I don't know about you, but once I've bought something, even if I love it, I'm never quite sure of it until after it's been washed. You get that one pair of pants that shrinks two inches, and it leaves you a little leery, right?
So one of the things I do with my wash-friendly products, before I ever offer them to you, is wash them myself. (I don't wash the greeting cards. Please don't wash your greeting cards.)
I have a limited tolerance for dry cleaning, so nothing is dry clean only - it all goes in the water. That's part of the finishing process, so I know you won't have any unpleasant surprises later.
If you check the care tag sewn on each item, some pieces recommend handwashing, maybe because of their materials or because of their construction (it is no fun pulling out a shawl with a hole because the lace got caught on the blades of a washing machine).
If you're worried about washing something by hand, it isn't too bad. Here's my process:
1) Prepare a basin with cold water and a gentle detergent, then add your item. (Soap first - even gentle detergents may cause spotting if you add them after you put your fabric in the water, because the soap doesn't have a chance to dilute before it touches the fabric.) Gently swirl your item to ensure the entire piece gets wet.
Do NOT leave your piece to soak for too long, especially if it has high contrast colors - any residual dye might transfer onto a different part of the piece. Unless you've got a stubborn stain, 3-4 minutes of soaking time for silks and 5-10 minutes of soaking time for knits is plenty.
2) Rinse the item in a basin of clean, cold water. When you remove your item, squeeze gently to remove most of the water - do not twist or wring.
3) You may want to wrap your item in a towel for a few hours if the piece is large or thick, to draw out excess moisture. Then lay it flat on a dry towel.
4) For silk scarves, once they are damp but not dripping they are ready for you to iron, using your iron's medium/silk setting.
For knits, the last step is laying your piece flat and reshaping it. If your scarf is supposed to be 60 inches long and 10 inches wide, but the weight of the water has stretched it to 70 inches long and 5 inches wide, this is a good time to fix that. Same thing if you've got lace that's looking messy - this is the time to stretch it out. Then you wait for it to dry.
And that's it! Not so bad, though if you still have questions drop me a line - I'm happy to help.