consumer, cotton fabrics, fabrics, Fashion, Linen fabrics, polyester fabric, spandex fabric

Guide to Care for Different Types of Fabrics

Featured image on wash care label

Have you ever ruined an expensive or an item of favorite clothing because you washed it the wrong way? Are you someone who looks at the care label inside clothing? Don’t get scared with these questions. Most people, like me, never follow the instructions mentioned on the care label. I never even check for care labels. And believe me, it cost me my favorite clothing.

As we buy expensive and delicate clothing, it is important to follow the care instructions given by the manufacturer. But the symbols are confusing. What if the item does not have a care label?

In this article, we are going to decode the wash care symbols and understand the right way to care for the most popular types of fabrics. So, let’s get started.


What are the symbols on a wash care label?

I have always wondered looking at the wash care labels of my clothes what it actually meant. Some were easy to understand. But then I stopped looking at them. Lets straighten the confusion now.


Dry Cleaning Symbol

Direct wash care

The above mentioned are the symbols related to dry cleaning.

  • If the care label indicates a small circle, it means that you must dry clean the item.
  • The letters inside the circle, if it is there, indicate which chemical to use. This is for the dry cleaner to notice.
  • The bars underneath the circle indicate the level of precaution the dry cleaner must take. More lines mean more precaution.
  • If the circle is crossed, then it means the item should not be dry cleaned.


Ironing Symbol

iron care

This is easy to recognize.

  • If there are no dots on the iron box, it means the item can be ironed at any temperature.
  • The number of dots indicates the temperature of heat that can be applied. One dot being delicate and three being strong. Cotton and linen items have three dots on them.
  • The cross over the iron means, the item should not be ironed.


Drying Symbol

drying cloth

The drying symbol can be recognized by a circle inside a square. If your care label has one, then the item can be tumble-dried. The number of dots indicates the degree of temperature that can be applied while drying. One dot means low temperature and so on. Now guess what the cross over the symbol means? Comment below.


Hand Wash Symbol

hand washing symbol

These are the symbols that relate to hand washing clothes that can be seen on a care label. These symbols are self-explanatory.

  • The hand in the tub symbol indicates the item can be hand washed. Most of the time, the temperature is 40 degrees Celcius or lower.
  • The twisted symbol means the items can be wrung.
  • The cross-over twist symbol indicates that you should not wring the item.


Synthetic Washing Symbol

Machine wash

This tub symbol is used for communicating the various instructions related to synthetic or machine washing.

  • You can machine wash the item if you see such a symbol on the label.
  • The maximum temperature that can be applied was washing is indicated as the number on the tub symbol.
  • The bar underneath the tub indicates the spinning and rinsing speed. One bar being reduced speed.
  • The cross-over tub symbol tells you not to wash the item.


Below are some more symbols with descriptions that can be seen on wash care labels.

All type of wash care symbols

How to care for different types of fabrics?

Now that you are familiar with the wash care symbols, let’s learn how to care for various fabric types. Wash care labels are often not available for custom-made clothes. Or the care label can be missing or torn out. In such cases, you can use this information to make your clothes last longer.


Cotton Fabric

Cotton is the most popular type of fabric in the world. Most of the garment items are made out of cotton. It is a natural fiber that gives maximum comfort and versatility to manufacturers.

It is always important to check the care label for special instructions. Because the chances of cotton shrinking are relatively high. Use Cold water to wash any cotton clothes. The chances of messing it up are literally zero.

If you want to use chlorine bleach to white cotton clothes to remove stains, only do so by checking the care labels first. For drying, always keep under shade under moderate temperature.


Linen Fabric

Linen is also a widely used natural fiber in the world. It is made from the flax plant. You can read more about linen fabric here. Linen absorbs more water while washing. So it is important to use appropriate water, especially for dyed linen clothes.

While ironing linen, iron from the inside out using steam at high temperatures. It is ideal to use cool water for washing and let it dry under the air.


Contact Us for any type of woven fabric manufacturing.


Polyester fabric

Polyester fabric is a highly durable synthetic fabric. It comes under the label ‘easy-care’. Because most of the polyester fabrics can be washed either by hand or machine. One can use cold or warm water for this unless special instruction is written on the care label.

For drying, use low heat. The item should be removed from the dryer while it is still a little damp in order to avoid wrinkles and static build-up. While ironing, only uses low heat, because polyester melts under a hot iron.


Spandex Fabric

Spandex is the revolutionary material that changed the way made garments. Spandex adds a little bit of stretchiness to the material. While wearing spandex clothing, one feels better. Most of the time, it is added in small quantities with other fabrics. You can read more about spandex here.

While washing spandex clothes, you can wash them either by hand or machine. But avoid hot water and chlorine bleach. Because it will damage the spandex fibers. For drying keep it under share and avoid machine drying. The heat of the dryer can cause pucker or bubbles to appear on clothing. For ironing, avoid direct hot surfaces. Iron quickly with warm temperature.



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