Is it just me or when you're charity shopping do you always find something that echoes what you've chosen to wear that day? This morning I was out in my embroidered Indian maxi dress and happened upon this 1960s Raymond of London cloak. Double velvet!
I'm rather liking the witchy vibe of the two pieces worn together. Maybe in your part of the world it's Spring and you're already in lightweight jackets but, after a glorious couple of coat-free days last week, the cold weather has returned with avengeance. This morning we were battered by hailstorms and the big coats and gloves were back out.
The squeamish might be aghast that I'm wearing something I bought secondhand only a couple of hours ago. The majority of garments we buy are put in the washing machine and hung up to dry but, in the case of outerwear like coats & capes, they're spot cleaned and tumble dried on a delicate setting with a lavender bag for twenty minutes to freshen them up.
Here's the contents of the laundry basket today - a 1960s wool dress, a 1980s satin shirt, a 1950s "wash as silk" Tootal pocket square and an Indian Kantha jacket. We're off on the hunt again tomorrow so I shall wait for a full load before I wash them.
The Up-Cycled Cloth Collective say that mindful laundering of clothing can reduce our fibre footprint. They've suggested the following, my responses are in italics.
- Wear clothing more than once between washes whenever possible - I pretty much always wear my clothes more than once before laundering them (and often three, four or five times). I hang them up in the bathroom overnight to air them after an outing.
- Air dry instead of using the tumble dryer - We either line dry or hang our laundry to dry on the pulley system Jon built (see HERE). As mentioned previously, I freshen coats in the tumble drier for no more than 20 minutes.
- Wash with cold water rather than hot whenever possible - We use the 30 degree cycle for most of our laundry.
- Always wait until there is a full load - Yes
- If you use it, substitute fabric softener with white vinegar - I never use fabric conditioner, it rots your clothes (see HERE). White vinegar can also be added to the wash to eliminate odours, ideal if you've bought anything that's been previously washed in that appalling heavily scented washing powder (it's worse than BO in my opinion).
- Use an energy efficient washing machine - Yes!
- Use less washing powder and source bio-friendly products - We use soda crystals in the washing machine. I've just discovered liquid soda crystals which are brilliant for stain removing. I use organic baby shampoo from Poundland for hand washing and woollens.
- Never dry clean - We don't!
- If you use micro fibres use a Guppy Bag when laundering (for more info see HERE) - No fleece in this house!
- Spot clean between washes to minimise the need for a full wash - Yes!
- Only buy used clothing except for underwear (and use as cleaning rags when worn out) - We try to.
- Mending and reusing/recycling clothes to give them new life instead of throwing them away - Yes!
Have you got any useful mindful laundering tips? Do let me know in the comments.
Here's ours - when buying vintage clothes from a fair or a shop don't be afraid to ask the seller for their advice on laundering your purchases. We always tell our buyers that the item has already been washed and suggest that they don't launder it after each wear in order to prolong the garment's life. We always recommend soda crystals as they're made from natural ingredients that won't f*ck up the water table plus they're cheap and have no smell. If you're in the UK you can buy them HERE.
|WEARING: 1960s green velvet Indian dress by Simran, Raymond of London velvet cloak, Mjus cowboy boots, wool felt hat (all charity shopped)|
I'm off to work my witchy magic on a tatty kurta, a weird table cloth and a frayed curtain. I'll see you soon!