Care instructions for particular fabrics and garments

  1. Jute and burlap fabric

Since Jute fibres are weakened by water in nature, they are generally combined with cotton to add strength during cleaning. Dry cleaning is recommended for both Jute and Burlap cleaning, and if there are stains, it is best to get it cleaned by a professional cleaner.

Jute items should be hand washed in cool water, using mild soap. They can be brittle and so they must be handled gently. Preferably they must be washed alone, since they can sometimes shed fabric. Once they are done washing, do not try to twist or wring them, and instead just hang them or lay them out.

Jute fabric


      2. Bamboo silk fabric

Bamboo is a natural plant fibre like cotton and linen. If the garment has a structured shape, like a tailored shirt, it will require dry cleaning or it will lose its shape after washing. It is necessary to separate dark from light fabrics while washing; otherwise the colour from the dark fabric could bleed on the light ones.

Use a good detergent and follow a gentle wash cycle using cold water. Dry the fabric on low heat using a dryer or simply line-dry the fabric. Do not use extra detergents or softeners while drying.

In order to iron bamboo fabric, remember to set the heat at the minimum temperature, because a higher temperature could either burn or shrink the fabric. Bamboo clothes resist wrinkling, drape well over the body, and are biodegradable. To remove fabric pills (shredding of fabric), stretch the fabric over a curved surface and carefully cut or shave off the pills.


     3. Banana fiber

Banana fiber products can be washed under running water. Gently hand wash with sift brush or sponge. Sometimes Banana fiber products can lose its shape even when its being hand washed. The good thing is, while their still damp, you can shape the product back into its original form.

Machine wash can be done in 40°C. Use mild and ecological washing detergent; avoid using detergent with bleaching effect. If you iron banana fibre clothing, a low iron setting with no steam is recommended.

Banana fiber


     4. Vegetable dyes fabric

The first thing you need to know about naturally dyed products is that sunlight is its enemy. Natural dyes will fade when exposed to sunlight, but even the lights in your home can cause discolouration. This doesn’t mean you have to hide away your fabric, but it does mean that you have to consider the amount of time it spends in the sunlight and make sure it is stored in a dark or an opaque box.

When you wash naturally dyed fabrics you’ll want to use a very gentle detergent such as Synthrapol. Synthrapol has a relatively low Ph and is designed to keep dye particles in place. It is strictly recommended to test your fabric first with the Synthapol using the CCI method (Read more: ) but generally, it’s a detergent you can trust with your dyes. Iron inside –out, to avoid damage to the print.
Vegetable dye fabric

      5. Cotton sarees

Before washing your cotton saree for the first time, make sure to soak it in warm water for 10-15 minutes. This is to ensure that the colour doesn’t bleed during subsequent washes. It is recommended to wash them with mild detergent. Once they are washed, avoid wringing or twisting them and instead just line-dry them and let the water drain out naturally.

Direct sunlight could cause the colour of the saree to fade, so while drying make sure to line-dry them in an indoor balcony or closed space.

Dampen the saree before pressing them. Make sure to place a piece of cloth or towel over the material to ensure low heat and to prevent the iron from leaving a mark on the saree. It is highly recommended that while ironing, the sari should be divided into two parts and make sure the designs or the structure of the sari is not affected.

Cotton saree


       6. Block printed fabric

Block printed fabric, example Ajrak block printing, should be strictly hand washed. The most common colour used in Ajrak block printing is Indigo, which bleeds like crazy! Machine wash could muddle up the laundry and fade its colour. It is recommended to soak the material in salt water for 10-15 minutes before hand washing.

Once it is washed, don’t leave the wet clothes unattended and dry them immediately. Line-dry your fabric and make sure it doesn’t come into direct contact with sunlight since it could lead to shrinkage of material. Iron inside –out, to avoid damage to the print.

Block printed fabric


       7. Printed cotton t-shirts

It is recommended to wash your printed t-shirts inside-out, with cold water to preserve the artwork and prevent shrinkage. Stay away from bleach or any other strong detergents. High heat is possibly the worst enemy of printed apparel and can easily shrink cotton fibres. It is best to hang it out to dry naturally, and avoid putting it under direct sunlight. Line-dried t-shirts smell better too.

Iron your printed t-shirts in the lowest possible setting and absolutely avoid going over the graphic print, as it could stick and cause damage to the print or even burn it.

Printed t-shirt


Stain removal guide:

Products in all the images used above can be purchased from The Phoenix Company:

By Naqiyah Hasan



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