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how to care for our gear

We want you to get the best out of your chalkydigits gear, so here’s some tips and tricks to make it last...
 
 
Yes, we aim to make our gear from the toughest fabrics we can find, but we also like to use the most natural fabrics we can find and we all know natural equals biodegradable  - so how do we get around this?
 
We just try and stick to the most durable and sustainable natural fabrics we can find: homegrown merino, organic cotton and flax linen for instance.  
 
Please be aware that the more natural the fibre, the more it will be prone to fading in the sunshine, and breaking down if left lying around wet.
 
General Guidelines
 
Washing:
 
•          ALWAYS read the care label sewn into the seam of each garment and follow the instructions!
•          Allow 5% shrinkage on ALL our gear (this primarily occurs UPWARDS not INWARDS eg clothes           generally get shorter, not slimmer).
•          Remove any belts (such as those on our Tractor/Utility Skirts) but place in a pillowslip or lingerie bag and include in the wash so any fading is even.
•          Close all zips and fasteners, including buttons, to protect the fasteners and your other clothes.
•          Never wash with garments that have Velcro – the damage will be irreparable.
•          Use a natural, chemical-free laundry detergent – they are much gentler on your gear.
•          As a rule, washing with cool or cold water is best.
•          Wash all garments inside out to avoid unnecessary rubbing and/or pilling.
•          If handwashing, do not rub the garment excessively as you may cause pilling.
•          Wash like colours with like eg all darks together and all lights together.
•          Do not dry-clean any garment that has been screen-printed.
•          When finished washing, do not leave garments lying around wet as the colours may run and the fibres may start to deteriorate.
•          ONLY wash when absolutely necessary, often just hanging outside is enough to freshen up clothes – machine-washing is the single harshest treatment we can inflict upon our gear.
 
Tumble Drying:
 
Probably the second most harmful treatment we can inflict upon our clothes; tumble drying is a no-no for any woollen or wool blend garments and also linen, silk and viscose and any garment that has been screenprinted.
 
Hanging Out: (the washing we mean, not just chilling with your mates!)
 
•          Hang your clothes inside out (unless specified to dry flat only – check the care label) and away from direct sunlight to avoid fading - the more natural the fibres, the faster the fade, particularly in the harsh NZ sun.
•          Watch peg marks, they can bruise fabrics, particularly cotton, and cause uneven fading.
•          Never pull the garment tight when hanging as it may stretch out of shape.
 
Ironing:
 
•          Remember - do not iron any garments with screen-prints on them.
 
How to care for specific fabrics:
 
100 % Merino Wool:
 
•          Turn garment inside out.
•          Cold, gentle machine-washing or hand washing is best.
•          Use a wool detergent, preferably natural (chemical free).
•          Dry flat in the shade.
•          Do not use bleach
•          Do not tumble dry.
•          Be careful when ironing any wool products as you may scorch the fibres, which will then become horribly shiny. The best way to iron wool is to place a linen tea towel on top and press through that.
 
Wool Blends:
 
•          Some are hand wash only, please read the care label on individual garment.
•          Some are dry-clean only, please read the care label on individual garment.
•          For those that are hand or machine washable:
            •          Use a wool detergent, preferably natural (chemical free).
            •          Dry flat in the shade.
            •          Do not use bleach
            •          Do not tumble dry.
•          Be careful when ironing any wool products as you may scorch the fibres, which will then become horribly shiny. The best way to iron wool is to place a linen tea towel on top and press through that.
 
Linen:
 
•          Not all linens are dry cleanable, and definitely not if they have been screen-  printed, please check the care label on individual garments.
•          Generally, a cool machine wash inside out is fine, but please check individual care labels, especially if the linen is blended with other fibres.
•          Drip dry in shade.
•          Do not bleach.
•          Do not tumble dry.
•          Linen creases, this is a fact, it creases when worn and creases when washed BUT you can minimise the creasing by pressing appropriately: Iron linen inside out BEFORE the garment has fully dried, with a warm iron. Once fully dry, the creases are much harder to deal to. You can also hang linen garments in a steamy bathroom (like when you are showering) to remove much of the creasing.
 
Silk:   
•          Silk is dry cleanable, unless it has been screen-printed.
•          Silk needs a delicate cycle all of its own, or hand wash to guarantee the condition of your garment (and conserve water).
•          Turn the garment inside out.
•          Use a mild, natural detergent and rinse thoroughly.
•          Press the water out of the fabric by rolling it in a towel. Do not twist or wring, as this will damage the fabric.
•          Do not bleach.
•          Do not tumble dry.
•          Drip-dry in the shade.
•          Iron only when absolutely necessary (but not if it has been screen-printed). Use a cool iron with a press cloth between the iron and the fabric.
 
Viscose:        
•          Do not dry-clean.
•          Turn garment inside out.
•          Cold, gentle machine wash is best.
•          Do not bleach.
•          Do not tumble dry.
•          Do not soak or leave sitting when wet.
•          Don’t be alarmed if it feels like cardboard when you remove from the washing machine, once dry it will become its lovely soft self again.
•          Hang inside out in the shade.
 
 
Storing:
 
Merino, Wool, Silk and blends including these fibres:
 
Be aware that moth larvae can chomp huge holes in your woollen and silk garments and your wardrobe or drawers will need to be treated to get rid of them.
 
For natural, chemical-free methods of treating fabric-eating moths check out these sites:
 
http://www.cleangreennewzealand.info/2010/10/clothes-mothschemicals-or-natural.html
 
http://www.kiwicare.co.nz/pest/pests/a-g/clothes-moth/
 
Alterations:
 
ALWAYS wash and dry garments before making any alterations to allow for shrinkage - especially if you are raising the hem of pants.
 
Stain Removal:
 
Here are some good sources of eco-friendly options for stain removal.
 
http://www.ecostreet.com/blog/eco-friendly-house/2007/11/22/eco-friendly-stain-removal-its-easy-when-you-know-how/
 
 http://inhabitat.com/green-laundry-101-how-to-get-rid-of-stains/
 
Finally, if you are still unsure how to keep your chalkydigits gear in the greatest condition, don’t hesitate to ask us - we are happy to help.
 
You can contact us here...