How To Wash & Iron Delicate Clothes

We spend so much on our wardrobe so why not know how to care for your favourite pieces properly?

Professional stylist, Sophie Hart knows how important it is to look after your clothes.

"I have been styling for ten years and I started my own company, Sophie Hart Styling, about four years ago. My team and I work with clients on all kinds of jobs in advertising, publicity, red carpets and we do a lot of personal styling too. As you can imagine, running a styling company is franticly busy and we average about three shoots a week where we are responsible for providing ready-to-wear garments in perfect condition to meet the client’s needs.

"We are often running to and from location and need to change clothes at the last minute, so our iron needs to be ready to go, reliable and safe on all garments. We used to take an iron to shoots as well as a steamer because they served different purposes, but now we just take the Philips PerfectCare! In the past, we have had a lot of problems with our iron leaking and water staining the garments right before a shoot which really sets you back. We have now been using the Philips PerfectCare for about a month at all our shoots and it is amazing, very reliable. It also has saved us a lot of time and money from dry cleaning garments which is great for my business."

Sophie's top tips for caring and washing your clothes

• Always try to hand wash delicate items in the shower or sink or use the delicate cycle on your washing machine if you are confident it will not damage your precious items

• Wash bundles of clothes with similar colours and if you have a new brightly coloured garment, wash it on its own the first few times just to be safe

• Use a wash bag for delicate underwear and bras, it helps protect these items when they go into the washing machine

• Always try to dry shirts, silk tops and dresses on a hanger rather than the dryer or a drying rack and always keep them out of direct sunlight to prevent fading

Summer trends and iron-care

• Nautical is big in stores at the moment and is going to be everywhere this summer. A blue and white striped top with white linen pants is a great basic outfit for the weekend. You could even add a small red accessory if you have it; match all this with a strappy sandal or nude wedge and you are ready to go! Linen pants are often tough to iron and can get yellow staining if you are not careful. Use a light setting on your iron for linen and don’t leave it on the garment too long. The new Philips PerfectCare has only one setting for all garments and will not stain or burn even the lightest fabrics so it is perfect for linen clothing.

• Summer is just around the corner and the season always lends itself nicely to soft light fabrics such as silk and satin. Sheer tops are a great balance between day and night-wear; pair this with a cute pair or shorts (silk shorts if you have them) and a big straw hat. When ironing silk garments and sheer tops, be very careful to glide easily over the garment so you don’t stretch, burn or scuff the fabric. I always like to put a towel between the iron and my silk items to be safe.

• Lace tops and dresses will also be in fashion this season and are great to get around in on the weekend. The great news is these items don’t take much ironing if any as you can barely notice any crinkles. If you are going to sport a lace dress and have it in white or cream, try it with a thin black or brown belt around the waist and an espadrille shoe to give you some height. For more casual occasions, pop on a pair of sand shoes or converse which will look really cute and be very comfortable.

• Pleats are a big favourite of mine and something we are seeing a lot more of in skirts this season. Either short or long is great for the weekend or a casual meeting at work, just pair it with a white singlet or tee tucked in with a long chunky necklace. I sometimes find that pleats can fall out when dry cleaned so be very careful to keep their shape when washing and ironing. The new Philips PerfectCare steam iron is perfect for this, I tried it for a shoot last week and it worked great, the pleats were crisper than ever.

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