Embroidery fads may phase in and out of style, but when you elect to tastefully decorate your garments with specialized stitchery, you’re going to end up with a wardrobe full of special pieces that spice up any ensemble. And whether you’re dealing with hum-drum tees or boring jeans, you’ll find that there are all kinds of options for embroidery designs that will personalize your look. In some cases you can find ready-to-wear pieces that are already embellished with embroidery. Or you can go to your local alterations shop with requests. If you have an interest in sewing you could even get yourself a computerized sewing machine that does all the hard work for you. But once you’ve got embroidered pieces in your wardrobe, you’ll want to make sure that you clean and protect them appropriately for optimal longevity.
- Read labels. Whenever you purchase clothing that already features embroidery, you should probably just read the label to figure out how to clean it properly. In some cases you may be able to machine wash garments on a gentle cycle and possibly even dry them on the low-heat setting on your dryer. But if you have plain garments custom embroidered, the cleaning and care directions on the label go out the window and you’ll want to follow the steps below.
- Hand wash. In most cases, you should hand wash your embroidered items, whether the fabric would call for this delicate treatment or not. The reason is that the agitation from your machine, even on the gentle cycle, could cause embroidery threads to fray, fade, or break. And you should probably use cool or cold water for washing to ensure that the colors from the threads don’t bleed and damage your garment.
- Air dry. Once you’ve washed your garments, you should press them in a towel to remove excess moisture (rather than wringing them out and potentially popping stitches). Then lay them flat or hang them to dry, depending on the type of textile or garment. The heat from your dryer, even at the low-heat setting, could cause stitching to fray, fade, and generally deteriorate faster than it might otherwise.
- Dry press. Garments that hang to dry could experience some amount of wrinkling, although again, it depends on the fabric. However, you don’t want to iron directly over embroidery. So place a thin pressing cloth over the embroidered area when you iron your garment for protection or iron the garment inside out as an alternative. And make sure you don’t use steam when ironing – choose a dry heat setting. This could alleviate the potential for bleeding, breakage, and so on.
- Store appropriately. Whether you order custom embroidered clothing from an online t-shirt shop like Broken Arrow Wear, you buy ready-to-wear items from retail outlets, or you create your own embroidered garments at home, proper storage will help to increase the longevity of your wardrobe. Of course, the embroidery won’t likely play much of a role here. You simply need to know which textiles should be folded and laid flat and which are better off on hangers.