Ah, the magnificent Goth in its full plumage. Resplendent in the very darkest of midnight black from head to toe, with multiple layers of ever-darker hues of more black. However, when all of your black togs start turning fifty shades of grey from repeated washing and drying, things become much less awesome.
There are few things that will piss a Goth off faster than pulling something awesome and formerly black out of the washing machine, only to find that it has turned grey; or one of the weirder colours that black clothes sometimes turn in their death throes, such as bottle green or dark blue.
With this in mind, in this article I’m going to talk about some of the various things that you can do to keep your black clothes looking good for as long as possible, while avoiding fading.
Check wash labels before you buy
First of all, we’ve all made the rookie mistake of buying something awesome the minute we see it and then finding out that it is hand wash or dry clean only, which often results in either a flagrant disregard of the label and attempting to machine wash it anyway, or the item in question being relegated to the floordrobe when it gets dirty because washing it is too much hassle.
Avoid this before you buy by checking what sort of care stuff actually needs and deciding whether or not you are willing to do it before it’s too late!
On a related note, do pay attention to the care labels on the clothes that you already have; they’re there for a reason, as reason that is not related to deliberately pissing you off. Just because you may have got away with washing something in the machine once, don’t think that means that it is good to go in the future-you will soon start to see the signs of fading and neglect if you don’t follow the instructions.
Use the right washing powder
I’m really not sure if those special washing powders for colours actually do anything worthy of mention when it comes to preventing fading, but a lot of other powders contain bleach and other agents that most definitely will fade your shit, so choose either a non-bio or a colour safe detergent to make sure that you don’t make things worse.
The hotter you wash your stuff, the more likely it is to lose colour and generally fade, and thanks to biological washing products you no longer need to boil the shit out of your clothes to remove the cooties. Washing at thirty degrees or lower will hopefully help to prevent fading, and also, help the environment (I don’t know how, I just keep hearing it on the adverts).
Consider hand washing
Hand washing is perhaps the safest way to care for really dark clothes, although obviously this is time and labour intensive and not for everyone. If you have something expensive, unusual or otherwise valuable to you, consider the old fashioned approach.
Don’t heat dry
Finally, tumble drying can knacker your clothes too, so line dry where possible-or use a clothes horse inside if the sun is cracking the pavements, because the sun can fade your stuff as well!