Now I'm not here to teach anyone how to suck eggs - I presume you've been managing your laundry your whole adult life, and maybe now you're lucky enough to be responsible for the rest of your family's washing too. Adult life - the joys are unending, right?
However, a little extra care can keep your much loved handmade clothing looking ship shape for as long as possible - long enough to hand on to siblings, cousins or a buddy!
First up. Washing. Washing machines literally send our clothes in a spin. To protect the print, simply turn the item inside out (remember to coo at the rainbow seams!). If you have one, tuck the cowl part of a cowl neck sweatshirt inside :-) Avoid washing rough fabrics such as denim or towels with your items too.
Next tip, try a cooler wash. We wash our handmade items at 30 degrees which is plenty warm enough to get them clean, but cool enough to avoid shrinkage and to protect the elastane element of the fabric. This makes up just 5% of the fabric content but it does a big job - the elastane is responsible for the fabric bouncy back (no baggy knees here!) and keeping the waistband up all day long. Over time, heat will degrade elastane. And that makes the sewing fairies cry. (Spoiler alert, there are no sewing fairies. It's just me. Sorry.)
While we're talking about heat - it's best to avoid tumble drying your Biddy and Bear goodies. Again, this can degrade the elastane, cause shrinkage and all those clothes rubbing against each other contributes to washwear and bobbling.
The best way to dry your handmade clothing is on the line (oh my - the delicious smell of line dried clothes!), or an indoor airer. Ours are often found on a radiator which doesn't seem to cause any issues. For sweatshirt and tees, give them a shake to smooth out the fabric, and gently straighten out/reshape the neckband, cuffs and hem - this is your best chance to avoid ironing them (if you care about that sort of thing ...).
If you are one of those people who is compelled to iron clothing, please use a medium heat to protect the fibres.
All these details are on the cute bespoke labels in the seam of every item, so don't worry, no need to take notes!
You'll notice the image isn't clothing, but our reusable wipes. In fact this is our pile of reusable wipes on their way to the washing machine! We'll wash these at 30 or 40 degrees, with bedding, towels or the school shirts - something that the towelling won't rub against and cause any wear.
Hit me up with your top tips!
p.s. all this said, we had an "incident" in some leopard thunder capri length leggings last summer and had to wash them at 60 degrees. They were absolutely fine. So don't fret if you find yourself in a similar position ... clothes are for living in, not for best!