About Sheryl Perkins

I am a writer and blogger for blankstyle.com. I live in New York City with my cat Albus and interests include art and design, as well as reading and walking around the city.

Tips and Techniques to Reverse Tie Dye T Shirts and More!

Reverse Tie DyeIn a past blog post I wrote a blog about Tie Dye, and recently I discovered a technique for decorating shirts that is refereed to as reverse tie dye. Now I do own clothing items that are reverse tie dyed but I never recognized as this technique nor how it was created. So after discovering this I decided I must write a blog post to share my discovery with the world!

What is Reverse Tie Dye?

When you tie dye you add color to create design, so in the reverse we are technically removing color to create an interesting pattern and design. In order to do this you use bleach of the not color safe variety. You can use this technique on many different things, from t shirts and socks to sheets and pillow cases.

What You Need

-The first thing you need is something to reverse tie dye. An item made of cotton would work best, and it also needs to be dark in color to get the full effect.

-You’ll also need bleach, at most a few cups depending on the technique you choose and the size of your selected item.

-Since bleach is involved I would also suggest using gloves, and perhaps wearing a poncho or ratty apron to make sure no bleach splashes on your clothes. You should probably also wear ratty clothing…just in case.

-Depending on the technique you choose you will need either a spray bottle or bucket to use in a bleach safe area.

-The last thing you’ll need is some rubber bands to shape the item before bleaching, just like in tie dye!


While research I came across two different techniques you can use to apply the bleach. But before using bleach everyone has the same basic idea for set-up, with a few variations of course. Just like with normal tie dye you need to roll, fold, and twist the item, or items, into a desired or interesting shape using the rubber bands before applying the bleach. Just like with tie dye the shape you take and where and how you apply the bleach will create and affect the design that is created.

After rubber banding the item(s) into a shape, it’s time to apply the bleach! The first technique I saw was using a spay bottle to spray the bleach, or a bleach water mixture, onto what you are reverse tie dying. Just be sure to mark it or clean out the spray bottle throughly so you don’t accidentally spray bleach somewhere you’d rather not spray it. The other technique is taking a part of the item, not the whole thing and dipping it in some bleach. This technique happens fast and as soon as there is a color you like, immediately transfer to a tub of water and wash the bleach out! No matter which technique you choose be sure to thoroughly rinse the item to get all of the bleach out. If you throw it in the washer, be sure to wash it by itself to avoid bleaching something else.

I’ve seen posts that suggest using vinegar with the item in the wash as a way to stop the bleaching process, but other say bleach and vinegar should not be mixed as it creates a toxic reaction. So if you use vinegar be sure ALL of the bleach is out or skip this step entirely.

For some more information on reverse tie dye check out these pages:

Quick Reverse Tie-Dye

DIY Bleach Tie Dye

How To: Reverse Tie Dye

Until next time!

3D Printed Clothing: The Future of Fashion?

In today’s blog post I will be discussing 3D printed clothing and fashion. 3D printing is a big topic right now, and I’m constantly seeing news on or related to it. It started off with printed simple models and objects, but now it’s printing fabrics and even food, yes food. Seeing all the news about it, I decided to look more into 3D printed fashion and learn more about it since in a few years we might all be wearing it.

How 3D Printing Works

3D printing is a process that is similar to normal printing, but instead of putting ink on 3D Printed Headpaper it prints out a material in layers, creating a 3D object. People create computer drawings and models, which is then sent to the printer. The printer then lays down think layers of material using a laser. The printer builds the layers based on the specs in the models and drawings creating the desired object.

Creating 3D Printed Clothing

Using the 3D printing process, you can design an outfit using the exact measurements of a person, then send it to print. No cutting, sewing, weaving, knitting or other traditional processes necessary. You can print out the exact dress or item of clothing to fit perfectly. This idea has prompted many to look for more flexible or fabric like materials to use when creating different articles of clothing. A 3D printed long sleeve shirt is no good if you can’t move you’re arms.

