Inside - Out
By Carol Gill, Undercovers Intimate Apparel

Summer heat is taking its toll on all of us and keeping cool is our first priority. Natural fiber fabrics cotton, linen and silk are our best buys at this time. They all breathe, are light in weight and allow the body to ventilate itself. All have special needs when it comes to the laundry. They are susceptible to shrinkage, so take care when drying. I always recommend just a few minutes in the dryer for cotton and linen to lessen the wrinkles and then hang to dry. Some linens are not washable due to the construction methods or styles used, so check the label. Silks do not hold dye well. Check the label to see if your garment is a "washable silk". There is such a thing. Silks bleed their dyes, that is why most instruct you to dry clean them. If you wash them, do it by hand, each item individually, rinse completely, do not wring. Simply squeeze the water out of the garment and roll the item in an old towel to absorb excess water and to help remove wrinkles. Then hang dry. Cotton needs to be ironed, linen and silk pressed. What is the difference? Cotton is the least fragile of the three fibers so an iron can be used directly on the fabric with a side to side motion. Steam irons work best. Linen should be dampened and pressed with an up and down movement on the wrong side of the fabric or with a pressing cloth. Silk too should be pressed damp. To protect the delicate fabric, a man's handkerchief between the garment and the iron and short up and down movements works best. In all cases check your irons instructions for the best temperatures. Natural fibers are all prone to scorching (a brownish cast left on the fabric or ruffling of the fabric). Have a cool and comfortable summer.

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