Cotton Clothing Guide - learn how to care for your cotton garments
Cotton is the most used natural fabric worldwide. There are many types of cotton fabrics available and many uses for it. To be safe, we suggest you have a look at the care instructions for the specific item before washing. As a natural fibre, cotton is prown to shrinkage - the looser/more elastic the knit, the more potential shrinkage. At ASKET we prewash all our clothing to eliminate shrinkage, but this is not always the case for cotton clothing. This is a general guide of how to care for cotton clothes, helping you make your garments look better and last longer.
If you get a stain on your garment, treat the stain straight away with a stain solution suitable for cotton. By doing so the stain will already be pre-cleaned, which makes the laundry more efficient. Make sure to avoid stain solutions with bleach for coloured cotton garments, since bleach can remove the colour out of the fabric and leave an unwanted light or orange spot. Please see our specific Stain Guide for step-by-step guides in stain removal.
STORING COTTON GARMENTS
The storage of cotton garments is very simple. Depending on product type you can either store them flat (knitwear such as sweatshirts or t-shirts) or hang the item on the rack (woven garments such as shirts or trousers).
Unlike wool, cotton does not have the natural anti-bacterial and odour-resistant properties, which means cotton needs to be washed a little more often. Nevertheless, we suggest to machine washing at 30°C (cold) or even hand wash for spot treatments. This will save energy and expose the fibers to less stress, prolonging the lifetime of the garment. When washing colored garments, we recommend turning them inside out before washing. This process will help protect the outer surface of the fabric.
Certain items such as underwear or bed linen need to be washed at higher degree (40°C or above) in combination with a good detergent to attack bacteria.
Before drying, give garments a gentle stretch or shake when they come out of the wash to get them back into shape. The finer and more elastic the fabric (t-shirts), the more care should be given as to not stretch out necklines our shoulder points. Rigid fabrics (wovens), like shirts or trousers can be given a good shake and stretch along the seams to get into shape. All ASKET cotton garments are pre-washed to eliminate shrinkage when following the specific care instructions, but this is not the case for cotton garments in general. Cotton has natural shrinkage, which generally occurs in the drying process. To prevent shrinkage in the drying process, clothes should be air-dried and out of the sun if possible. Delicate fabrics should be hung over a rail to avoid creasing, shirts and trousers can be hung on hangers to dry. Drying-cabinets (SWE torkskåp) are a quick and safe option to use so long as you’re mindful of the air temperature - we recommend 40°C. Tumbling of cotton should be avoided.
IRONING & STEAMING
Depending on the fabric construction, cotton can be more or less prone to creasing and wrinkles. For a clean look we recommend steaming. Items like T-shirts and Sweatshirts often don't need ironing if you gently shake or stretch them when they come out of the washing machine and hang the item to dry. If there is a setting on the washing machine called ‘reduced creases’ will also help to prevent wrinkles, alternatively you can always reduce the wash cycle (the garments will come out more wet). If the garments do need ironing, then it is best to refer to the garment care label to know what temperature setting is safe. When ironing cotton items, we recommend to use a damp function or use the steam setting on the iron. Giving the cotton a little moisture before ironing will make the fibres smoother and the garment will flatten quicker.