Handmade lingerie pieces are often both investments and beautiful items to be treasured, so it stands to reason that you’d want them to last as long as possible!
Although most lingerie contains stretch fibers that can lose elasticity over time, the right care can keep them in their best condition longer. Here’s how to make your custom handmade lingerie last for years to come!
Two musts before you get started? A specialized lingerie detergent and a mesh laundry bag. If you’re wondering whether investing in a lingerie-specific detergent is worth it...well, it is! It will extend the life of your underwear, and because you only need a small amount of it per wash, one bottle will last you a long time. If you still aren’t convinced enough to splurge, you can make a DIY version - simply combine one cup of hot water, one teaspoon of baby shampoo, and one drop of essential oil.
Machine-Washing vs. Hand-Washing
Some lingerie lovers prefer to hand-wash their bras, undies, and other underpinnings, while others prefer the ease of machine-washing. If you have very delicate handmade lingerie, it is definitely safest to hand-wash your items, while sturdier pieces can be machine-washed. Delicate bras and underwear are usually those that are sheer, lacy, or include lots of ornamentation. Bras that contain underwire should also be washed by hand, because the wires can break if twisted too much (yet another reason to opt for the ease of a comfortable wirefree bra!). Simple nylon or silk pieces, meanwhile, can typically be machine-washed safely.
How to hand wash:
Fill the sink with room temperature water and a small amount of detergent. Soak for 10-15 minutes, then work the suds through the material and rinse with cool water. If necessary, you can pretreat sweat stains with mild soap and water and gentle rubbing before you begin the soaking process. Pro tip: for extra softness, add a few drops of white vinegar while rinsing. Then, skip to the drying step below!
How to machine wash:
As with any delicates, wash handmade lingerie with like items - avoid heavy fabrics that can produce lint, tangle, or damage delicate fibers. Be sure to also separate dark and light fabrics, as you would with a machine wash, and use the cold water or delicate cycle, as hot water can break down fabrics and elastics more easily. Place your handmade lingerie in a mesh laundry bag and close the bag tightly before placing in the washer. Don’t overload the washer - give the items plenty of room to move so they don’t tangle.
And finally, how to dry:
First thing’s first - regardless of whether you choose to hand-wash or machine wash your handmade lingerie, you should never put it in a dryer! Heat breaks down the spandex and elastic, making machine-drying an all-around no-no - it’s a surefire way to shorten the shelf-life of your favorite high rise undies or wirefree bras. If by way of some dire emergency you absolutely must use a dryer, though, the safest course of action is to choose the cool/delicate setting.
If you are able to avoid that fate and simply air dry your custom handmade lingerie - as you should! - air dry away from direct heat and out of direct sunlight. Be careful never to wring or twist your handmade lingerie, as this can weaken elastic and fibers. Instead, to speed up the drying process, you can roll each garment in a towel and press firmly before hanging to dry. For bras, you’ll also want to reshape the cups before drying.
Now that you’re an expert, you can confidently build your collection of USA designer handmade lingerie from Hey Mavens! From velvet underwear and chic granny panties, to wireless bras and bralettes for plus size, petite sizes and beyond, Hey Mavens has stylish, whimsical and body positive