Apparently, some folks love to iron their clothes. I'm not one of them, and since you clicked somewhere to read this I don't imagine you fit into this category either!
At the same time, wearing creased, wrinkly clothing can be socially awkward or even downright embarrassing, but all wrinkle-free fabrics are heavily treated by chemicals to make them that way. So what is a sustainable fashionista to do?
Here are five great tips for looking your best, naturally:
1. It all starts with the laundry load.
You've probably been told before about sorting your laundry by colour, but did you know that also sorting by weight and fabric content can help keep wrinkles out of your clothes? It's true! But most importantly, don't overfill your washing machine and go easy on the spin cycle. 600rpm is enough to remove 30-40% of moisture, and that's all you need for an aerated clothesline.
2. Unload correctly.
Now that your clothes are clean, make sure you take them out of the washing machine right away. If not, they'll start drying out in their crumpled positions and creases will set in.
When you remove items from your washing machine, give each one a sharp snap and shake before placing it on a proper hanger or a clothesline. For shirts and blouses, the seams, cuffs, collars and button plackets can be pulled straight to smooth out the wrinkles.
For items that you don't want to hang, snap-straighten them and hand press on a flat counter. Then, fold the item neatly while continuously pulling any seams or edges straight. If it's gotten too dry, you can fine spray a little water to help relax the fibres, but don't let the clothing get too wet.
3. Keep drawers and closets organized.
I know, it can be hard to resist the urge to just cram everything back into drawers, especially after a long day. BUT, if you can get into the habit of hanging up or folding your clothes neatly after washing or wearing, you'll end up with a lot fewer wrinkles to worry about.
4. Adopt a last minute technique.
Even with the best of intentions, any one of us could slip up on those first three tips since they all involve planning ahead. The good news? You still have options for last minute wrinkle-removal.
a. Hang up wrinkly items in the bathroom, run a hot shower, and let them steam.
b. Wet a white cotton towel, wring out the excess water, toss the towel and wrinkled item in the dryer and set to tumble dry for 5 minutes.
c. Invest in a home steamer. I actually have an industrial one at home and even that doesn't take up a tonne of space, but you can get an even smaller hand-held steamer that costs even less.
5. Iron out your thoughts.
Not with an actual iron, of course, I mean figuratively. If your clothing wrinkles, it just means that it's made with natural fibres and not treated with harsh chemicals. Just like the ageing process can leave wrinkles on our skin, creases in clothing is perfectly natural and nothing to be ashamed of.
Going against societal expectations can be tough, but if you can get to the point where a few wrinkles here and there don't bother you so much, and even to a point of pride in why those wrinkles are there in the first place, you might just be the inspiration society needs to change it's expectations so we can all enjoy a more sustainable wardrobe, and a more sustainable world.
Do you have a great tip for keeping wrinkles out of clothing that I missed? Let me know below!
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I'm Lisa. I create sustainable clothing and think about stuff.