The Dita Von Teese Dress

The most famous example of 3D printed clothing that I’ve seen is the Dita Von Teese dress. The dress was created for her by designers Francis Bitonti and Michael Schmidt, and she wore it to a conference in New York City. It was made out of a black-nylon material and was also covered in Swarovski crystals. It was printed in 12 pieces that were then dyed the desired color and then super-glued together. The chain mail design made it more flexible, to make it easy to put on and take off, and has around 3,000 independently movable joints, again to help with flexibility so she could walk and sit. (Unfortunately I could not get a picture of the dress to show you)

Her dress is not the only 3D printed item, just the most well known. One company has created a 3D printed bikini, and I’ve also seen images of 3D printed shoes. And while some items are available to the average consumer, not just the super rich and celebrities, since they are super customized for you they will still cost a pretty penny. These fashions could potentially be our future. In the future we may even be able to print our own clothing at home!

Here are some resources to help you learn more about this amazing technology, and I’d love to hear what you think about it!

LiveScience – 3D Printing Weaves Its Way into Fashion

Huffington Post – Continuum’s 3-D Printed Clothing Offers A Glimpse Into The Future Of Fashion

3D Printing Idsustry – Fashion related posts

Start Up Fashion – Textile Spotlight: 3D Printed Fabric

Forbes – 3D Printing Hits The Fashion World

Until next time!

A Look into the Past of New York Fashion Week

Fashion WeekThe Fall NY Fashion week has been going on for almost a week now, and it’s been very interesting to follow. While I’m not going there, traffic and crowds are probably a nightmare, I’ve been following online. Checking out the news, seeing pictures of collections, and connecting with others watching the event online as well.

While I was researching online, thinking about potential posts about favorite collections I saw, I got curious about how it all began. When and how did NY Fashion week start? When did it become such a big event? I wanted to know, and today I will share my new knowledge of the history of fashion week with you today 🙂

Before World War II, fashion magazines were filled with the styles and trends seen in Paris, France, regardless if it was available to average Americans or not. No one really blinked at an at American fashion, until about 1943. Because of the war and Germany’s occupation of France, journalists in the fashion industry couldn’t travel to France to see the fashion shows and get the latest scoop on styles and trends. Fashion publicist Elenor Lambert saw this as an opportunity to direct some attention to the American fashion designers, and perhaps earn a place for America in the international fashion community. Through her efforts, in 1943 they had the first fashion week in America, calling it Press Week. The results were spectacular, and the event continued through the late 50s, though at varying locations.

The first official New York Fashion Week as we know it today was in 1994, the year it moved to the white tents at Bryant Park. Before then the fashion shows has been scattered around in different warehouses and showrooms throughout the city. But after an incident in 1990, where plaster from a ceiling fell and landed on a model during a show, the Council of Fashion Designers of America decided to search for a location for the event.

And that is the basic history of New York Fashion week, one of the biggest fashion events in the world. Thank you Elenor! Your brilliance made people look at American fashion design and solidified us a spot in the fashion community.

If you want to learn more about the history of fashion week check out these pages:

Times NewsFeed: A Brief History of New York Fashion Week

Smithsonian Blog: New York Fashion Week, Past and Present

The Examiner: The History of New York Fashion Week

If you interested in seeing your favorite designers collection or when they’re showing it here’s a schedule: http://nymag.com/fashion/fashioncalendar/fashionweek/

Until next time~!

The Different Types of T Shirt Necklines

V-neckThere are so many different kinds and combinations of t shirts out there. I recently wrote a blog post on the different types of sleeves you can find on a t shirt. There are also many other aspects of a t shirt, like the neck or t shirt style and fit. Today I will be discussing some of the different necks on t shirts. When purchasing t shirts, the comfort around your neck is very important. Also, for women it’s important to stay within your comfort zone with how deep some necklines can be. Knowing the necklines that are comfortable to you will help you find the perfect one that much faster.

Round Neckline

This type of neckline is the more common on t shirts. This type of neckline should sit right under your neck. Because of wear it sits, this is the most modest type of neckline so a woman doesn’t have to worry about revealing more than she wants. However, be sure that the neck is comfortable as some round necklines can feel tight and restrictive to the wearer.

