The art of washing

The art of washing

Some types of clothes become more beautiful when they age, but most clothes should keep their original shape and colours for as long as possible. High quality clothing will stay in perfect shape much longer than clothing of inferior quality. Also, proper cleaning methods will help you to keep clothes in shape for a long time.

Washing tips
At Cora Kemperman we aim to make clothes that can be washed in the machine. All our clothes have been tested thoroughly for quality and washability and most of our clothes can indeed be cleaned at home. For our raincoats and more delicate pieces, we advise dry cleaning. The care label tells you how to take proper care of your garment.


General tips for cleaning at home

• Check the care label for washing instructions.
• Do not clean parts of new clothes, this may cause differences in colour; always clean the whole garment.
• Wash coloured clothes separately or with similar colours to prevent colour bleeding and fading.
• Wash clothes inside-out to protect the surface of the garment and its colour.
• To keep colour intensity of natural or half-synthetical fabrics: use a special detergent (Robijn Black Velvet for instance).
• How to hand-wash properly: dissolve the detergent in water (max. temperature 30ºC). Wash the garment for a few minutes, don't soak it too long and rinse thoroughly with water at the same temperature.
• Never use too much detergent.
• Wool and silk clothes should be washed extra carefully: don't wring, stretch or rub them.
• Grease stains on cotton or viscose fabrics are hard to get rid off when using a non-bleaching detergent. Try this: spray dishwashing detergent on the stain and leave it for a few hours. Then wash and rinse as usual.
• Machine washing is required with this symbol:
30.  is the symbol for a 30ºC wool washing programme; an extra short programme with low speed spin-drying.


• Check the care label for washing instructions.
• Be careful with spin-drying. Some garments should not be spin-dried at all, for instance clothes made from silk, wool or polyester.
• Spin-dry clothes always inside-out and use the shortest programme.
• If tumble-drying is allowed, please bear this in mind: the higher the temperature, the higher the risk of shrinkage.
• Knitted clothing should be laid flat to dry on a towel.
• Dry woven clothes and cotton tricot garments preferably on a clothes hanger.
• Don't hang clothes to dry in the sun; colours may fade and white clothes may turn yellow.


• Check the care label for ironing instructions.
• Iron clothes on the inside whenever possible; this prevents shiny or matte marks.
• Iron freshly washed cotton clothes while they're still damp.
• When ironing wool and silk clothes, use a damp cotton cloth around the iron or use an iron with a teflon-coated bottom. Always use low heat.
• Be careful with steam irons. Steam is 100°C so very hot. Only use steam for garments that have an iron symbol with three dots in the care label.

Clothing problems

There are two types of pilling. Officially, pilling is the forming of hard little balls on a piece of cloth, which are very hard to remove. This problem occurs often with fabrics made from a polyester/viscose combination. Little fuzzy balls on wool or woolly clothes appear quite often, this is also referred to as 'pilling'. The latter form of pilling is formed as a result of abrasion, such as wearing or washing. Woolly fabrics are made of low twisted yarn from short fibres. They have a loose structure and are therefore easier abraded than smooth, strong woven fabrics. It has nothing to do with the quality of the fabric, but all with the characteristics of soft, comfortable and woolly clothes. Most woolly sweaters will pill to some extent after wearing them for a while, especially at sections where the fabric rubs, like underarms and sides. With a special pill comb or electric pill remover. 
To minimise pilling, try to minimise abrasion: put the garment in a small laundry bag, wash it carefully with a wool programme and use a short spin programme.

Shrinking and felting

When using the wrong programmes for washing and spin drying, wool (or partially wool) clothes will shrink and/or felt. With these tips you'll reduce the risk of fabric changes:

• Check the care label for washing instructions.
• Wash the garment at a maximum temperature of 30°C.
• Don't soak the garment too long, so use a short programme in the machine or hand wash it quickly.
• Use a minimum amount of detergent.
• Use a short spin dry programme with low speed.

Water proof

Sports clothes with taped seams or sealed plastic coats both are waterproof. Our clothes are not. We do use water-repellent fabric for our coats, but their seams will not stand the rain. You may want to improve water-resistance with a special water-repellent spray (for sale in outdoor stores) for the seams.

Static electricity
Clothes made from synthetic fabrics or wool can become static electric when put on or taken off. Static electricity builds up when two materials are rubbed together. With every move and rub, we create electricity with our clothes. This electricity builds up easily with fabrics like nylon, acryl, fleece and wool. Cotton or linen hardly build up electricity. In a space with dry air, like a heated living room, static electricity is built up very fast. That's why our clothes are more often static in winter than in summer. All our fabrics have an antistatic finish, but even this protection cannot fully prevent clothes being static. There are some tricks though, to prevent static electricity:
• Put woolly clothes (from staple fibres) for a few hours in the freezer.
• Wash smooth, synthetic clothes (from filament yarns) with fabric softener.
• Increase indoor humidity (especially in the winter time when the heating is on).
• Shoes with rubber soles create a lot of static electricity; shoes with leather soles don't.

Washing symbols

wwas  30° machine wash
wolwas  30° wool programme in machine
kouwas  short hand wash
nowas  absolutely no washing
bleek  washing without bleach
chem  chemical cleaning (dry clean)
chemplus  chemical cleaning (dry clean) with extra care
chemf  chemical cleaning (dry clean) with petroleum solvent only
chemno  absolutely no chemical cleaning (dry clean)
drono  do not tumble dry
lauwi  cool iron without steam
iwarm  warm iron without steam
isteam  hot iron with steam
ino  absolutely no ironing
hdry  hang drying
lydry  flat drying

Different types of yarns, fabrics and finishes make every piece of clothing into a unique item. We would love to attach a special label with composition details and care instructions on every item but unfortunately that's impossible to do. Besides, we need to comply with international rules for clothing labelling. These rules define what type of information must be on the labels:

• Composition of the product, based on nine basic materials: cotton, linen, wool, silk, viscose, polyester, polyamide, acrylic and elastomer. Other qualities should be referred to as 'other materials'.
• The percentage of these materials in the total garment.
• Care instructions for the garment: washing, dry cleaning, ironing.

This required information is very limited and does not say anything about the quality and features of the beautiful fabrics we carefully select for our collections. That's why we try to update this regularly.