How to care for your colours
Discovering your best colours and wearing the colours and styles that you love and that bring you to life is incredibly uplifting and confidence boosting. But if there's one thing to ruin that 'I just wore my best red and felt a million dollars' high, it's shrinking your favourite merino sweater in the wash and kissing goodbye to the investment you've just made in your own confidence.
Caring for your clothes appropriately won't just mean that your merino jumper lasts beyond the first soup spillage; it will also ensure that the bright and beautiful colours will last far far longer, so electric blue will remain electric blue rather than drifting further towards cornflower with every wash.
I've pulled together Kettlewell's top tips for caring for your colours and making the vibrant tone of your favourite top last as long as possible.
1. Read the washing label! It sounds basic, but we're so used to being able to throw everything in the wash at 30 degrees that it often doesn't occur to us to check that it's the best way to care for our clothes. Most merino, for instance, benefits from a hand wash or the wool cycle in your machine, and anything with silk in needs to be treated with the care stated on the label.
2. Don't wash jeans or other items with metal fastenings with knitwear, or even jersey tshirts if you can avoid it - the metal can snag knitwear but can also damage the fibres of your tshirts over time, causing holes.
3. Wash on the coolest temperature you can get away with, and use a gentle detergent. Kettlewell's dyes are the best quality we can lay our hands on, and they will stand up to a fair amount of abuse (much more than most strong coloured clothing you can buy, because we've worked so hard for so long with our factories with colour as a main priority), but particularly for the brighter colours, the more gently you care for them the longer they will retain that depth of colour you love. Brief note: it is important, however, to occasionally run a hot wash in your machine, especially if you live in a soft water area, or you'll find your machine will stop doing a thorough job. Bed linen is the ideal victim for your hottest wash!
4. Love your knitwear, especially cashmere, and give it the respect it deserves. Your cashmere gauze stole will plump back up beautifully after a quick soak in some hand wash liquid, a press dry in a towel and a couple of hours draped carefully on an airer - remember that knitwear will hold onto any peculiar shape you drag it into with pegs when hanging it out, so be as careful with your drying as you are with your washing.
5. Don't leave clothes hanging around in the machine after the cycle has finished. Not only will your clothes smell less than delightful, but in really intense colours in certain fabrics the dye can gather in the creases of the fabric if it is tightly squashed in the machine, creating a creased appearance even when the garment is dry and ironed.
6. Don't fear the tumble dryer! Do check the label (have I said that enough times yet?) but lots of modern natural fibres such as viscose or modal which can feel very stiff and 'shrunken' when wet ping back into shape perfectly either on a line or in a tumble dryer. Modern tumble dryers are far more clothing friendly than their older counterparts.
7. Accept that nothing lasts forever. I have Kettlewell tops that are the best part of a decade old and still going strong, but occasionally an item just reaches the end of its life. Don't be afraid to declutter the clothes that are past their best and replace them with items that really make you feel amazing