For a lot of people, feeling comfortable in your clothes means trading fashionable for frumpy. Whether it’s our favorite, frayed blanket, beloved dog-eared slippers, or the pajamas we parade around in when the curtains are drawn, cozy clothes and warm fabrics are typically saved for indoor eyes only — and even then, only sparingly.
So, odds are if you’re decked out in style during the cold months, you’re probably also shivering, shaking, and chattering as you sidestep snow to reach your hopefully toasty destination. But don’t despair — or freeze. There are plenty of fabrics available to keep you feeling warm and stylish as autumn gives way to winter. But learning how to care for your favorite fabrics is as important as knowing which ones to wear and which ones to shun.
Each fabric, after all, comes with its own unique requirements. And that’s doubly important if — with the fall season having faded — you decide to store away certain key outfits until next autumn. With this in mind, consider our guide for pampering your fall fabrics, ensuring they’re always ready to greet you with the same snug embrace.
What to wash with
Whatever fabric you’re cleaning, you’ll want to hand wash or use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent like SaltyLama eco-friendly laundry sheets. Not only do they provide an effective but eco-conscious clean, they’re a breeze to use. Since they’re pre-measured, you’ll no longer have to pour liquid or powder into a cup. Each sheet has two strips. For a regular-sized load, toss one strip into either your washing machine's detergent drawer or drum. For a smaller-to-medium load, rip a strip in half. And if you have an extra-large number of dirty clothes to tackle, toss two strips in. Best of all, the hypoallergenic sheets are plant-based without the chemicals, phosphates, and harsh fragrances found in regular detergents. That makes them safe for your family and pets as well as the planet.
How to wash wool and cashmere
Luxurious and soft, wool and cashmere fabrics are the epitome of fall coziness. While you can carry several of these pieces into winter, your lighter fall knits might be ready for storage. If so, here’s what you need to do to care for wool and cashmere. First, gently brush away any surface dirt or lint using a soft-bristle brush designed for these fabrics. Next, when it comes to how to wash wool or cashmere, you’ll want to hand wash or use a gentle cycle.
Make sure you avoid wringing or twisting. Instead, gently press out excess water. To dry, lay flat on a clean towel away from direct sunlight. Some fabrics like merino wool can go in the dryer but they need to be laundered in the gentlest setting. If you’re putting a fall favorite away until next season, fold neatly and store in a cool, dark place with cedar blocks or lavender sachets to deter moths.
How to care for corduroy clothes
Looking to keep this fall fabric favorite in its best shape? Turn your garment inside out and shake to remove any debris or loose dirt before laundering. You can also use a lint roller or tape to remove finer particles. When it comes to drying, corduroy before low heat. You can either air dry or tumble dry on low heat to prevent shrinking. If you’re storing an article of clothing away for next season, fold and store them in a dry, well-ventilated space. You’ll have it in mint condition.
How to wash denim
Denim offers durability and style, whether it’s fall or spring. But, if you have some jeans that you won’t need until next fall, go ahead and store them away with the rest of your fall capsule. Follow these denim care tips to have them ready for next year. Before you wash, turn the jeans inside out to preserve color and prevent fading.
If your jeans are already free of odor and stains, don’t feel compelled to wash them. Denim doesn’t respond well to being washed too frequently. Instead, you can spot clean stains. We recommend air drying to prevent shrinkage or tumble drying on a low heat seating. Finally, hang or fold in a dry, cool place that is out of direct sunlight. This will ensure your jeans don’t wind up sun-bleached.
Care tips for fall flannels
Fall flannels offer a classic, cozy appeal for casual autumn days, but you might not get a lot of use out of them the rest of the year. So, go ahead and gather them up before winter and place them away until next season. Just make sure there is nothing in their pockets. Then, machine-wash on a gentle cycle. You can either tumble dry on low heat or air dry to further prevent shrinkage. To keep them in great shape for next fall, fold and store them in a dry, cool place that’s away from direct sunlight.
How to care for fall silk and satin
Silk and satin fabrics can be very elegant, making them perfect apparel for fall evening events. But with fall coming to a close, you may want to gather up the silk and satin you won’t be wearing this winter and put them into a cozy hibernation. If that’s the case, remember silk and satin are finicky fabrics. You may need to dry clean for the best results. However, a lot of silk can be hand washed with a mild silk-friendly detergent. Afterwards, always avoid wringing and twisting these fabrics. Instead, gently press out excess water. Then, hang or lay flat to dry away from direct sunlight. We don’t recommend using a dryer. Once they’re ready, you can place them in a cool, dry place along with the rest of your fall clothes.
Caring for your favorite fall fabrics ensures they will remain stunning whether you’re storing them away for next year or carrying them into the winter months. By following these care instructions, you’ll be able to extend the life of these beloved garments while making your laundry routine both simpler and more sustainable.