Caring for your handmade items & fabrics

We know how much time and effort is put into making the perfect item and how disappointing it can be when fabrics become damaged. To keep your fabrics looking great for longer we have some great tips and advice.

First and most important always wash your fabric on its own for the first time before cutting your pattern, this can prevent your finished garment shrinking and get rid of any dye residue that’s left over from the print/dye process.

Wash your fabric with a gentle liquid detergent, don’t overfill your machine, always avoid washing with different fibres. When washing your finished garment always turn it inside out.

Washing a delicate fabric for example with a terry towelling and jeans will damage your fabric or finished garment.

Always ensure zips are fastened, Velcro and buttons are fastened as this can also prevent damage and bobbling.

Try and keep your handmade items together, same colours and fibres for washing, use a gentle spin cycle.

Avoid washing detergents that contain optical brighteners, when washing dark and black fabric/items.

Do not tumble dry, instead hang or lay your handmade items or fabric to air dry. Heavy garments like jumpers will be better suited to laying flat. The extra weight of the water can cause the fabric to pull and become damaged.

Some fabrics do not respond well to heat, polyester for example will melt. Viscose can be ironed but only with a cotton sheet or cloth between the iron and the fabric. 


Bobbling is when the fibre is broken, generally caused by pulling the fabric/clothing, or friction when rubbing against other fabrics/items.

There are some fabrics that are less prone to bobbling than others, but even the most hardwearing fibres may become damaged due to friction.

This could be caused by things like seat belts, wearing a bag, even things like wearing a jacket, carrying a child/child carrier (general everyday life), pulling on clothes etc.

Places like under the arms, between the legs where the fabric may rub is more prone to bobbles, This is something that is very common with friction.

The worst culprit for damaging fibres and causing bobbling is overloading a washing machine and or washing with harsh fibres, items such as jeans, towelling etc. Tumble drying is also very harsh on fibres and or drying.

If bobbling has already occurred we still recommend following the above advice to prevent any further bobbling, there are blogs and articles across the web with methods to remove bobbles for different fabric types. 


Generally it is unlikely to be a fault with the fabric / item. Some fabrics particularly wool, cotton, polyester and nylon, or blends mixing multiple types of fabrics can also be more prone to bobbling. A looser weave fabric will also be more prone to bobbling. It very rarely comes down to how much a fabric or item costs and more to do with how much abrasion/ friction the fabric or garment endures in day to day wearing and washing. While the tips and advice above can reduce bobbling significantly, it is unlikely you can completely prevent it.