So what about larger items then? Can they be hand-washed too? Yes of course! Let’s try it!
Chapter 1 – Washing denim.
Do remember that a machine-washer don’t necessarily wash garments better than you do. It’s all about that a machine can repeat in higher intensity, which not always is a good thing. Over-washing is a common problem with our day-to-day wear, which often wears out the garments far too quick. So with having said that, let’s start!
First we add the hand-washing friendly detergent to warm water. As usual, I use one especially made for wool and silk due to its milde component mixture.
I always add it together with the running water to get it well mixed.
I also rinse the cap at the same time to make sure I don’t waste detergent (and, of course, to keep its own liquid container tidy).
Adding the garment – in this case my newly made denim jacket. Gently pressing it down under the water to get it well soaked.
Then repeatedly soaking and pressing the jacket under the water, to get the enzyme-mixed water thoroughly into all areas of the garment.
It should be absolutely soaked with an evenly distributed “wetness”. (Make sure you don’t end up with some “forgotten” lesser soaked and folded areas.)
Due to the enormous amount of finishing (chemicals), stiffener and coating used (today) to make fabric and garments look fuller and neater than they actually are (and for other production and/or transport purposes also), it can sometimes be tricky to get the detergent-mixed water into all the fibers. Make sure to continue gently with the washing – soaking and squeezing – until you feel you’ve obtained a “full” effect – a fully soaked garment.
The water can get quite tainted during this process! Even with newly made clothes! If you have sensitive skin, I absolutely recommend you to wear rubber gloves. Because, one never really know what’s actually gets extracted into the water from the fabric…
Let the garment rest for a short while, letting the enzymes in the mixed water work – dissolving dirt, smell and other chemicals.
After the short rest, check the garment for cleanness. If it still has some tainted or smelly areas, give it an extra round of washing or a gentle rub.
Time for the rinsing process! First, squeeze as much detergent-mixed water out of the garment as possible. Then get rid of the tainted water.
Drench the garment in fresh cold water and repeat the washing process, but now with the goal of getting the detergent out of the garment. This includes a lot of soaking, dipping and squeezing.
Shift water in the process after a while – squeeze the “old” water out of the garment and replace the used water with new. Repeat the rinsing process about three times. When the water ends up clear, after a rinsing process, your ready for next step – the spin!
Spread out well-washed clean towels overlapping each other (if not large enough). Place the garmen on top, and cover with another layer of towels.
Roll up the towels around the garment.
Then twist the roll. This will act as a spin and will dry up the garment, from wet to moist.
Be careful with this step. Such a spin-twist can be surprisingly powerful. If the garment is sensitive, consider to make the twist more gentle, or omitting it all together. It can give more or less permanent creases – just as a machine spin can. Therefore, be sure to place the garment neatly ordered on top of the towels, before rolling it up.
Also twist the other way to even out the garment.
Remove the towels and start your stretching and shaping step!
Here’s how the denim garment looked after its wash ‘n’ spin process. It looks all wrinkled. But don’t despair! It’s amazing how much shaping that can be adjusted befor drying! Don’t miss this important step.
Sterech and shape all seams and edges while smoothing out most of the wrinkles. You will notice that the fabric (and garment) is quite flexible while wet! Go methodically through the whole garment while still keeping an eye on the over-all shape.
You can also smooth out a lot of wrinkles with your bare flat hand, while keeping the area taught with the other hand.
There! A smoothed out hand-washed denim jacket! Ready to dry. Natural wind from opened windows will speed up the process considerably.
And here’s the back!
A tip: Remember to moisturize your hands after all hand-wasing. And maybe also wash them now and then during the process. Some of your skin’s natural oils can have been stripped by the detergent, depending on the liquid brand (and coarseness) used. Just to keep your precious hands in top shape!
Final dried result. The jacket dried in 1 day, here in summertime temperatures with open windows. The jacket feels softer, after a short while, than before it’s wash, and have now a more relaxed look. I like it!
If you would like a neater look afterwards, always feel free to steam-press your garments.
Chapter 2 – The Project, day 22.
Halfway through the new A6 t-shirt 4-day segment! How time flies!! Now I only have 2 days left to create a new garment. Let’s do this! And see you tomorrow!
– Sten Martin / DTTA
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