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ASSOSECCO — LAUNDRY GUIDE — From the tag to the washing Instructions for use

The information contained on the composition tag of a garment, can help us predict some of the possible setbacks due to the garment maintenance and use.
The tag provides a lot of useful details on the possible presence of defects that are likely to become visible after laundering.
Engineer Cianci collaborates with the ASSOSECCO in the field of specialised analysis on defected garments. The Associates can always rely on his professional skill and the high standard LAB he owns

Comparing all the fibers that compose a garment, variable by variable, and keeping in mind the characteristics of each fiber, we can predict its behaviour during the use (possible defects due to the wearing of the garment that become evident after laundering) and during the maintenance, and act accordingly.
Acetate fabric, silk and linen have low resistance to abrasion as the figure shows.

Linen garment: due to the rubbing while wearing and/or laundering and/or stain removal, wood is removed from the fabric together with the colour. That is why the fabric fades.
Do not use stain removal as the rubbing provokes light stains on the fabric due to the abrasion of wood
fibrils.


Acetate/viscose lining: After laundering, a client complained about the torn jacket lining on its lower
edge, as the figure shows.

The lining is made of a black viscose warp thread and a white acetate weft thread. We can observe the
integrity of the viscose threads and the breaking of acetate threads.

Acetate lining: the tearing of the lower area due to abrasion.
When acetate garments or an acetate mixed with other fibers garments are brought to a laundry, it is advisable to check for the abrasions in the areas most subjected to rubbing.
VISCOSE: the graph below shows the mechanical resistance in dry and wet cleaning conditions of various fibers. Some fibers, such as cotton and linen (very resistant) are more resistant wet rather than dry.
If we look at Viscose, it presents low mechanical resistance and when it is wet, it loses further 60% of the value. It is therefore necessary to check the viscose or mixed viscose garments for the presence of tearing or small damages in the areas that are in direct contact with metal objects such as clasps, pins, tags, buttons, etc.

A viscose mattress cover: the contact with the bed structure or the net has caused the tearing of viscose.

The following diagram shows the behaviour of various fibers in washing.

WOOL FELTING: it is caused by the presence of scales on the fibers as shown on the photo:

In wet and basic conditions, the scales open and the mechanical stress of laundering provokes their
slipping. This makes the fabric become compact.
Woolen garments laundering requires special measures: it is possible to hand wash them at not more
than 35°C in water using neutral soap and reducing the mechanical stress to the minimum or the
wool will felt (the garment becomes compact by reducing its dimensions); this kind of shrinkage, called “felting”, is irreversible.

Today, new professional Wet Cleaning washing machines are available (the washing symbol is ). They
allow to wet clean any type of a woolen garment without the risk of felting.

The washing procedure requires quite a delicate approach together with suitable products necessary to
avoid felting.
There are two main ideas around woolen garments washing:
– using products that lower the pH and make it acid: in an acid environment, wool does not felt as the
fibers scales do not open.

  • using silicon based products that cover the fibers and reduce friction.

Cotton garments stretching: cotton fibers, due to their low elasticity, accumulate tension during
the textile processing stages (yarn spinning, dyeing, finishing, weaving). It will then be released in laundering (water).

Mixed or pure polyester or nylon: shrinkage due to heat during the ironing stage or due to the lack of
heat setting: such fibers are sensitive to dry heat.
When winter coats are ironed by the finishing machines and the dry heat is high, the fabric shrinks. The
client can notice this by the shrinkage of sleeves as illustrated below.

by Vittorio Cianci – The owner of LART (Textile Analysis and Research LAB) in Carpi (Modena)

Detergo Magazine – June 2018

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