Day 22 – Washing! Part 2. (A6, B2, C1)

So what about larger items then? Can they be hand-washed too? Yes of course! Let’s try it!

For Washing! Part 1, look over here.

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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Day 20 – Washing! Part 1. (A4, B2, C2)

How do you take care of your clothes when they’re tailor-made? Isn’t it expensive with all that dry-cleaning? That’s the questions I’m often asked. And the fact is, that I never use dry-cleaning services. I wash in machine, or by hand, depending on the item. All done at home. (Or at work.) It’s very inexpensive! And easy on the garments too.

Chapter 1 – The basic hand-wash guide.

So how do you wash by hand then? Well, it’s actually quite easy if you follow some really basic steps. Let’s go through them here!

1. First, preferably use a mild detergent. I myself often use those specifically made for hand-wash. And that’s usually a combined wool-silk detergent. They aren’t ’t quite that harsh, and doesn’t rip the products – or your hands – of their “natural” oils, or coating.

2. Dissolve the detergent into a good amount of warm water. And then soak the garment into that mix. With soaking, I mean letting the water into the fabric by gently spreading the garment under the water surface, and maybe lift it once or twice up over the surface for circulation.

3. Now start the actual washing process by allowing the water-detergent mix to pass through the garment’s fabric fibers. This is achieved by repeatedly soaking – letting the water “into” the garment by spreading it out under the surface – and gripping (squeezing) the water out of the garment. Repeat over and over again in a gentle fashion about 10 times.

4. Let the garment rest for a while in the mixed water, letting the enzymes (in the water) do their job with dissolving dirt and smell out of the fabric. You usually don’t have to leave it long with our modern day detergents – they’re quite effective! And for a more sensitive garment, the shorter you should let those enzymes/chemicals work, sometimes with no “resting” in the mixed water at all. (Try to balance the time used with the intensity of the detergent and the sensitivity of the garment.)

5. Repeat the technique in step 3, the actual washing routine, while checking the garment for cleanness. If there still dirt or possible smell, just rub gently a bit extra in those areas.

6. Now when the garment or garments are washed clean, we have to remove the detergent from them. First we twist the garments to remove as much of the tainted water as possible. Then get rid of that used detergent-mixed water.

7. Time to cleanse the garments! Pour fresh cold water into your container and soak and squeeze the garments repeatedly in the clear water. You will se the water get a bit tainted, and that’s actually exactly what we want – to get the rest of the used water and detergent out of the garment and into the more fresh water.

8. Repeat step 6 and 7 about two times more, in all a three time rinsing. But be sure to check the water. When the rinsing water stays clear, that’s when you know the garment is fully rinsed.

9. Time for the spin! To remove excess water. So, after having twisted the garment as well as you can, after the last rinse, the garment usually still feels rather wet. To help us out with that, we use a couple of (clean) towels. Preferably fluffy ones that soak up a lot of water. Place the garment on top of the open towel, or towels overlapping each other, and just roll it up as tight as you can…

… and then twist it as good as you can. To help you out you can either use one hand in each side, or place your foot at one side and then twist with both hands. But be gentle with sensitive garments! Some garments hardly need any spinnng/twisting at all. Be aware of that the process can give coarse wrinkles. Just as a machine spin would do. And also be aware of the very strong force the hand-spinning actually gives!

10. Finished! Good job! Just hang, or lay, the garment to dry natural. Some wind would help you speeding up the process. Be sure to place the garment in the style and shape you would like it to be, since it will dry into that shape. Feel free to mold, stretch and pat it into your favorite preferable fashion. It’s actually rather surprising how much a moist garment can be reshaped! Also pay attention to your hanger’s shape – it should preferably mirror your own shoulders, and hopefully not be too pointy.

Well done! A gentle but effective wash just copleated. Feel good about it, and be proud of taking care of your garments in a good way.

Chapter 2 – The Project, Day 20.

The 20th day mark reached! And now there’re no more combination possibilities left with the nine garments I currently have. This was the last one. So high time to make a new garment! Let’s do it! And… See you tomorrow!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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If you enjoyed this content, feel free to support us by sharing this article, subscribe to one or two of our different platforms with informative content on tailoring and design, or, by just donating a sum. As a small independent company, we’re always greatful for your support!

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