Collared Neckline

Some t shirts, like the polo shirt, have a collared neckline. This basically means that there is a collar around the neck. Most often I see these with round necklines. Usually if there is a collar on another neckline style it’s a button up shirt, not a t shirt. Be sure that the collar is comfortable, because it will be around and possibly be rubbing against your neck all day.


This style of neckline forms a pointed V shape at the neck, giving it more more space than the round neckline. The size of the V will vary from t shirt to t shirt. Some V-necks are shallow and stay close to the neck, while other Vs can be deep and extend several inches. Though they are available, you rarely see the deep V in men’s shirts, they are primarily a women’s fashion. The deep Vs care often paired with a tank top or Cami for a more modest look.

Scoop Neck

This particular style of neck is mostly used on women’s shirts. I’ve never seen one on a men’s t shirt, if you find one please show me! The shape of this neckline is wide and low, like the round neckline but larger and lower. This style often falls around or just below the wearer’s clavicle. Some shirts may have an exaggerated scoop that can extend to the edge of a women’s shoulder or go down her back. If a scoop goes to low on you, pair it with a Cami to make it more modest, or more towards your comfort zone. Overall this is a very flatter neckline for women.

These are the 4 most basic necklines on a t shirt. Other necklines could be a variation of one of these. If you have a shirt with a mystery neckline or I missed a favorite style of yours let me know!

Until next time.

Mod Fashion and Style Guide

Mod DressIn a past blog post, I described and looked at bohemian fashion. Today, I will be look at another fashion trend, the Mod subculture and their fashion style. This style features form-fitting clothes, unisex styles for men and women, as well as bold patterns and colors.

Mod is actually a subculture that appeared in the 1960s. This subculture focused mostly on music and fashion. Some famous people who helped inspired the fashion sense of this subculture were the Beatles, and fashion icon Twiggy. Twiggy actually talked about mod fashion on an episode America’s Next Top Model when she was still a judge on the panel.

Colors and Patterns

Mod clothing was clean and often bold. The most common colors used were black and white, and you would see hints of oranges, bright yellows, pink and the occasional pastel. Color blocking became very popular as well, which is a trend that is becoming popular again in today’s fashion. Color blocking is a technique where differed colored blocks of fabric are sewn together to create a garment with different solid colors. Mod fashion also allowed for the use of bold patterns. In England some of the popular geometric patterns were the English flag, stripes and polka-dots.

Women’s Styles

For women, this was the age of the mini-skirt. Women would wear mini-skirts and short dressed to expose as much of their legs as their individual body shaped allowed them. For ladies who preferred pants or a more androgynous style, they wore fitted pants that were typically capri or ankle length. For tops, ¾ sleeves and sleeveless were popular amongst women. Another big fashion statement was a loose sweater. Women preferred flat shoes, and an iconic shoe of this style is the Go-Go boot.

When it comes to make-up, the trend was to make your eyes look bigger with a heavy use of eyeliner, false lashes and possibly brown eye-shadow. This was about it for make-up. The mod ladies most every other type of make-up except a nude colored lip stick. For hair, short cuts that were low maintenance were the style, though hair was often styled with scarves and headbands.

Men’s Style

Men often wore well-made, slim cut, tailored suits to wear. These suits came in your basic black, gray, and brown but you could also see them in more fun, bold colors. Other popular trends were thin ties, button-down collared shirts, and interesting variety of boots, and jumpers made from wool of cashmere. Also, jeans are a no-no for a mod look.

For hair, men would grow their hair out into a moptop. It wasn’t long, but it was longer compared to other trends and styles for men. For a good example of mod hair, check out the hair styles worn by the members of the Beatles. Another mod trend is that some men, not all but some, used eye shadow, eye pencil and lipstick.

So, I looked at what mod fashion and style was when it first appeared in the 60s. Take this information and apply it to your current wardrobe, but with a more modern and fashionable twist. The main characteristics to hit if you want to dress with a more mod style today is to wear bold colors, geometric designs and have your clothing be more tailored.

