Cotton Care Guide

Cotton is a versatile, comfortable and breathable fabric and is easy to look after. At TOAST, we love cotton for its ability to take dye and retain bright colours and intricate prints.

Obtained from the fibres surrounding the soft seed pods of the cotton plant, cotton is a natural and biodegradable fibre that has been used since antiquity. The fibres are cleaned and spun into threads before being made into a variety of fabrics, from denim and corduroy to poplin and twills.

How to wash

Cotton can be washed at 30 degrees in the machine with similar colours. Try to wash your cotton less frequently to maintain the shape, colour, and quality of your garment.

How to dry & store

Reshape your garment whilst damp by holding the side seams together and shaking. Cotton is best dried flat or hanging to prevent the need for ironing. If an item requires ironing, then it is best to do so whilst slightly damp or using the steam setting.

Hang your cotton clothes away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Corduroy Care Guide

Corduroy is a material favoured for its durability and velvety touch.

There is no real consensus on the origins of corduroy, but it is thought to have been invented in the Egyptian city of Fustat, where a heavy cotton cloth with a raised sheared nap was created, similar to that of velvet or moleskin.

The cloth was brought to Europe in medieval times by Italian and Spanish merchants. It was used to line gowns for warmth and for a fashionable, padded look. The ridges or ribs – known as “wales”, came about as a means of strengthening the fabric and extending its lifespan. Corduroy can have anywhere from 1.5 to 21 wales per inch, though it is typically between 10 to 12.

At TOAST, we like corduroy for its supple, velvety feel, and its casual, practical look.

How to wash

We recommend to wash your cord inside out and with buttons and zips closed, on 30 degrees or on a cool setting.

Try not to overload your machine to avoid friction. Abrasion to the surface of cord can damage the pile and alter the texture.

How to dry & store

For the best result, shake out cord garments after washing. Smooth down the seams, pockets and plackets and hang to air dry – this will avoid the need to iron your garment.

To store, it is best to hang your cord up.

Denim Care Guide

Denim is a sturdy and durable material that can last for a life time if it is cared for well. It has a distinct twill weave and its double set of yarns make denim extremely hardwearing.

Originally used for sails on boats, denim then went on to be worn as protective workwear by farmers, railway workers and miners. The denim was favoured by workers for its strength and comfort, and characterised by its indigo blue outer.

At TOAST, we like denim for its functional, supple hand feel and the beautiful way in which it ages.

How to wash

We recommend to wash your denim as sparingly as possible, as it will subtly fade overtime.

The gentler you can wash your denim, the better, mirroring a handwash as much as possible. The wool and delicate settings on most machines are best for this.

Before washing, always close zips and buttons and turn your denim inside out, as this will stop the colour from running and will protect your machine drum.

Wash with just a small amount of mild detergent, on 30 degrees or on a cool setting.

When washing, do so with similar colours, and try not to overload your machine to avoid creasing, especially for black denim.

Try to avoid spot cleaning stains and marks, as this can remove areas of colour from your denim, especially for dark indigo.

How to dry & store

When drying your denim, try to avoid wringing, as this can weaken or crush the fibres. Avoid tumble drying and quick spin cycles, and this will preserve the colour and strength of your denim, and stop creasing.

We suggest letting your denim dry as naturally as possible. For best results, gently roll up and press out any excess water. Flatten the garment into shape and line dry or air dry. This will prevent, or at least reduce, the need to iron the garment, whilst retaining its strength.

If necessary, iron when damp on a high steam setting.

Denim can be hung or folded. When hanging, fold over at the knees with the waist hanging down to the floor.

Indigo Care Guide

Many of our accessories, workwear and handmade garments are dyed with indigo. At TOAST, we like using indigo for its deep and rich colour, and for the way it naturally ages.

The history of indigo is culturally diverse and regional traditions are readily identifiable. There are exquisitely beautiful resist-dyes from Japan, ajrakh block printing from Gujarat, bold tie dyes from Cameroon and pleated linen biaudes – smocks – from rural France.

