Keeping Headwraps Like New
No one likes it when colors fade, fabric wears out, and hems come undone. To keep your headwraps looking as good as new, follow these tips to preserve washable and dry clean only headwraps. Your wraps will last longer with regular cleaning and care.
General care tips
- When changing out of your headwraps, be sure to let them air out for at least 30 minutes before you store them in your closet. Hang them up on a clothes rack or on a hanger outside your closet before putting them away.
- It's also important to rotate your headwraps like you do your shoes, to give them a chance to breathe and regain their shape.
- Turn off the closet light and don't leave headwraps near the window. Sunlight can fade the colors on your wraps just like it does drapes. Dyes are sensitive to prolonged sunlight or even to a light left on in a closet.
- In summer, be careful with lotions and sunscreen as it can fade or stain your wraps.
- Spray perfume and hairspray on before you wear the wrap. The alcohol in the spray can fade, discolor or stain wraps.
- Always clean your wraps before storing them for the season. Untreated food and beverage stains can attract insects!
- Never hang wet or damp wraps in your closet. This can attract mildew.
- Never store your wraps in plastic bags. It can trap in humidity that attracts mildew. Use breathable cotton sheets or bags.
- Brush off any salt before cleaning wraps or taking them to the dry cleaner. Salt can cause damage during cleaning. If you have come into contact with salt (e.g. pant cuffs brushing up against winter street salt), wipe with cold water and air dry. Always point salt treated areas out to your dry cleaner.
General tips for at-home laundering
Invest in a front-loading washer
Most Americans use top-loading washers, which have an agitator inside that pulls your clothes around. Front-loading washers use gravity to tumble clothes in and out of the water, much like the motion of a dryer. This is much gentler on your clothes and helps prevent to prevent snags and tangling.
Wash clothes inside-out
Protect the important part of a headwrap—the outside—by simply turning it inside out before you toss it in. It may not seem like much, but embellishments on the outside of a headwrap, even screen printing, can be worn away or snagged by the inside of the washer. Items with beading, embroidery, appliqués and other details should always be washed inside-out.
Don't use chlorine bleach
Vinegar is a natural brightener that won't wear out the fibers of your headwrap the way chlorine bleach will. Plus, it's better for the environment—we love that.
Dryer heat damages fabric over time. Electric dryers cause shrinkage, color fading, and weaken the material fibers. Instead, line dry headwrap outside, or indoors on a drying rack. You can also hang headwraps on plastic hangers in your shower or on a tension rod in an alcove. If you simply can't air dry, use the lowest heat setting on your dryer.
Treat stains the right way, and right away
- Wet a headwrap with cold water. (Avoid using paper towels so that they don’t shed on your headwrap and create more of a mess.)
- Add a drop of dish detergent to the wet wraps.
- Place another cloth beneath the stain if you can.
- Press on the stain, over and over, to lift it out. Resist the urge to rub, or you might damage the fabric.
- You can let the stain sit overnight, even in water, before putting it in the laundry. Or you can wash immediately after treating the stain.
Clean before storing
Stains from seemingly clear substances like body oils, perspiration, white wine and sugary substances may not appear for some time. Once these have a chance to oxidize, they may show up as light brown or yellow splotches that are difficult to remove. Before putting away seasonal items for long-term storage, have them dry cleaned. Dry cleaning to remove visible and invisible stains before insects find them is important to prevent unexpected surprises a few months down the road.
Don't use plastic
Do not store headwrap in plastic garment bags. The plastic breaks down over time and can interact with the fabric, which can weaken it or change the color. Plastic can also trap in humidity that can lead to mildew damage. Garments need to be able to breathe, so wrap them in plain cotton sheets or a cloth garment bag to keep them safe.