Simple drying techniques for clothes

September 23, 2015

The variety of natural, synthetic and blended fabrics in your wardrobe requires a new awareness of drying techniques. Here are a few techniques to make sure all your clothes stay as bright and fresh as possible.

Simple drying techniques for clothes

Fabrics meant for a dryer

The variety of requirements you'll find on the care labels of your garments demonstrates that different types of fabrics benefit from different drying methods: some fabrics are best handled in a dryer set on regular, permanent-press, or "fluff" or "air" dry cycles.

  • Jeans, T-shirts and towels are best dried on the regular cycle, then removed promptly to avoid wrinkles.
  • Permanent-press, polyester or garments made of other synthetics wrinkle less when dried on the permanent-press cycle, which has a longer cool-down time.
  • Items that require minimal heat, such as throw rugs or pillows, are best dried on the "fluff" or "air" cycle, which circulates unheated air to remove dampness.
  • Items meant to feel soft and fluffy, such as towels, do better in the dryer. The dryer's tumbling action softens the fabric and increases its absorbency.
  • In all cases, your clothes will last longer if you keep drying time to a minimum and the temperature low.
  • Do not allow your laundry to become over-dry. In fact, elastic bands in gym shorts or thick socks should be slightly damp when removed from the dryer.

Drip-dried or line-dried fabrics

Some delicates should be drip-dried or line dried to preserve the integrity and colour of the fabric: drip-drying is the gentlest way to dry a garment – and is the only way to dry certain fine fabrics.

  • Button all buttons, close fasteners and zippers, and smooth seams before hanging to dry (use plastic hangers to avoid rust marks).
  • Some garments may require a light pressing after drip-drying.
  • For sweaters or other knits, lay the garment flat on a clean towel to preserve its shape.
  • When line-drying, turn the garment inside out and pin it to a sheet (or towel), then drape and clothespin the sheet over two clotheslines, making a sort of hammock.
  • Dry in a shaded area to prevent any fading.
  • Line-drying leaves clothes and linens crisp and fresh.
  • White items are better suited to line drying than coloured ones because the sun can fade colours; hang coloured items in a shaded but breezy area.

Although it sounds simple, the best way to keep your clothes looking great for as long as possible is to understand how to wash and dry them. Each fabric is unique, so research your fabrics before washing to make sure you are using the best method possible. That way, you'll keep your colours bright and your clothes fitting perfectly!

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