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Here is a the short version of what was discussed in my Hellocon program "Tricks of the trade or how to care for your Lolita garments."
This will be more of a resource-type post and has a lot of general information.
Clothing care symbols
Here I will go through the basic western clothing care symbols. Here is where I got the pictures for this blog post and the program. In the links section you will find a more detailed guide for the western symbols and a guide for Japanese symbols as well.
First up is the washing symbol. This is fairly straight forward. If this is in your care label you can wash the garment at home. It usually will show which temperature to use. If the garment should be hand washed the symbol will have a hand in it.
If any symbols has a cross over it it means you cannot do this to your garment. In this case you can't wet wash it home.
This is the ironing symbol which will tell you on which setting to Iron you things. In this case it's the medium setting. Again if it's crossed over you can't iron the garment.
This is the tumble drying symbol which naturally means that you can tumble dry the garment. As with the others the symbol should tell you which setting to use or if the tumble drying is not allowed. Other drying symbols will also be square in shape.
This is the symbol for professional laundry. It will usually indicate which sort of program to use with a letter and have lines under it to indicate which setting the dry cleaners should use. In Japanese clothes dry cleaning is often recommended even when it's not needed. More on that when we tackle the typical lolita materials in the next topic.
And finally we have the bleaching symbol. This symbol tells if you can bleach the garment and which sort of bleach is good for it.
Typical lolita materials
Lolita has many forms and uses many materials but to my experience these are the most typical.
Cotton: If it's not printed or two tone (white lace on dark material or vice-versa) you should be able to just chuck it in to the machine and wash in the typical setting for a cotton garment. Blouses, bloomers and unprinted cutsews can be machine washed always. If it's printed you can hand wash it but check first if the print is known to run.
Chiffon: Lolita often uses polyester chiffon which can be machine washed in the appropriate setting.
Polyester: Unprinted polyester is machine washable. If it's printed I'd hand wash it or use a really gentle setting on my machine.
Velvet: I am sorry ladies but this you will have to drag to the dry cleaners.
Wool: If it's knit wash it at home in the wool setting of your machine and flat dry to prevent stretching. If it's a coat take it to the dry cleaners.
Always wash the garment according to the requirements of the most sensitive material used. For example if you have a dress with a velvet bodice and a chiffon hem, take it to the dry cleaners.
~ Wet thin socks before using them even once. This will increase the elasticity and prevent runs. Wash all socks after every use.
~ If your garment is slightly wrinkled hang it on a hanger and take it to the bath room with you next time you take a hot shower. The steam from the shower will take care of any small wrinkles.
~ After washing your lolita garments straighten the lace when the garment is still wet. This will save you time and nerves when ironing.
~ Always test stain removal products on a unseen place on your garment. Seam allowances are a good option.
~ Wool cardigans that are not stained but have a musty smell can be just aired out to remove smells. Wool is self cleaning fibre which is also why you should dry clean your winter coat only once a year unless some rude person splashes mud all over it.
~ Do not wash your head bows by sinking them in water as this may cause rusting. If your head bow has a stain dip a corner of soft towel to water and in a drop of soap and then vigorously rub the stain to remove it. This technique will also work on make up stained collars and other stains.
Garrment care tag on my blog: Here
Clothing care in EGL: Here
What prints can be washed: Here
Japanese washing symbols: Here
Western washing symbols: Here
How to fix print bleeding Here
And as this post is already super long I will leave the shoe care, ironing and mending techniques for another time.
If you have any questions or topics for Auntie Mims to write about leave the in the comments and I will try to answer them.
Thank you for reading this kilometre of a post.