You can extend the life and appearance of your clothes with day-to-day maintenance. Here are some suggestions, gleaned from the pages of the "Singer Clothing Care & Repair" book.
* Everyday maintenance includes airing, brushing, ironing or pressing, cleaning and removing spots and stains promptly.
* How carefully you store your clothes; whether you have an organized closet; and how you store out-of-season clothes will affect how often you have to clean and how much care is needed.
* Use plastic, padded or wooden hangers to help clothes maintain shape.
* Brush clothing, especially wool, after wearing.
* Protect new or clean light-colored garments with a fabric
protector, the kind used on upholstery.
* When you machine-wash, sort by color and by fabric type. Man-made fibers can attract oils from natural fibers -- oils that can build up. Separate out delicates and lint-shedders, such as terry cloth. Sort by bulk and sort by degree of dirt.
* To prevent pilling, turn a garment inside out before machine-washing, use slow agitation and use a short drying cycle. Pills can be removed from smooth-textured knits with a razor.
* Knits and garments with trims should be turned inside out before washing to prevent snagging.
* If hand-washing, don't wring or twist: Wet fibers can be fragile.
* Many silks can be hand-washed in lukewarm water with a mild detergent. Rinse in cool water, roll in a towel and press immediately with cool iron. Shrinking can occur.
* Prevent iron shine by using a press cloth or by ironing on the garment's wrong side.
* Clean iron and ironing board cover often to prevent a transfer of soil.
* Prevent scorching by using proper setting. Never let an iron rest on fabric.
* Consider dry cleaning for anything labeled "dry clean &r professionally"; for delicate fabrics like silk and chiffon; for tailored items that require professional pressing; for garments that have lost their care labels; and for clothes going into storage.
* Remove expensive buttons or cover them with foil to prevent chipping by a dry cleaner.
* Never put away or store dirty or stained clothes.