Care Instructions: Decoded




Machine wash. The easiest yet! Just toss it in the washer.


Do not wash. Sounds gross, but they mean it. Usually reserved for evening wear. 


Hand wash. Usually for delicate clothing or temperamental fabrics.


Wash in < 30ºC. Other icons might have different temperature, but they all mean wash a X temperature. 


Gentle Wash. Your washer should have this setting, if not hand wash or machine wash.


Short cycle Your washer has this setting, if it doesn’t it can usually be ignored.




Dry. However you want, but this garment needs to get dried.


Dry in the shade. Dry in a shady place, applies to all symbols with two strips in the top left corner.


Don’t tumble dry. Dry this garment in another way, like line drying or drip drying. 


Lie flat to dry. Pick a surface that isn’t wood and gets good airflow on all directions, and let it dry there. 


Tumble dry. Dry in a tumble dry setting, which is usually what normal dryers do. 


Drip dry. Hang wherever you want, however you want, and allow the piece to dry.


Hang dry. Let it all hand out! Well, your clothes anyway.




Medium temp iron. More dots means more heat tolerance, less requires a lower setting.


Iron/steam at any temperature. This fabric can take it really hot. 


Don’t iron. This is usually found on clothing with high low melting temp fabrics, like polyester. 




Don’t bleach. Bleach damages this garment, and its kind of gross anyway.


Bleach if needed. *But the environment would prefer if you didn’t. 


Non-chlorine bleach. Bleach with bleach without chlorine.


How & how often do I wash... 



T-shirts, socks, tights underwear, and workout clothes should be washed every wear. Because these clothes touch parts of your body that are covered in bacteria and salt, for your health (and other people’s noses) they must be washed. Also, over time the bacteria and salt can make your clothing deteriorate more quickly, so washing these garments more frequently will extend their life. The exception is if you wear work out clothes, but don’t sweat in them, like wearing yoga pants to get smoothies doesn’t warrant a wash.


Every 1–3 Wears

Bras, shorts, dresses, cotton sweaters and dress shirts should be washed every one to three wears. These garments come into contact with the bacteria-filled parts of your body only some of the time, so they can be washed a little less frequently. 


Every 3–6 Wears

Wool sweaters, wool and synthetic suits, skirts, and non-jean pants should be washed every three to six wears. These are in contact with the most bacteria ridden places even less, so they need to be washed even less frequently. 


Every 6–9 Wears

Wash sweat shirts, and other garments that don’t regularly touch your skin about every six to nine wears. If they get stained, try to spot wash them (rubbing a bit of water on the effect spot) to extent time between washes.


When they smell or are stained

Wash all clothes when they smell or have stains on them, but specifically these clothing only need to be washed if and only if they smell. Wash jeans, outerwear, and winter accessories when they smell. Also, you should wash anything if it smells.


Basic repairs

Get yourself a small sewing kit and make quick repairs to clothes as they wear out.

How to sew on a button

Find a button (often clothes have a spare stitched in them) or maybe you have the one that fell off, and stitch between the button holes until secure.

How to repair small holes

The most common damage to clothes are the tiny holes that come from catching on things. Here is a video telling you how to fix these small holes so you barely notice them. 


How to repair tears

Don't like the tears in the knees of your jeans anymore? Or did the crotch blow out? Either way, here is a great way to fix large straight tears. 


Repairs a tailor can (and can't) do

Tailoring is an absolutely amazing profession that has been around since clothes have been around. They can make clothing, or they can make clothing fit better, and they can fix things. Read on to learn what tailors can and can’t do.


Customize your jeans. A tailor can adjust almost every aspect of jeans, so you can buy used and change to fit you like they were made just for you.

Alter hem length. A tailor can shorten (or lengthen, depending on the garment construction ) the hem of pants, skirts, dresses, and sleeves if you or the clothing has changed. Whatever your proportions are, tailors make your clothes fit.

Remove or add pockets, pleats and straps. Whether you need more support with straps, more storage with pockets, or a smoother fit with no pleats, tailors can add (or remove) these items. 

Altering the arm. Change the size of the armhole or sleeve length, so your shoulder fits comfortably. 

Alter a neckline. Make clothing more flattering by changing it up.

Add and remove zippers. Finding it hard to get into that dress? Have a tailor add a zipper to the garment to make it easier and fit better. 

Repair small holes, rips, and tears. Ripped seams and small, straight tears are the easiest to fix. If there is a substantial portion of the garment missing, it is much harder to fix. 



Discoloration & old stains. Yellow underarms, or a shirt with blueberry pie from 3 summers ago that you’ve washed 3 times now, or black pants that are now grey pants, are unlikely to be able to be their original color again. 

Large tears and holes. No one can fix large tears and holes in the garment without changing the garment’s appearance. The more that fabric is missing, the more unlikely the possibility of the repair.