Due to the handmade process of our caftans, slight differences in color and texture are to be expected and celebrated.
How to wash your caftan:
- Always use cold water, avoid hot temperatures.
- We recommend hand washing, but machine washing works, too, turn your caftan inside-out and use cold water and delicate cycle.
- To preserve the texture and natural colors of your caftan, we recommend washing with a gentle, natural soap and avoiding any soaps containing harsh chemicals. Do not use bleach or detergents containing bleach. Natural dyes treated with iron are very sensitive to acidic content such lemon juice or vinegar
- Natural dyes bleed more easily than synthetic dyes, so be sure to always wash with like colors and always on cold.
- Hang dry your caftan if possible, avoiding direct sunlight to prevent bleaching. This will help to preserve the fibers for longer. If you must use the dryer, we recommend using cold or the lowest heat setting possible.
- We love the slightly wrinkled texture of cotton, but if you prefer a smoother look, we recommend using a steamer instead of direct ironing. You can also hang your caftan in the bathroom as you shower, allowing the steam to smooth wrinkles away.
How to compost your caftan once it’s reached the end:
We hope that you will mend your caftan if it gets torn and find creative solutions for dealing with stains. If you find yourself falling out of love with your caftan, the most environmentally friendly thing to do is pass it on to someone else who will give it a new life. But if your caftan is truly at the end of its life you can compost it in the backyard and watch as it returns to the soil. Our caftans are made with 100% natural materials, no metal zippers, elastic waistbands, or polyester threads. That means the whole thing can be composted.
Cotton is one of the easiest fabrics to decompose. In the right compost, the material should be gone in a week to five months.
- Cut the garment into long strips, about two inches wide. Then cut those strips into small squares, about 2-3 inches.
- Collect your squares and mix them with potting soil; 2 parts soil to 1 part fabric and mix well. If you have a compost bin or pile at home, you can also just toss the fabric squares straight in there.
- If you’re planting with your caftan, add the fabric and soil mixture to a pot (or in the ground), then pop your plant inside! The cotton will help retain moisture in the soil and keep your plants from drying out. Add another layer of soil on top and press the plants firmly into the soil. Then add water and watch your plants grow
Natural soaps vs conventional detergents:
Conventional detergents are usually composed of phosphates, surfactants, triclosan, and “antibacterial” ingredients. When washed down our drains, these chemicals can poison wildlife, damage fish gills, and contribute to harmful nutrient buildup causing algae-growth in waterways which poses problems for the entire ecological system.
Natural detergents are kinder to wildlife. Biodegradable soaps get broken down on the journey through your drainpipes and don’t contain ingredients that will poison wildlife. If you are using natural soaps outdoors, it’s important to remember to wash clothing at least 200 yards away from a water source, as even eco-friendly soaps can damage delicate ecosystems if they are used directly in natural bodies of water.
Soap nuts are a great option for a natural detergent alternative. Soap nuts come from the Sapindus tree, which is a member of the lychee family. The name Sapindus is derived from the Latin sapo, meaning “soap,” and indicus, meaning “of India.” Soap nuts are actually berries, which are harvested from September to February. They are commonly used in India for washing laundry, dishes, and household surfaces. Soap nuts are antimicrobial so they not only clean your caftan, but help get rid of stinky bacteria in the process.
A recipe for soap nut liquid soap:
- Place 3-4 spoonfuls of soap nuts in 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp of salt as a preservative. Stir to dissolve, then let cool completely.
- Strain and store the liquid in an airtight container for up to two weeks out of the fridge, or a month in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the soap nut liquid in an ice cube tray and use 1-2 ice cubs per load of laundry.
- Use ¼ - ½ cup of soap nut liquid per load of laundry, depending on load size.
- You can adjust the recipe above by adding ¼ cup of washing soda to help with whitening.