For all fabrics read the care label on the garment. In addition, the following may be useful:
Acetate: While most items made of acetate are dry-clean only, some may be hand-washed in lukewarm water. Do not twist the fabric. Iron while the fabric is damp. Press the inside of the garment using a low-temperature setting. Use a pressing cloth when ironing the outside.
Acrylic knit: Most acrylic knit garments can be machine-washed. Read the label, and check for the proper drying option. Some knits retain their shapes best if reshaped and dried flat.
Cotton: Cotton holds up well to home laundering. Remove the garment from the dryer promptly to reduce wrinkling. Press using spray starch for the crispness of a laundered shirt.
Cotton blend: Dry cotton-blend garments using your dryer's permanent-press or low-heat cycle, and remove immediately to reduce wrinkling. Touch up with a steam iron; starch for a professionally laundered look.
Linen: Most linen garments need to be dry-cleaned or hand-washed. Follow the instructions on the care label. To touch up or press, use a steam iron on a linen setting for a crisp look.
Nylon: Machine-wash nylon garments in warm water. Use a low-temperature setting when tumble-drying, and include a dryer sheet to reduce static electricity. Use a warm iron to press, if necessary.
Polyester: Read the label. Usually polyester items can be machine-washed (cool) and dried (low). Check the label to see if air-drying is recommended. Touch up with a cool – never hot – iron, if necessary.
Rayon: Make sure to read the care label for rayon clothing. Launder in cool water and a mild detergent. When machine-washing, use the gentle cycle and promptly remove garments after washing. When hand-washing, do not wring or twist the garment. To dry, roll the item in a towel to squeeze out excess water. Lay flat to dry. Iron when still damp and with the garment inside out to prevent the fabric from becoming shiny. Use a pressing cloth when ironing the right side of the garment. Pressing cloths can be purchased, or use something as simple as a piece of white cotton fabric.
Spandex: Use warm water when hand-washing or machine-washing items made with spandex. Line-dry or use a low temperature setting when machine-drying to preserve the elasticity of the garment.
Wool knit: Typically, wool knits need to be dry-cleaned, but check the label. If hand-washable, use cool water and a detergent for fine washables. Squeeze out excess water, then reshape and dry flat.
Wool (lined): Lined garments generally look best when professionally dry-cleaned once a season. Between dry cleanings, remove surface soil with a brush or damp cloth. Refresh the item by hanging it from a padded hanger in a steamy bathroom; moisture will help garment shed wrinkles. When touching up with an iron, use steam in an up-and-down motion (rather than sliding the iron along the fabric).