How to wash cotton?

Cotton has been a popular fabric for years and that’s not crazy at all. The fabric is soft, does not sting and breathes well. If you wash the fabric in the right way, you will enjoy it for years.

Fortunately, washing cotton is not higher mathematics: the fabric is easy to maintain. But to prevent shrinkage, discoloration and wear and tear, there are a number of things to take into account.

In this blog we will tell you all about the washing instructions of cotton.

On which program should I wash cotton?

The most important thing to pay attention to when washing cotton is that it does not shrink. Especially at higher temperatures you have the risk that this will happen. We therefore advise to wash cotton fabrics the first time at a lower temperature (maximum 40 degrees) and not to put them directly in the dryer. After the first wash you can possibly wash at higher temperatures, but for most clothes this is not necessary.

Especially for fabrics made of 100% cotton, it is wise to wash at a low temperature. 100% cotton has a greater tendency to shrink than mixed cotton fabrics. Do this preferably in combination with a detergent that also works well at lower temperatures.

For the first wash you can use the washing machine. But wash the fabric the first time separate, or at least together with similar colors. New cotton can still give off color. And of course you don't want the color to give off on your other fabrics!

At how many degrees do you wash cotton?

You already read that it is best not to wash cotton too hot. But some fabrics, such as towels or underwear, people often want to wash a bit hotter. What happens if you wash cotton at 60 degrees? Or 90 degrees?

The chance of cotton shrinking increases the warmer you wash. At 90 degrees, the fabric will shrink more than at 60 degrees. Do you want to prevent shrinkage? Then preferably wash lower than 60 degrees.

Isn't it so bad that the fabrics shrink a bit, for example for towels or bedding?  Then you can wash them at 60 degrees or higher. From this temperature, bacteria, viruses and fungi also die well.

Cotton, on the other hand, shrinks

In this blog it is mainly about preventing shrinkage, but it is of course also possible that you want to shrink the fabric. For example, do you have a cotton sweater that you want to make smaller? Then wash it as hot as possible and on a long program.

The higher the temperature, the stronger the sweater shrinks. The heat of hot water narrows the textile fibers, making the sweater smaller. By putting the sweater in the dryer after washing, you have a chance that the fabric will shrink a bit extra.

Tip: To keep the color of your clothes beautiful, you can add some white vinegar to the laundry.

Ontwerp ‘Orchid’ door Veronica Rönn (Katoen Popeline Eco)

Can cotton be put in the dryer?

Cotton can be put in the dryer, but keep in mind the temperature. Do you want to prevent shrinkage? Then set the dryer to a maximum of 40 to 60 degrees. Higher temperatures lead to more shrinkage. If that's your goal, you can of course turn the dryer up a little higher.

With 100% cotton you can iron at maximum temperature (maximum 200 degrees – 3 dots). For cotton with a stretch percentage, we recommend ironing at a lower temperature (maximum 150 degrees – 2 dots).

All about washing and maintaining fabrics

After reading this blog you know everything about washing cotton! Do you want to know more about the fabric cotton? Then read our blog about the specifications of cotton.

In addition, on our blog you will find an extensive archive of articles about washing other fabrics. For example, we also explain how to wash silk.

Getting started with cotton

Do you feel like getting started with cotton after reading this blog? House of U is a digital textile printing company of fabrics for the international fashion and interior market. We can therefore help you choose the right type of cotton for your design.

Do you want to know what we can do for you? Please contact us.

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