It is well-known that silk apparel is delicate to
laundering and demands scientific approach, appropriate procedure and
techniques. Deviation due to ignorance/negligence often leads to loss in
aesthetic and functional significance of a silk apparel product, and
ultimately results in consumer dissatisfaction. The author attempts to address
these issues with the help of a case study and recommends an ideal wash
care method for silk.
Textiles get soiled by normal use whether these are made of
natural or synthetic fibres. Built-up dirt can get ground deep into the fabric,
making stains difficult to remove and can even damage the fabric. Rubbing
causes the stain to move deeper into the fabric that may be difficult to
remove. Further, the heat in the dryer may permanently set the stain in a
Chlorine bleaching should be avoided which may damage high
performance products made from spandex. Fabrics, linings or insulations could
shrink or otherwise may get damaged due to high temperature or leaving them in the
dryer for long. Apparels made from fibres such as acrylic, nylon, polyester,
and polyolefin dry quickly. In fact, polyolefin may melt at high temperature in
the dryer. The care aspects vary depending on the fibre content, finish,
lining, insulation, trims, and embellishments on the garment.
In view of supra, consumers should select the correct
techniques to restore the attributes of the textiles. In order to help the
consumers get acquainted about clothing care, care labelling rule requires
manufacturers and importers of apparel and certain piece goods to provide
necessary care label instructions giving the consumer accurate care
information to extend the useful life of garments. These labels must be
permanently attached, and remain legible for the life of the garment.
Sometimes, symbols may be used in conjunction with words, but will not by
themselves satisfy the requirements explicitly.
Care labels often are the deciding factors when consumers
shop for clothing. While some of them opt for the convenience of dry-cleaning,
others prefer the economy of buying garments which they can wash. Some
manufacturers try to reach both the markets with garments that can be cleaned
by either method. The care label rule allows providing more than one set of
care instructions, if a reasonable basis for each instruction set exists.
Though there is relaxation in using only temporary labels
for products such as totally reversible clothing without pockets and products
that may be washed, bleached, dried, ironed, or dry-cleaned by the harshest
procedures available; interestingly, no care instruction is required for some
of the products sold to institutional buyers for commercial use, and products
that are completely washable.
Care label rule requires that manufacturers and importers of textile wearing
apparel have a reasonable basis and reliable evidence in support of care instruction.
That is why different verification tests are involved while determining the
care label of a textile product. For instance, washing, bleaching, drying,
ironing, dry-cleaning are the major processes associated before final
recommendation. Typical example of a popular export oriented garment variety
such as 100% cotton single jersey T-shirt is depicted in Table 1.
If a garment shrinks more than 3%, the fit property would be
obviously disliked by the consumer. Similarly, when apparel is washed and
change in colour of the body or staining of colour on different parts is
noticed, the aesthetic value gets diminished. In such cases, dry-cleaning is
highly recommended which delays perceivable relaxation shrinkage and inhibits
colour loss during a garment's life cycle. This, in turn, ensures consumer