Though cotton is globally used for various and assorted needs, it still needs extra precise steps when being cared for. Cotton’s elasticity allows it to withstand high temperatures, has high washability and is very susceptible to dyes. It has an affinity for dyes yet some of the colors like turquoise blue, shocking pink and black always bleed and require special precautions when washed at home. To prevent bleeding, similar colors should be washed together on the specific heat setting that color family needs. There is also cleaning instructions on every cotton garment which calls for a specific washing regiment to ensure that item stays in the best condition possible.
Some cotton applications may require to be dry cleaned only and therefore should not be washed in the household washing machine. Others may need to be hand washed, line dried, or simply soaked. The downside to dry cleaning is that the most effective solvent is also highly toxic. Dry cleaning customers should take their garments out of the plastic bags and air their garments after dry cleaning to air out any lingering toxins.
Though cotton is highly washable, it has a tendency to wrinkle easily. Ironing is the most effective way to get the wrinkles out. There are many tricks and tips to make ironing easier yet the best tip is iron cotton clothing on the “wrong” (reverse, inside out) side, while it is still slightly damp. This will allow for any finish on the cotton to not be harmed and still achieve the crisp look. Doing this process while the cotton is damp allows the added strength of the cotton to help get the wrinkles out and eliminates most friction that would combat the heat when wet. Cotton’s high washability, affinity for dyes, and ability to withstand high temperatures are all factors that make it one of the most usable and wearable textiles in the world.