Here’s why this helps:
Not only is this a productive way to spend additional indoor time (love that you can do this while watching Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or your fave Youtubers ;), but the more you show proper love and care to your clothes, the longer they’ll last and the more you’ll want to wear them. I’ve mentioned taking clothes to a tailor or seamstress, handwashing or taking coats to the cleaners, but in this newsletter, I really want to dig into the mending and laundry tricks that may seem mindless, but are so meaningful.
If you’re looking for a great article on slow fashion garment care, there’s a great one from the Guardian here.
When it comes to mending, here are two easy fixes that usually leave our clothes in limbo:
Darning: I’ve only darned casual clothes like leggings and socks, but even this has been immensely satisfying. It’s not complicated sewing so can even be done while lazing around on the couch. Here’s the darning video tutorial I watched and loved it - easy and fast. NB: I didn’t use a darning egg, you can use anything round or semi-round here like a lacrosse ball, or glass jar.
Sewing on a button: Another super easy and effective fix that doesn’t require couture-level sewing skills. It’s also a great way to change up a blazer or shirt’s look if you’re feeling tired of it. I love this infographic button-sewing tutorial.
When it comes to laundering, a couple of easy tips to keep your clothing lasting longer while staying fresh (did you know that the average washing machine uses 13,500 gallons of water a year? That’s as much as you’ll drink in your entire lifetime):
Don’t wash clothes after every wear: this can obviously be difficult depending on your climate and personal body temperature, however there are things like armpit guards, or simply wearing a silk slip under dresses and skirts that can help avoid getting more soiled with body contact.
Spot wash: Rather than washing an entire garment if it gets dirty or a stain, spot wash by hand in the sink.
Air dry: Not only does this reduce energy consumption, but there’s truly no better smell than freshly hung clothes. In the winter, simply set up your drying rack in the living room and make sure you include extra drying time into your outfit planning!
Steam out clothes for a fresher, cleaner garment.
Hand wash your natural fabrics like merino, silk, linen.
If you must wash in your machine, wash at 30 degrees celsius (with the exception of items like underwear, bedsheets, towels etc. which need to be washed in hotter temperatures for sanitary purposes)
They might be a bit more time-intensive, but I’ve found that these small acts of meticulous garment care have become a really pleasant part of my housekeeping routine. Do you have any mending or laundering tips? I’d love to know.