General Advice For Longevity – hang them up, yes whatever the fabric or material hanging them up on a good hanger, perferably satin or silk covered and this will help preserve the integrity of the dressing gown. Plus it has the added advantage of keeping them out of reach of restless household critters or ankle-biters' sticky fingers.
If you have different weights for the seasons, make sure you wash/clean before hanging or boxing up and keep some cedar balls or bags with the dressing gown to deter moths and suchlike. Place in a cloth bag, essential if it is a silk robe with a cedar bag, treat as you would your cashmere.
And lastly but most importantly read the care label, manufacturers including us put them there for a reason, to help you get the most out of your robe!
Luxury Silk Robe – typically most manufacturers will advise dry-clean only and not too often, silk is a robust material but the longer you go between dry-cleans the longer it will last.
Cashmere Robe – again most advise dry-cleaning, although you can hand wash in cool water. Be careful though when rinsing not to pull the robe around too much, otherwise it will lose its shape. Gently lay in shape, somewhere completely flat and leave to dry for about 3 days depending on time of year and your house temperature. Some cashmere sweaters can be machine washed and these days many machines have a delicates cycle which is aimed at silks, cashmeres and lace – at your own peril darhlings, not mine!
Full Length Terry Cloth Robe – now these
are quite robust articles for wearing but depending on the weight of the
toweling it may start to tag and you’ll end up with bits of cotton all over the
robe. So the advice here is wash as you
would a towel but one cycle gentler so you don’t end up looking like a shaggy
goat. Put in the dryer on low heat for a
long time, again this will help guard against too much pilling.
Fleece Robe – well if you simply have to have one of these nasty concoctions, throw it in the washing machine with his nasty socks and watch it come out all springy and new and synthetic and feel very pleased with yourself, if not a tad concerned at the recycled nuclear waste you are putting against your skin. Will dry in 2 minutes flat!
Short Cotton Robe – you can bung this too in the washing machine but treat as you would your undies sweethearts. They need to be cleaned, but treat them with a gentle respect on a good 50-60 degree wash depending on how grubby you are. Will air dry or pop in the dryer on low heat. Same with a cotton spa robe.
Other robe types, again I always advise reading the care label and if by chance your robe is an artisanal piece of exquisiteness given to you by your lover with not a brand label in sight, let alone a care label – use your noodle! Go to a good, very good dry cleaner ie one where you’d take your wedding dress or shearling coat and ask their advice! Or simply only wear when ultra-clean and on special occassions :-)
Look Gorgeous, Feel Fabulous - Sophie