Dyeing with indigo demands of time, labour, resource, precision and skill. The mills we work with to create our indigo-dyed fabrics – one in Japan, one in Turkey – are innovative and, while focused on tradition, thoroughly modern in their approach.

How to wash

Over time, indigo garments will beautifully fade. Because the indigo does not penetrate through the whole yarn in the dyeing process, there will be colour rub at first.

Although indigo is an extremely powerful dye, we recommend washing your garment as little as possible, to avoid fading.

When washing, always turn your indigo garment inside out as this will stop the indigo from running and will protect your machine drum.

Wash with just a small amount of mild detergent, on 30 degrees or on a cool setting.

When washing, do so with similar colours, and try not to overload your machine to avoid creasing. Creasing can create lines on your garment that can be hard to remove.

Try to avoid spot cleaning stains and marks, as this can remove areas of colour from your garment, especially for darker indigo.

How to dry & store

Dry your indigo garment as naturally as possible, without artificial heat.

Similar to denim, try to avoid wringing, as this can weaken or crush the fibres. Avoid tumble drying and quick spin cycles, and this will preserve the colour and strength, and stop the indigo from fading.

For best results, gently roll up and press out any excess water. Flatten the garment into shape and line dry or air dry. This will prevent, or at least reduce, the need to iron the garment, whilst retaining its strength.

Iron when damp on a high steam setting.

Folding can leave creases that are difficult to remove. Try to hand your garment on a padded hanger.

Knitwear Care Guide

All of our knitwear at TOAST is made from natural fibres - from fine merino and heathery wool spun in Scotland to recycled Italian cashmere.

Wool is an extremely sustainable and warm yarn, obtained from the coats of sheep, goats and alpacas. As long as sheep have grass to graze on, they will always produce a yearly fleece, making wool an entirely renewable source, and one hundred percent natural. At the end of its life, wool can return to the soil and quickly break down, providing the earth with nutrients for the future.

Wool fibres are strong, naturally insulating and antibacterial. They can easily be dyed into a range of rich colours. At TOAST, we like wool for its versatility, its cossetting warmth and its diverse history and heritage.

How to wash

Woollen garments hardly ever need washing, as the fibres are breathable and do not absorb odours.

Wool should only be washed when absolutely necessary, and it will last longer the less frequently you wash it. Wool benefits from airing or freezing, which can be just as efficient as washing.

When washing, always use a mild detergent specifically for wool. Wash by hand with cool water, avoiding stretching and pulling whilst doing so. Never leave your garment to soak for too long as this can cause pilling and shrinkage. Rinse through thoroughly with fresh water.

For cashmere garments, hand wash in cold water with a mild detergent. Do not rub the garment together when washing as this can cause felting or alter the texture. Rinse the garment well in clean water and gently squeeze out, without stretching.

We recommend never using a fabric softener when washing your garments, as it can cause pilling.

How to dry & store

Dry the garment flat and placed in its normal shape. If you hand wash your garment, place the damp garment flat on a clean towel, roll the towel up and squeeze out any excess water. Avoid twisting and wringing dry as this can alter the shape of your garment.

To speed up the drying process, you can put your towel-wrapped garment on top of a radiator to warm through.

When storing, never put your wool and cashmere garments away unclean, as this will attract moths. They are drawn to the bacteria, and unclean wool and cashmere garments provide the ideal environment.

To avoid moths, don’t fill up your drawers too much, and take your items out of storage regularly. Placing conkers, cedar wood balls and lavender in your wardrobe can help deter them.

Always fold your knitwear, as hanging can stretch and pull the garment, and cause holes in the shoulders. Draw liners can also help to deter moths.

Pills from both wool and cashmere garments can be easily brushed out with a comb.

Leather Care Guide

At TOAST, many of our shoes and accessories are made from natural leather. Each different type of leather has subtle variations in colour and texture, and many have been tanned using vegetable dyes – a more environmentally friendly process of tanning that is recyclable.

Leather is durable and hardwearing, and over time it develops a beautiful patina that darkens gradually.

Looking after your leather

Before exposure to moisture, you can apply a leather/suede protector to your shoes or boots (we recommend Scotchgard) to prevent rain marking the leather. However, many scuffs and marks can be renovated by polishing with the correct products - your footwear will look all the better for it.

