Monday, January 14, 2013

Bras, Bras, Bras! Episode 3 - Tips to Making Your New Eco-Bra Last

So you've picked up a beautiful new eco-bra and you want to make sure it looks good for some time.  Most of the harsh chemicals put on clothing today do have a purpose.  Some help clothing stand up to machine washing better, while others keep clothing from wrinkling or losing their shape.  While your organic bra doesn't have all that gunk, it does have some special needs.  Here are a few quick tips to help keep your bras lasting as long as possible.

Tip 1:  Remove any removable pads or cups before washing.  If the bra comes with removable pads, remove them before washing the bra so they don't lose their shape.  Ideally you should wash the pads by hand separately, but if you must wash them in the machine, be sure to follow Tip 2.

Tip 2:  Wash ALL bras in a lingerie bag. The most important tip is to wash all bras (and also any panties that have lace on them) in cold water inside a lingerie bag. Even bras that claim to be machine washable can easily have their straps stretched and lace torn in a conventional machine. Snags from zippers or buttons of other clothing are also common. A simple lingerie bag will provide a layer of protection to avoid those common issues.

Tip 3:  Don’t put your new bra in the dryer.  The dryer is a fairly harsh environment and even if it doesn’t do any immediate damage to your bra, they will likely fray and wear faster if they are machine dried.  So laying them flat to dry will add life to them. 

Tip 4:  Always buy your bra so it fits on the loosest hook.  Most bras will stretch out over time, so buy them so they fit on the loosest hook initially.  As they lose shape and become looser, you can gradually wear them on tighter and tighter hooks to keep them fitting comfortably.

Tip 5: Use the dryer after your old bra has stretched.  If you have an older bra that has stretched to the point where you can’t wear it again and you have been diligent about laying it flat to dry, you may be able to use the dryer to extend the life of the bra.  Most natural materials will shrink a tad in the dryer.  If you haven't dried your bra before, drying it for the first time after it has stretched too far can sometimes shrink it just enough to extend the wear a little longer.

Tip 6: Don’t invert padded bras.  Many women will store their padded bras by inverting one cup into the other. This can lead to lumps and dimples in the padding, especially with bras made out of natural cotton padding instead of molded polyester.  If you don’t have the room to lay them flat in your drawer, twist the center as shown so that both cups fit into each other without inverting one of them.  It will help keep their shape longer.

Follow these few tips to get the longest wear out of your natural fiber bras and lingerie.