Check out these resources to learn more about the mod style:

WikiHow – Dress Like a Mod

Wikipedia – Mod (Subculture): Fashion

What is Mod Style

Fifties Web: Mod Fashion

The Different T Shirt Sleeve Styles

womens t shirtWhen you go to a store or a website and look at the t shirts, there are so many different kinds! There are plain t shirts, polo shirts, short sleeve, sleeveless and many, many more! With all of the different types and styles of T Shirts, there is a lot to cover, so today I’m just going to look at the sleeves. While most of the sleeve styles I will discuss are just a variation on lengths, some are completely different styles, giving some new life to the basic t shirt.

Short Sleeve – This is the most common type of t shirt sleeve. Generally it covers about half of the upper arm, but not always. There will always be variations from brand to brand, shirt to shirt. The sleeves can be loose or more fitted. You typically find more fitted sleeves on women’s shirts, but not always.

Cap Sleeve – This type of sleeve covers the top of a shoulder but doesn’t extend under or around the wearer’s arm, and is also only available in ladies fashion. The cap sleeve can be puffy or exaggerated and are usually paired with a fitted t shirt. All of these traits give these t shirts a more feminine look.

¾ sleeve – This is another style that is mostly used in women’s fashion. This sleeve length usually extends to just below the elbow, though this can vary slightly. While typically fitted, loose ¾ sleeves are gaining popularity.

Dolman Sleeve – Also known as the batwing sleeve, this style is a variation of the ¾ sleeve. The sleeves are loose and flowing at the upper arm, but then is snug around the elbow. This style is great for layering with other shorter sleeve shirts, making it a great style to wear when the weather starts to cool down.

Raglan Sleeve – This style is similar to a short sleeve in length but the sleeve is attached on a diagonal versus straight up and down on a typical t shirt. This style is used in most baseball uniforms, which is why shirts with a raglan sleeve are usually called baseball t shirts. This more sporty style is available for men and women.

Long Sleeve – Long sleeves reach all the way down to the wrist of the wearer. The sleeves can end in a cuff, which is tight around the wrist, or just have a loose open wrist. Women’s long sleeve t shirts may bell out at the wrists and often do not have a cuff.

Sleeveless – I realize this this is technically a tank top, especially in women’s fashion, but there are some styles that look like a t shirt with the sleeves cut off. A muscle tee is an example of this. But since it is still considered a variety of t shirt I will discuss it. Sleeveless t shirts (tank tops) leave the should bare and have straps that go over the shoulders. These straps vary in width, from very thin to almost covering the top of the shoulder. Men have the basic muscle tee, where there is a large variety is styles for women.

I hope that this post has been useful in learning more about the different styles of sleeves available for your t shirts. Until next time!

7 Essential Pieces of Clothing Every Guy Needs in Their Closets

Recently, I posted 7 Essential Clothing Pieces Every Girl Needs in Their Closet. This week I’m looking at the seven items that guys need in their closet. This is for guys who want to start building a professional, grown-up wardrobe, or maybe you wardrobe is in need of some updating. Here are the first things you should look at.

mens closet

1) Khaki Trousers

Khaki pants are great for day to day, both for work and a more casual setting. Wear with a nice dress shirt, or maybe a shirt and nice v-neck sweater. I even read somewhere that you can sleep in them, so I guess that means they are super comfy for your day to day life. Try to avoid pleats with these, you want a flat front pant. I also read that if you don’t want khakis, then Chino pants make a good alternative as an essential piece in your closet.

2) Dress Shirt

A dress shirt will be an important part of your wardrobe. Pair it up with a suit or just suit pants and it’s appropriate for work or an event, or you can wear it with jeans for a more casual look. I would suggest getting your essential dress shirt in a white or a light blue, two timeless colors that never go out of style. One you have your essentials you can start having a bit more fun with your dress shirts. Bolder colors or even patterns, but stick to classic patterns and avoid the crazy ones.

3) Blazer

A Blazer, when fitting properly, can broaden shoulders, trim your waist, and overall make you look great! It can be worn for casual situations or a more formal event. Wear it with jeans and a t shirt or a nice dress shirt. Try to find one in a weight you can wear all year long, one to help keep warm in cooler months and won’t make you overheat in the warmer months, There are many styles available, see what is trending, do some research but in the end, buy one that you feel good in and that you think you look good in.


