How to care for your Widdess clothes

Your Widdess garments are made in Aotearoa from a variety of high quality mostly natural fibers; cotton, silk, linen and wool. We also use Viscose and Rayon which are both soft lightweight materials made from wood pulp. The wood differs between textiles but can range from beech and pine to bamboo. We do not use any synthetic fabrics at Widdess.

Once a Widdess garment has arrived in your wardrobe it has already been pre-washed by us to prevent shrinkage or running dye. Here is a guide on cleaning your clothes that will help prolong their life.


We recommend a cold hand-wash for all our garments. Linen will need cold to lukewarm water and a gentle detergent - this could be a delicates wool wash, or even a natural gentle shampoo will do the job, you only need a small dab.

If you are hand-washing multiple garments at the same time or with the same water, make sure you do so with like colours to avoid dulling of the fabric.

Linen is a unique textile in that it softens with every wear and wash enhancing the smooth and floppy quality of the linen.

Submerge your garment in the water and gently agitate, you can soak your garment for up to 30 minutes. Once done make sure to rinse off all soap residue, this may require a few rinses. Linen is best dried naturally in a shady spot, dryer machines prematurely age your linen particularly with repeated use.



Hand-washing is the best way to care for silk. Turn your garment inside out to start. Never wash silk with differently coloured garments as silk commonly bleeds its colour in water.

Wash your silk in cold water with a dab of gentle detergent. Do not soak for longer than 15 minutes as silk can shrink if it is left in water for too long. Rinse your garment of any detergent and do not wring to dry as this may miss-shape the clothing. Sometimes the water will take on the colour of the silk, this is normal and it won't affect the colour of your garment.


Even though people commonly machine wash cottons we advise hand-washing your Widdess cottons to prolong their life. Hand-washing will keep your garments looking newer for longer. You can follow the same guide lines for washing linen above.


Viscose and rayon are very delicate materials. We suggest a cold hand-wash with a gentle detergent. Like silk, wash inside out to preserve it's colour. Viscose and rayon can shrink easily if you don't take care so only leave in the water for a short period of time, no longer than 10 minutes. Rinse the garment well, do not wring, and dry in a shady spot.


Our wool garments and hand-knits all need delicate hand-washing in cool water. Wool can be soaked for up to 10 minutes in water without shrinking, submerge and agitate your garment to wash and rinse thoroughly all the detergent from the wool. Your garment will need to be dried flat as opposed to hanging in order to retain its shape. You can lay it on a towel and leave to dry in a dry shady spot.

Spot Cleaning

If you manage to spill some food on yourself and have some oily spots left on your clothes it may not be the end of the world! With plain talcum powder left on the mark over night, the oil will absorb into the powder. Gently brush it off the next day and the spot should have reduced down.

Understanding textiles and how they will respond to water is key to retaining the clothing's new look and preserving it's life. Our garments are made to last a long time especially if they are cared for well so you can enjoy the timeless styles for longer.

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