Monday 1 August 2016


i get a lot of questions about the laundering of contact-printed cloth...should it be dry-cleaned, is the dye washfast, what's the best way of cleaning it etc

the answer, in short, is to treat your plant-dyed cloth as you would treat your own hair.

not too hot, not too cold. no harsh detergents, no greasy soap. because if you use either of those you'll need to rebalance the pH with a vinegar and water rinse afterward (which is kind of what conditioner does for your hair. they only make it gluggy so it won't run off your hand in the shower)
be gentle.
wash by hand or using the wool cycle on a front-loader.

i recommended Aesop's APC Fine Fabric Care on my labels, cos it smelled divine and was wonderfully gentle on cloth. so gentle, in fact, that i could have used it in the shower.

sadly though i seemed to be the only customer buying it and so they discontinued the lovely stuff.

their animal wash does the trick, but doesn't smell as nice.

the other important thing is to dry your cloth in the shade.
unless you are washing sheets, in which case peg em out in the sun and the wind.
they'll be crispy white and smell like heaven.

just remember to avoid the dry-cleaner like the plague. the process is neither dry nor clean and will have your favourite silk negligible sloshing around in a vat of petrochemical nasties along with the filthy trousers worn by a travelling salesman for four weeks and somebody else's vomit stained car seat covers.


and have a nice day.


  1. re-reading the above i giggled at front-loader. i mean a washing machine, not an earthmoving vehicle, but i'm leaving it there cos my farming friends might get a giggle.

  2. ... that ok --- I'm giggling at the image of the travelling salesman's trousers and vomit soaked car seats..... giggling because I just put the last load of washing into the machine --- tracky-dacks covered in mud, cow poo, tractor hydraulic fluid, grass and bit of blood (not sure if it was human or animal.... definitely will be human if my husband insists on popping those in with my handwash pile... )

  3. yes, dear India, I was a customer of AESOP fine fabric care product and had to make the same experience.... never mind, I keep treating my garments with care, use shampoo or a very mild washing liquid...and life goes on....

  4. how i love your householder and fiberartist chemistry lessons. really, really helpful, and humorous, too. chuckling here.

  5. Oh no - Aesop APC was brilliant. I used it for years and have a few ml left which I will now treasure greatly. Then I guess it's over to pooch wash.