4) Jeans

Jeans a a definite essential for your closet guys!. They can be dressed up or down, they go with almost anything and are great for day to day or certain occasions. For your essential jean, I would recommend a straight-leg. A straight-leg jeans is more versatile than the baggy or skinny variety. The right pair can be worn with a blazer and tie or a t shirt. Invest in a pair that fits you well, that you feel good in, and are comfy enough to wear often.

5) Suit

A nice, well fitting suit is a must have! They look professional for work, and are always good when going to a really nice dressy event. For your essential suit a navy or dark gray suit would be the most versatile. These colors are timeless and you will get a lot of use out of your suit. Be sure to get a suit that fits you well. For this item I would recommend going to the professionals and getting measured and advice. It will cost a bit more but it would be worth it and you would get your money’s worth out of the suit as long as you take care of it.


6) Cardigan or V-neck Sweaterv-neck sweater

A sweater or cardigan is great for a day that may be a little chilly, or perhaps your office is like working in Antarctica. A V-neck sweater is nice because if you wear it with a dress shirt or polo shirt, the shape gives space for the collar. Or you can choose a button up men’s cardigan. These are nothing like the cardigan’s I’m sure your picturing in your mind. Cardigan’s today come in a more modern slim fit that go with practically everything. No matter which type you choose, pick a darker color that goes with everything.

7) T-Shirt

Everyone needs a good t shirt. They are comfy and can be worn with just about anything! Dress it up with a blazer or rock a classic t shirt and jeans combo. There are many different styles, v-necks, crew necks, polos. Research, shop around, and find one that works for you. For your essential t shirt, maybe go with a color that goes with everything, or make this the bright and colorful piece of your closet. My only advice, stay away from t shirts with stupid or inappropriate slogans, images, anything! Stick to a blank or basic pattern t shirt.

I hope this post helps you start to build your adult and professional wardrobe guys!

Until next time!


7 Essential Clothing Pieces Every Girl Needs in Their Closet

As years pass our closets are constantly changing as new trends come out or our personal style changes. Items come and go, but there are some essential items that should always be present in your closet. Whether your just starting to build your wardrobe or are going through and improving it, these items should be the first things you look at.

Also, for you guys out there, I will make another essential clothing blog post just for you. Ladies first 🙂

1)The Little Black Dress

I know, we’ve all heard it before, that the little black dress, or LBD to some, is an important item for every women. Well, all of those people are right! This clothing essential can be dress up for a night out or special event, or can be dressed more casually for work. When looking for your dress, try and choose a style that suits you, and try to pick something that, no matter changes in trends, you can wear for a few years.

2)Denim Blue Jeansjeans

Everyone needs a good pair of jeans. They can be dressed up, they can be dressed down and they go with almost anything! There are so many styles out there it won’t be to difficult to find that perfect pair. Be sure to pick a cut and style that flatters you. For your closet essential pair of jeans, I recommend getting a darker denim jean because they are more versatile then the lighter colors.

dress and cardigan

Cardigan and Little Black Dress

3)A Cardigan

A cardigan is a knitted sweater that either buttons or zippers in the front. These sweaters are cute, stylish and most importantly, warm. Let’s say you’re wearing a short sleeved blouse and skirt to work. It’s nice and warm outside but entering your office is like getting off of a plane during winter in the arctic circle. A nice cardigan will still look good, be work appropriate and will help keep warm in that frigid air conditioning. It can also help dress an outfit and more it more casual, like that little black dress you bought. For color, try and pick a color that goes with the majority of your wardrobe to start with, like black, white or gray, then you can expand with more colors.

4)A Blazer

blazer and jeans

A Girl with a blazer, nice shirt and light wash jeans

A blazer is a casual suit coat. Like other pieces I’ve already mentioned, the blazer can be worn casually or for a nice occasion. Wear it with a t shirt and jeans, or with a dress shirt and skirt. To get the most out of your blazer you’re going to have to find one that fits you perfectly, or get it fitted to your body. Another tip that is that your closet essential blazer should be black because then it would go with anything. Blazers are available in a lot of colors but black is a good basic to start with.

