By Marcy Montgomery Jones
How much time do you spend looking at the care labels inside of your clothes? How much thought, overall, do you give to doing your laundry? Don’t make the simple mistake of not taking the time, and devoting the effort, to learning how to properly clean your clothes. US law requires that all textile-wearing apparel sold in the United States contain symbols from the chart created by the Federal Trade Commission and found on the website of The American Cleaning Institute. Do yourself a favor. Print this chart and post it by your washer and dryer so you’ll know how to interpret those funny little symbols on all those labels, and how to correctly wash, dry, iron, and/or dry-clean your favorite garments.
What do all of these instructions mean for your undies? If shapewear, bras, and panties are laundered using the wrong amounts of heat, real damage can be done. Elastics and fabrics can break down, and garments can lose their shape. Remember, the fabrics of those garments are made with elastics. Bra straps and bra wings can lose the “guts and snap” they had when first purchased. Garment edges now finished using adhesives can open, melt, or stretch out if not laundered according to their manufacturer’s instructions. Of course, cotton garments can shrink and no longer fit correctly if too much heat’s applied. Even cotton wire-casings (the tubes inside which your bra wires lay) can shrink and increase the chances that your bra wires will poke through.
You should treat the shapewear and lingerie pieces you purchase as investments in your appearance. With proper care, those investments can have very long lives and deliver great fashion-related dividends.