The burgundy red tie was very useful. Bought in TK Maxx for £10, it had been worn on many dozens of days at work. Its plain, understated colour meant it was compatible with a number of shirts and jackets. Admittedly, it was past its best, the stitching on the reverse of the tie had begun to come unravelled and the tie itself was beginning to look a little tired. However, I had not expected its demise to come so rapidly.
Gathering a bundle of washing to put on a 30 degree wash, the tie lay among other clothes and was put into the machine. It came out with much of the stitching gone, with much of the white inner separated from the red outer, and completely misshapen. Is that what a delicate wash can do?
Had I known the tie was in the bundle, I would not have put it in the machine. Once, I threw my university tie into a cool wash, it came out looking like a hall of residence room on the morning after an undergraduate party.
Washing has been a challenging matter since the age of nineteen when I put a lamb’s wool pullover into a hot wash because I had spilled food down the front of it. It came from the machine clean of all stains and of a size that would have fitted a nine year old.
Shrinkage has not been as common a problem as colours that run. Observing the instruction to “wash deep colours separately” does not guarantee that the blacks and the blues will not run into the reds, that a red sweatshirt will not come from the wash with dark marks across the chest.
The worst incident of colour-running was my six year old daughter’s Sunday dress. Navy blue and white, it was a favourite. It came from the machine with the white having been turned grey by the running blue. Going to the supermarket, I bought one of those products that said it removed colours that had run. I washed the dress in the remedy and the whole dress came out grey. Attending a seminar on the other side of Dublin, I nipped out of the morning session to go to an out of town shopping centre where Marks and Spencer mercifully had a dress that was identical to the original state of the one I had mislaundered.
Why is there not much more training in school about these essential things of life?
I hand wash but ties are dry-cleaned.
There is no way to clean a tie that will leave it wearable thereafter: if it needs cleaning then throw it away.
I would never have worn a tie more than a couple of times a year until I changed careers.
There is no requirement to do so now, it’s just that I trained in schools in Weston-Super-Mare where the dress code was “business dress” and I have continued with that habit, (buying excellent jackets from charity shops!)