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Fabric Types & Care Guide for the Transgender Woman

By Edited Sep 2, 2015 0 0

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Getting the most life out of your wardrobe

      So you have a nice new wardrobe you are ready to rock. You have taken over the transgender world by storm and have the outfits to match. Those outfits should last a long time and give you many pleasurable days. The better you treat your garments the more wear you will get out of them and they will look spectacular time and again. Here are some tips for taking care of the different types of fabrics you are now becoming accustomed too. Remember it's not how you feel it's how you look, and you look marvellous!

 Fabric Care:

  • Buy tops or blouses that are made of natural fiber – cotton, linen or blended cotton, wool or linen that has man made fibers in it like acrylic or polyester. Natural Fibers are washable and very durable. They also let air circulate well which will help to minimize body odor.
  • Wash your delicate items by hand in warm water

  • Always hand wash your bras and stockings, hanging them up to drip dry in your bathroom. Use gentle soaps or shampoo. You can save money by gathering up the small leftover bits of bath soap in a nylon bag and use them for hand washing your undergarments.

  • Never use chlorine bleach on any silks or items containing Lycra. The chlorine will damage the fabric.

  • Always hang your suit jackets, skirts or pants if you can. This will help keep their shape and freshen the clothing.

  • Check for spots or stains on your dark jackets and spot clean when safe. This will save you from washing it over and over at ever little lipstick stain.

  • Wool or cashmere sweaters often shrink after repeated hand washing in cold water so purchase them one or two sizes bigger than your regular fit.

  • Do not try to wash tailored and lined jackets at home, you can easily ruin your favourite outfit this way.

  • Before you buy that sale item or great find, check the right fit, value and style as well as the care instructions. A top that you have to dry clean may cost you more to clean it than the top itself!

  • If you have to iron it, make sure you read the garments sewn in label. The tag will instruct you about what setting to use on the iron that is best for that clothing type. For best results, iron cotton, linen and silk garments when they are still damp.

 Fabric Types:

      The following is a list of basic fabric groups that will show up in your wardrobe in either a pure form or blended with other linens. Natural fibers can be washed by machine, by hand or dry-cleaned. Tailored, lined, printed silk, wool and rayon garments must be dry-cleaned for the best result.

  • Cotton: is a natural fiber from the cotton plant's seed pod.

  • Silk: is a natural fiber from the cocoon of the silkworm. Hand wash only pre-washed and non-print silk garments in cold water and do not twist or ring dry. Drip dry or lay it flat.

  • Linen: Is a natural fiber from flax, taken from the stalk of the plant. Hemp, jute and ramie are similar to linen but the plants are processed differently.

  • Wool: Natural fibers from animal coats such as sheep(Shetland, merino etc), goats(cashmere), rabbits(angora), alpacas and llamas.

  • Rayon: From cellulose, rayon has many of the qualities of cotton. As a natural cellulose fiber, rayon is strong, extremely absorbent, comes in a variety of qualities and can be made to resemble natural fabrics. Rayon does not melt but burns at high temperatures, drapes well and has a soft, silky feel. Rayon will wrinkle easily and stretch when wet. It may also shrink when washed.

  • Acrylic: A man made, soft and luxurious fabric with the feel and bulk of wool. Light weight and springy, is non-allergenic, dries quickly and draws moisture away from the body.

  • Spandex: A man made elastic type fiber that can be stretched many times its length only to spring back to its original size. Spandex is very resistant to washing, heat and perspiration then latex. It is often used in foundation garments, hosiery and polyester blend garments.

  • Polyester: A strong man-made fiber that is resistant to crease and therefore keeps its shape well. Blends of polyester with cotton give a permanent press property and helps to extend the wear of the garment. It's the polyester component in a garment that gives it a pristine drape and crease-free finish. Natural fibers do not posses this very appealing attribute. Polyester is also quick drying.

      So you can see there are a lot of different fabrics to become accustomed too. During your transition you will run into these fabrics time and again so it is a good idea to have some idea of how to take care of them. A little extra effort in laundering can extend the life of your garments which will save you money and make your outfits last longer. Proper handling and cleaning can have the following benefits: Garments will maintain a fresh appearance longer, Damage to the fabric from laundering will be reduced, Color fading will be minimized and the useful life of your wardrobe will be extended greatly. I hope these tips help your transition be a less painful one. Good Luck!

The Transgender Handbook
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