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Which clothes should I get dry cleaned?

Living in Thailand, we are fortunate to send our laundry to be professionally cleaned, taking away much of the stress. Here at SIMPLY, we even collect your washing and deliver it back to you, making things even more straightforward. However, we can’t separate your clothes. We recommend that you divide them into dry cleaned and laundered. This article will explore which fabrics should be dry cleaned to maintain their appearance and avoid shrinkage.

Of course, the obvious question is, what is dry cleaning? Professional dry-cleaning in Bangkok, done by a company such as SIMPLY, involves removing stains, dirt, and odours without using either water or standard detergent. The term “dry” is quite misleading as the process involves soaking the clothes in a chemical or solvent, usually perchloroethylene (perc), petroleum spirits or trichloroethane. While many believe the perc is the most effective, it is a volatile substance and can irate some people’s skin, so it is becoming used less frequently.

Look at the care symbols on your clothes!

Once most of us have tried on our clothes and are satisfied that they fit, we remove the tags inside the clothes either because they can itch or because we don’t want them to be visible. However, they are there for a reason, and they will have washing suggestions on them as a guide to extending the garment’s lifespan. The label will also tell you how the clothes should be dried, ironed, washed, bleached and, importantly for this article, if they should be dry-cleaned.

General rules

As most of you will be aware, most of your clothes can be washed in a machine or hand washed as they will be made from cotton, polyester or spandex. However, suits, formal and evening wear should usually be dry-cleaned. Here are seven fabrics that you should get dry-cleaned by a professional laundry.

1. Wool

Wool is prone to shrinkage when washed in even cold water. It is the fabric then many suits are made from and the more expensive men’s and women’s jumpers.

Some wool items are mixed with other materials such as polyester can be machine-washed although it is likely to shorten their lifespan so, at SIMPLY, we would strongly advise you to get them dry-cleaned.

2. Silk

Silk, in many ways, is a very durable fabric in that it has strong natural fibres. However, this can go against silk as it means that dyes aren’t easily absorbed.

Washing with soap and water will mean that the garments quickly lose their colour and shape. Although in Thailand, silk is a fabric that is not as commonly used as in the west, it is something that you should get dry-cleaned.

3. Linen

In many ways, linen is similar to silk in that it is a natural fabric with strong fibres, although it is more absorbent than both silk and cotton. Linen should not be machine washed, but it can be CAREFULLY hand washed and must be air-dried. Usually, it will need ironing after as it will almost certainly look creased after washing. However, hand washing and ironing will mean that garments quickly lose their crispness and deteriorate rapidly. Once again, we recommend dry cleaning any garments made from linen.

4. Suede and leather

Both suede and leather are natural products made from the hides of animals, typically lambs, cows or goats. Garments made from these fabrics tend to be expensive but are notoriously tricky to keep looking in pristine condition.

Even dry cleaning these items can damage them, so many dry cleaners will not accept them. Non-toxic chemicals must be used and only to remove severe stains such as oil or ink. SIMPLY’S best advice is to try and avoid any spillages on these items or use products suggested by a trusted cobbler!

5. Velvet

Velvet is a tufted material made from natural or synthetic fabrics, so it is a bit of an anomaly on our list. It is an incredibly difficult fabric to clean due to its pile. Most garments made of this material are costly. Even though it is mainly manufactured using industrial looms, it is still a time-consuming process. You should never use water on velvet, and it should only be dry cleaned using specialist detergents. As with the case with leather and suede, we would strongly advise you to avoid spillages on this material!

6. Rayon

Rayon is a semi-synthetic material that is less commonly used, but as it contains purified cellulose fibres and is dyed, it is prone to bleeding and losing its shape if it is washed in even lukewarm water. It is a fabric that people will say, “yeah, it’s fine to put in the washing machine”, however, we would advise against it, especially if it is clothes that you like. Conventional washing will shorten the lifespan of your clothes, so we would suggest getting them dry-cleaned.

7. Denim!

We are more than aware that this one will be a controversial entry on our list and a piece of fabric that most people will put in their washing machine or send to SIMPLY to get laundered.

If you must hand wash or machine wash denim, it should be turned inside, particularly if the items are new as the dye will bleed, and you should only use cold water. Denim should never be put in a dryer. High-end denim, often found in the top labels, is a very pure fabric and will benefit from being dry-cleaned.

Still unsure which items can be dry cleaned?

At SIMPLY, we always tell our customers that if they are unsure which items should be dry-cleaned and machine washed, ask the experts. We are more than happy to talk to you about individual garments as it is impossible to include everything in our list. Although some of the fabrics included on our list SIMPLY won’t dry clean, we will tell you honestly as we wouldn’t want your clothes to get damaged. We believe in offering a comprehensive service and putting the needs of our customer’s first. 

Schedule your services through our website: https://simply.co.th/dry-cleaning-services/

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