The Laundress Cofounder Gwen Whiting and New York Fashion Designer, Jonathan Cohen have more than their love for fashion in common. Both brands are built on an ethos of sustainability – finding ways for their customers to increase the longevity of their wardrobes. Jonathan Cohen’s FW20 collection included stunning silhouettes made of repurposed scraps from previous collections, and material like recycled cashmere and wool. As he takes us through his inspiration behind the FW20 collection, Gwen discusses how to care for fine fabrics at home with The Laundress.
Read on for the step-by-steps to care for some of these elegant pieces.
Step 1: Test For Color Bleeding This kind of fabric is prone to bleeding, so it’s smart to test it first. Grab a small section of hem from the underside of the garment and dip it in warm water. Look out for water reactions such as puckering, and shrinking. If you see dye seep into the water, wash it individually (if it’s a solid color) to avoid staining other items. If it’s patterned, avoid washing at home.
Step 2: Hand Wash Turn your silk inside out. Fill a basin or sink with cool water and add two capfuls of Delicate Wash. Submerge the item and gently swirl the water around with your hands until the detergent is fully dissolved. Soak for no longer than 30 minutes.
Step 3: Rinse Run cool water over the garment until it rinses clean. Don't wring the garment! Instead, press excess water out with your hands or against the sink.
Step 4: Dry and De-Wrinkle Hang to dry or lay the item flat in its natural shape. Once dry to the touch, steam to release wrinkles and bring out the silk’s natural luster. Between washes, a misting of Delicate Spray will banish icky odors and add a refreshing scent.
Sweater: RECYCLED CASHMERE + RECYCLED WOOL
Step 1: Prep For Washing Flip the item inside out to halt friction and fading while washing.
Step 2: Hand Wash Add two capfuls of Wool & Cashmere Shampoo (many detergents can be harsh on your fabrics, but this one is pH-neutral and ultra gentle) to a basin or sink of cool water. Submerge the garment, agitate with your hands, then let it soak for 30 minutes. If you’d rather use the machine, place your item in a protective Mesh Bag and use the following settings: Cold water + woolens or delicate cycle + low tumble.
Step 3: Rinse Run cool water over the item until it’s no longer soapy. Gently press against your sink to drain excess water—don’t wring or twist.
Step 4: Dry Lay the garment flat on a drying rack or clean towel. To avoid damage and shrinkage, keep away from direct sunlight and sources of heat such as a radiator. In a rush? Lay your item flat on a towel then roll both upwards, as if you’re rolling a burrito. This will quickly sop up excess water.
Step 5: Remove Wrinkles & Pilling Ironing can crush or flatten the natural pile of the yarns. Instead, steam to remove creases or give your garment a spritz of Wool & Cashmere Spray. Pilling? For cashmere, glide a Sweater Comb over the area in one direction to remove them; for wool, use the Sweater Stone. Brushing your cashmere or wool between wears with a Cashmere Brush will also release the fabric’s natural oils and keep it looking new.
POLYESTER + SILK
For structured pieces that cannot be washed, we recommend spot treating and freshening to reduce dry cleaning.
Spot treat: Wet our Wash & Stain Bar and work the bar into the stain until stain lifts. With a Lint-Free Cleaning Cloth, press out all access soap to prevent water marks. Repeat this process until stain is completely gone.
Freshen: Use our Delicate Spray to add a fresh scent to garments. Follow up with a steamer to remove odors and gift the garment an extra boost of freshness.