5)A Skirt

A nice skirt is a definite must in any woman’s closet, though the style or type of skirt is up to you. Everyone has a different body, so pick a skirt that fits your body and that you feel good in. For length, many others suggest and knee-length skirt for your basic essential and I agree. Skirts that hit right at or around your knee are typically the most flattering on all body shapes, as well as the most versatile. This is another item that can be casual or dressy. And again, a basic black skirt will be a great start, then branch out from there.

6)A Button-Down Shirt

A nice clean and crisp button-down shirt is another item that can be casual or dressed up. They are clean, fitted, and look professional. They can be tucked in or left out, depending on the outfit and your personal preferences. These button-downs come in every color of the rainbow and more. For your basic essential, I suggest white or very light colored shirt. If everything else in your closest is a neutral color, like black or gray, this shirt could be your pop of color. A basic white shirt is a great start though, you will never look bad in basic black and white. This is also another piece that you want to make sure fit’s you well, and be sure to buy a women’s shirt since they are more fitted than that similar looking shirt over in the men’s section.

7) A T Shirt

t shirt and jeans

A comfy, low-neck t shirt and jeans

The last item on my list is a nice t shirt. A nice basic t shirt that you can wear casually with those jeans, or maybe dress it up a little with dark jeans and a black blazer. If you get a nice basic t shirt, nothing fancy, it can be very versatile and well extremely comfy. You need something super casual that you can wear, but still look good in. I think a nice red or blue t shirt would look great on anyone. A t shirt I think is the one place where you can go away from our basic, neutral colors to start with. But a basic white t shirt would do the trick as well. Also, a t shirt is great for those lazy days when you don’t want to put on your nice clothes. A t shirt and jeans will be comfy, and still look nice

I’m sure you noticed that I suggested a lot of black and neutral colors for the above clothing pieces. That is because for a basic wardrobe, these pieces will go with anything and everything because they are a more neutral color. The closet essentials are meant to be the starting point, the pieces that you can build on. After buying everything in basic neutrals, start expanding and playing with pops of color in your outfits.

Until next time!

All about Steampunk Fashion and Apparel

Recently, I discovered a page about steampunk on google+, and was instantly fascinated by it. I’ve been looking more into steampunk fashion and culture and so far I love what I’ve seen and learned. In this post I will try to define steampunk and share what I’ve learned so far.

What is Steampunk?


Author G. D. Falksen, wearing a steampunk-styled arm prosthesis (created by Thomas Willeford), exemplifying one take on steampunk fashion. From Wikipedia

This is a difficult question to answer as there is a lot of controversy in what is included and how to define streampunk. From what I have gathered, Steampunk is asubgenre of science fiction and fantasy that incorporates features that are a combination of steam-powered machinery of the 19th century and the Victorian Era. You’ll also see many machines and devices that were not typically seen either era. Examples would be steam powered rifles and air ships. Overall, it is Victorian science fiction.

Steampunk fashion

Steampunk apparel and fashion includes fashions from the Victorian Era, such as petticoats and corsets, and combines them with references to the 19th century. These references include actual machine pieces, like gears and cogs, as well as workers accessories, such as goggles that look like they came straight from Willy Wonka’s factory. Colors for this fashion are usually rarely, if ever, bright and are more subdued neutral tones. When looking through pictures I see a lot of browns, whites, grays and tans, with the occasional red or blue color variations.


A steampunk-themed photo from Wikipedia

Most women tend to wear dresses, both long and short, complete with petticoats. But there are some women out there who wear pants, usually when portraying a pilot, engineer or air pirate. Most women typically incorporate a corset into their outfit, both overbust corsets and underbust corsets. For jackets Carriage coats, riding jackets, flight jackets and pea coats are the usual choices. Accessories include gloves, including elegant gloves, fingerless gloves and maybe even large leather gloves, and hats or elegant pins.

Men’s fashion is typically traditional Victorian in appearance, but with steampunk accessories, like a pocket watch. Some men also choose to change up the look with gloves, leather boots and goggles. Hats are also used in men’s fashion. Hats ranged from pilots caps, to newsboy hats and top hats, as well as many other options for a hair piece.

