in a lot of your clothing. It is stretchy and breathable in nature and proper care is important to maintaining that. Rayon may need to be ironed or steamed before wearing to rid the fabric of wrinkles. 


  • Cotton – It’s a fabric that is commonly associated with shrinking, but a popular option due to breathability, durability, and sustainability.  Cotton should be washed in cold water and you may need to hand stretch the garment after removing it from the wash cycle to return its shape. Lay flat or hang to dry. It may need to be steamed or ironed to ensure  there are no wrinkles and the fabric returns to original shape. 


Folded plus size clothes on a display table