How to care for your BlackMilk

How To Care For Your BlackMilk

You know how when you make an awesome new friend, and you just want to hang out with them every day for the rest of your life? Well, getting a shiny new BlackMilk piece is kinda like that. 

To make sure your gear is part of your wardrobe for as long as possible, we have a few tips on how to take care of it. 

Many of the fabrics we use are machine-washable. You should be a-okay simply following the washing instructions found on the labels of each product – but in general we also recommend avoiding ironing, soaking, bleaching or tumble drying your gear, being careful around rough surfaces, and keeping it free from excessive sunscreen, makeup, deodorant or any other harsh chemicals.

Specialty Fabrics

We’re all about doing extra fun things with fabrics and new printing technologies – it’s part of what makes what we do so exciting. So we do use extra special fabrics in some of our gear that need a bit of extra care to keep ‘em looking as awesome as the day you first get them on your bod. 

Foil Fabrics

If there’s one thing we (and you) love around here, it’s SHINY SPARKLY GOODNESS. To up the blinding-everyone-in-sight-with-awesomeness factor in our gear, we use two different kinds of foils: solid coloured foil (like holographic fabrics, and dot foils like our Mermaid fabrics) and printed foil (where imagery is printed over silver foil – most commonly seen in products like our Sheer Romance Dresses, Sheer Midaxi Dresses and Stellar Dresses!). Because of the nature of foil, these are definitely on the extra delicate side (particularly printed foil) so need some extra love when it comes to washing them.

* First of all, be super careful with continuous rubbing on surfaces, jewellery / zips on your other clothes, mosh pits etc. when wearing these pieces. Not only are our foils often printed on sheer mesh fabrics that can be snagged, but abrasive surfaces can also affect foil if rubbed continuously.

* Foils should only ever be hand washed in cold water. Even if your washing machine has a ‘Delicates’ or ‘Hand Wash’ setting, we strongly recommend not using a machine to clean your shiny shiny foils.

* Let’s talk about detergent – it needs to be as gentle as possible. We definitely recommend avoiding anything that contains bleach or stain removing chemicals as it can strip foils of colour. If your detergent states that it is unsuitable for fabrics such as wool and silk, it’s also no good for foils.

(Note that detergents advertised as being ‘gentle on skin’ or similar may not be gentle on the fabrics themselves.)

* Dissolve your detergent in your hand-washing bucket or sink before you add your foil piece. Be careful not to use too much! A little goes a long way.

* Never soak your foil – if you are washing multiple foil pieces at once, concentrate on one at a time so the others aren’t sitting around wet in a puddle!

* Don’t rub the foil bits against each other while you are getting your hand wash on. If you want to clean the lining thoroughly, we recommend turning inside out and very gently rubbing the lining fabric together to clean it, ensuring the top layer of sheer fabric isn’t being rubbed at the same time.

* Hang your beloved gear in the shade to dry – do this as soon as possible after washing. Avoid tumble dryers and irons like jL avoids decaf coffee.

Burned Velvet

BV is a bit of a BlackMilk staple – over the years, we’ve had more colours and designs than we can count of this super cool fabric. It’s made from velvet that has the design ‘burned out’, so that you get a mix of sheer bits and epic patterns. Here’s how to keep your BV looking its best:

* Because it has those sheer bits, it’s a good idea to treat BV with extra care, and avoid rough surfaces and snaggy bits. It might not be the ideal fabric choice for activities like hiking through a jungle, hacking a path ahead of you with a machete (would make for some awesome selfies though).

* Due to the burnout process, you may notice some extra fibre fallout when you first get your BV piece. This is totally normal and will subside after a few washes!

* Burned Velvet is specially colour treated to get those rich, vibrant shades we love so much. These colours may run when washing, so we definitely recommend cold hand washing your BV gear separately from other pieces to make sure the colour doesn’t transfer. We also recommend you do a cold hand wash before wearing your new BV gear for the first time so the colour doesn’t rub on your skin or other clothes! 

* If you want to be extra careful about preventing colour running on BV, you can also soak your gear in a vinegar–water solution to help set the dye. Just take a bucket of cold water, add around a cup of plain white vinegar, and soak for about half an hour. Then cold hand wash normally with your regular detergent.

Delicate Mesh Fabrics (Lace, Sheer Mesh, Etc.)

We use a variety of sheer mesh and lace fabrics in both printed and designer pieces. Although they may have slightly different fabric properties, they do have their delicate nature in common and should be treated pretty similarly. 

* The main thing to be aware of with any mesh or lace fabric is that it can snag on certain surfaces, jewellery etc., creating holes, pulled threads or tears. Keep this in mind when you’re rocking these pieces and be careful around rough surfaces – no rock climbing!

* Most mesh and lace fabrics should be hand washed, although we do use some sturdier laces from time to time that can be washed on a delicate machine cycle. For these, we recommend putting your gear in a laundry bag to prevent zips and buttons from other gear in the machine snagging your lace. As always, double check the care label to know if your lace pieces can be machine washed!

PVC and Vegan Leathers

PVC and top-notch vegan leathers are staple BlackMilk fabrics. Why? Because we want you to look and feel like the badass you are. They do need a little extra care to keep ‘em awesome all day errry day.

* These fabrics might make you look like a biker babe, but they are definitely better suited to strutting your stuff on the street than hitting the road on a motorcycle. Treat ‘em with care, and avoid constant rubbing on surfaces that might tear the outer fabric layers. 

* Like most of our specialty fabrics, these guys are cold hand wash only. Don’t let ‘em even catch sight of your washing machine!

* Heat is the ultimate enemy of PVC and vegan leather. Never ever ever iron or tumble dry these babies! Hang them in the shade to dry and they’ll thank you for it.

* After your gear is all washed and dried, it’s a good idea to turn them inside out for storage – this will stop anything from snagging or rubbing against them in your closet. Don’t store lighter coloured PVC next to darker PVC as the darker colour may rub onto the lighter fabric! Be careful of using clip hangers as they can cause dents in the fabric.

We’re always adding awesome new fabrics to our stable, so we’ll be sure to keep this post updated with all the deets you need to know. Remember: always check the care labels of individual products and follow them closely to keep them looking fab for years to come!