Thursday, February 25, 2010

Find us in Dublin...

At Helen McAlinden’s shop, No 6 in Castle Market.

Friday, February 12, 2010

'Tis the lingerie season…

Whether you are buying something new this Valentine’s Day for someone special or just for yourself - it is the perfect time of year to give your undergarments another look…

Dump ’em:
-Part with the pairs that have the elastic dangling (thanks to the dryer) or what elastic?
-Shrinkage - that must have been the dryer too…or too much to eat on your holiday.
-Expensive underwear that you never wear - get rid of them.
-The bras from 5 years ago that you only wear a few times or too many times.

*Gwen did this clean out this summer. She gave the items with tags away to friends with the right size and took the balance to the textile recycler at union square. It was sad to part with a little frilly number from Argentina but she did!

Obvious organization:
It seems obvious to some, implement a strategy that you can keep going and last a while.
Pile and organize “like” items such as sports bras, everyday underwear, bras, tights, spanx, slips, camisoles etc.

If you are privy to more room (you should be organized already…just kidding) there are cool storage dividers at the container store or you can make your own with recycling shoe boxes to create compartments. Honestly, you don’t need a custom California closet to be organized.

There are DYI and ready-made pieces too - anyone can do this now from Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ikea….no excuse not to have the dream closet/organization.

Wash before you wear:
Always good to wash before wearing to remove any manufacturing chemicals and if someone before you tried it on one too many times! Gasp…
This also applies to sleepwear and swimsuits.

Washing Steps:
We honestly put most anything in the machine in a mesh bag on a delicate cycle with warm or cold water.

Always wash colors and darks separate from whites. This makes hand washing much more efficient and economical then a ton of little loads.

It sounds laborious but it is really simple just follow below:

-Make sure the bin or sink is clean. Residues from the sink or other cleaning products isn’t good!
-Warm, tepid or cold water are all fine. Add Delicate Wash and soak item. Do not soak for more than 30 minutes.
-Rinse well and hang to dry. Knitted items should be laid flat, so they don’t distort.
-Silk usually can benefit from a steam after.

When to use the Wash & Stain Bar:
The Wash & Stain Bar is our favorite! It’s a savior on bra straps, underwire and bathing suit seams. The bar lets you work the stain and fabric at the same time with some friction. These areas are really tricky to treat and are magnetic areas because of the body oil, body products - lotions and sunscreens - that inevitable stain after wearing. Lots of these stains build up and get really bad over time.

Make sure you have the straps or area leveraged on a hard surface like side of sink or tub and get a washboard-esque scrub on.

Dry apparatuses:
There are a lot of good drying racks - ugly albeit, but ones that fold up to stash easily are worth it. Lindsey has one from Target that expands and stores away easily.

This is really ugly, but efficient for tub drying and laying flat.

We got these for the office for sweaters. Ugly, but really the best for laying flat and staking. At least they collapse really small.

“Design” savvy drying racks- something you don’t mind showing off.

This is great for a small space.

Do not use the dryer:
This is not just because of shrinking. The dryer is really tough on fabric - the heat will shoot the elastic and cause pilling. The tumbling (agitation) is tough on fine knits, wovens, fibers and lace. Also, lots of color fading happens in the dryer. Your items will last a lot longer if you air or line dry.

Other tips:
*Do not use regular detergent on silk
*Silk isn’t usually the same after dry-cleaning either
*If you have stains - the dry cleaner will further set them in a discolor

You deserve a lingerie treat if you’ve read this whole thing!


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