THE RIGHT APPROACH
It’s not just the quality of the product that determines how long it can do its job – you yourself can also extend the life of your favorite item. The right care is essential. Our experts Benni and Paul explain how that works:
When doing the laundry, your motto should be: as often as necessary, as little as possible. Would it perhaps be enough just to air out the item – especially if it’s made of natural materials? If not, put as much as you can into the washing machine (in line with the manufacturer’s specifications) and wash your clothes at 30°C and at a low to medium spin speed. Use Eco mode if possible and add just the right amount of detergent (more does not mean cleaner).
It is important to descale your washing machine on a regular basis (every 50 washes) and clean it by running a cycle on a high temperature setting. This will prevent germs forming, increase the useful life of your machine and improve its washing performance.
The environment isn’t the only reason to do without a tumble dryer. Most textiles suffer under the temperature required to dry them and the mechanical stress. If your functional textiles are still very wet after washing, don’t wring them out; instead, roll them up in a towel and squeeze the water out. Avoid direct sunlight when drying on a drying rack. The UV rays are amplified by the moisture and can fade or alter the colors.
DWR coating (Durable Water Repellency) on the outside of a textile repels water on the outside so that the material doesn’t become soaked with moisture. DWR wears off over time – which actually has no effect on how waterproof the textile in a membrane product is. But if the outer layer becomes soaked, it feels damp and it is more difficult for the water vapor inside to wick to the outside. Therefore, it is important to reapply the DWR from time to time in order to maintain its function.
Before applying DWR, wash the jacket on a wool wash cycle at 30°C and max. 400 RPM using liquid wool-detergent.
To refresh your DWR, unsure to use PFC-free option, because while the perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals are excellent at repelling water, grease and dirt, they are not biodegradable and thus accumulate both in the environment and in the body.
DWR can be sprayed on or washed in. We do not advise
wash-in products, because they also coat the inside of the item and thus prevent it absorbing moisture.
Stray-on DWR should be applied exclusively to the outside and be activated by applying heat. It’s best to avoid using a dryer. Instead, hang the item up to dry (for example on a hanger). Before it dries completely, you can iron or blow-dry your textile on a low heat with a towel in between (without getting too close to the material).
Please do NOT send ORTOVOX products to the dry cleaners for DWR coating.
Many people tend to wash their hardshell products as rarely as possible. But that doesn’t help at all. The membrane that makes the hardshell waterproof is made up of tiny pores. They ensure that the water droplets remain on the outside, and that sweat makes its way to the outside as vapor. If these pores are blocked by sweat and dirt, the membrane can no longer do its job. So washing helps to make the hardshell more durable – even if it’s not washed after every use.
Always follow the washing instructions on the label. Use liquid detergent, preferably special detergent for functional textiles. Fabric softener, bleach and heavy-duty detergents are off-limits. They can block or damage the pores.
It’s not always possible to stop ugly pilling occurring – especially when it comes to natural fibers that haven’t been chemically treated. But you can prevent it through proper, gentle care: Wash the textiles inside out at a low temperature (without fabric softener!) and keep them separated in a wash bag, away from any hook and loop fasteners.
You can also carefully use a lint roller to remove loose fibers. You can remove little pill balls using scissors or a special fabric shaver. Picking them off by hand, however, will only make them worse.