There is a lot more to steampunk fashion than what I have written above but it will give you the general idea.

Steampunk culture

There are people now who incorporate steampunk as a lifestyle and it’s starting to become a sub-culture. This trend has even been appearing more and more at various social events, from conventions to renaissance festivals. There are even events totally dedicated to steampunk. I personally would love to put an outfit together and go to a steampunk ball, with traditional dances and everything!

As I mentioned before there is a lot more to steampunk and steampunk fashion than what I’ve mentioned here. Here are some resources to help you learn more about this rising sub-culture, and if I got something wrong or you have other information to share, please comment or message me! I’d love to learn more 🙂

How To Dress Steampunk

What is Steampunk Fashion

Steampunk Wikia: Steampunk Fashion

Wikipedia: Steampunk

Steampunk.com: What is Steampunk?

What is Steampunk?

What Do The Symbols On The Tag Mean? – Guide To Clothing Care Labels

When looking at the care instructions on the tag of your clothing, sometimes they write instructions and other times there are just clothing care symbols. Majority of the time I stare at these fabric care symbols and try to guess what they mean, and I’m usually wrong. Since I’d really rather not ruin my clothing I thought it was about time I researched these care labels and thought I would share my new found knowledge with the world!

Clothing Tag

Washing Symbols

The washing care labels are represented by what looks like a cup with two waves in it, like when kids draw waves for water. If the cup of water has one dot in the water then it’s machine wash cold, two dots for warm and three dots for hot. If there is a line underneath the cup, that means use a permanent press setting and two lines means use a gentle cycle. For example a cup with two dots and a line means machine wash warm, permanent press. If instead of dots there is a hand reaching into the cup, that means hand wash. If there is an X going through the cup, that means do not wash.

Drying Symbols

The dryer symbol is represented by a square with another symbol inside that tells you the drying instructions. If the square has a circle inside it that usually means it’s tumble dry and the circle represents the heat. A square with a filled in circle means tumble dry no heat, if the circle inside the square has a dot, then it’s tumble dry low heat. Two dots for medium heat and three dots for high heat. Like with the washing symbols if there is one line underneath the square, that means use a permanent press setting, two lines means use a gentle cycle. If the entire symbol, square and circle, l has an X through it, that means do not tumble dry.

If the square has three vertical lines inside of it, that means to drip dry the clothing. One horizontal line means dry flat. The last drying symbol has a small curved line, inside the square towards the top. It almost looks like an envelope, at least to me it does. This symbol means the garment needs to be line dried.


Other Symbols

The other symbols on the clothing care labels are instructions for ironing, bleach and dry cleaning. For drying cleaning there are two symbols. An open circle means dry clean. There may be additional letters or lines with this symbol but those are mainly for the dry cleaner. If the circle has an X, that means do not dry clean. Usually that means the fabric would react badly to the chemicals used in dry cleaning.

The ironing clothing care symbol looks like an iron, an old fashion iron, but an iron. If the iron has one dot then that means you need to iron, steam or dry the garment with low heat. Tow dots is medium heat and three dots is high heat. An X through the iron means do not iron. The other symbols is an X through 2 lines underneath the iron. This odd symbol means do not iron with steam. So you can iron it, just don’t use any methods that create or involve steam. To learn more about ironing check out my post on How to Iron T Shirts and Other Apparel.

Bleaching instructions are represented by a triangle. A plain, empty triangle means bleach as needed. If there are diagonal lines inside of the triangle then use non-chlorine bleach as needed, which is what I typically stick to when washing my clothes. The final symbol is a triangle, sometimes filled in and sometimes not, with an X through it which means do not bleach in any way or form, and that includes detergents with bleach in them.

For examples of these fabric care symbols, as well as more symbols, check out these resources:

Care Labels: Your Guide to Easy Care

Guide to Common HomeLaundering and Drycleaning Symbols

Wikipedia – Laundry Symbol

Your Guide to Fabric Care SymbolsFabric Care Symbols from the Cleaning Insitute

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