Many of our shoes and boots are made with leather soles which provide a beautiful finish but may be a little slippery until they are well worn in. Do take extra care when walking, especially on stairs. Leather soles are a natural product and are porous in wet conditions. Leave wet shoes to dry naturally, never by artificial heat. The addition of a rubber sole and heel pieces by a cobbler will help extend the life of your leather soles and will provide extra protection.

When you’re not wearing your shoes or boots, fill them with tissue or newspaper to help keep their shape.

How to clean polished & matt leather

You can clean your polished leather with a neutral cream polish or a correctly matched traditional coloured polish. We recommend Kiwi shoe polish which comes in a range of colours. Apply with a soft brush and polish off with a different soft brush. A final shine can be given by buffing with a soft cloth.

Be sure to never use a polish on matt leather because you will make it shiny. Instead, we recommend using a saddle soap to clean your matt leather footwear. A good saddle soap is Belvoir Glycerine.

First, clean the footwear with a damp sponge to remove any dirt and allow to dry. When dry, take a very slightly damp sponge and rub it on the saddle soap to get a covering of very slightly soapy residue that you can then apply (if your sponge is too wet, the soap will get very foamy and the final effect will not be so good).

Always leave your leather to dry naturally.

A natural leather wax can be used on accessories to treat the leather and give it a burnished shine.

Linen Care Guide

Linen is made from the durable fibres of flax plants. One of the strongest fibres in existence, flax naturally resists bacteria and is very hardwearing. The Ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians were the first to develop linen. It was initially reserved for the wealthy, because of the labour-intensive process of growing the crop, combined with the skill required to weave it. It was often left at its natural oatmeal colour or bleached white.

The flax plant today is mainly grown in Northern France and Belgium, and every part of the plant is used in production, down to the seeds and oils. Due to its biodegradable qualities, linen is favoured by many for its low impact on the environment. At TOAST, we like linen for its crumpled, worn-in feel, its light weight and coolness during summer months.

How to wash

Linen is a strong fabric that becomes softer with wear and wash. Most linen can be washed in the machine, but finer linen might require handwashing.

Always wash your linen inside out to prevent the surface fibres from breaking. Wash at 30 degrees or on a cool setting.

Linen is a very absorbent fabric, so for a better wash try not to fill the machine too full, to allow your garments to soak up the water properly.

How to dry & store

Avoid tumble-drying your linen. We suggest line drying your linen on a hanger, as soon as you can after washing. Reshape and iron your garment inside out and whilst damp - both of which will reducing creasing.

Be careful of pressing around creases and seams with the iron as this can weaken the fabric, and avoid extremely high temperatures, as this can scorch linen fibres.

Silk Care Guide

Silk is a luxurious and fine yet strong fabric with a natural sheen. Discovered in China, the oldest example of silk dates back to over 8,000 years ago. It was once reserved for emperors and the elite, and was initially used as currency as well as clothing. Different colours of dyed silk were used to differentiate status and societal roles.

Silk is produced by many insects, but it is mainly made by the Bombyx ‘silk’ moth. Ironically, the silk moth is closely related to the same type of moth that can cause havoc and damage to our most precious silk garments and collections.

The farming of silk, known as sericulture, has been practiced for thousands of years, predominantly in China where the production process was long guarded as a national secret. At TOAST, we like silk for its luxurious hand feel and for its ability to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer.

How to wash

Silk is a very delicate fabric that should be cleaned with care and attention. We recommend that our silk is dry cleaned, and that the care labels are carefully followed.

If the care label suggests handwashing, do so with cool water and with a mild liquid detergent, rather than powder. Silk should never be soaked in water for longer than five minutes.

When handwashing, the water used must be cool as heat can damage the silk, shrink it and alter the texture. Rinse through thoroughly with fresh water.

How to dry & store

Silk should be left to dry in the open air and away from direct sunlight, as this can damage the fibres and cause the colour to fade.

Should your garment require ironing, do so with the garment inside out, on a low temperature and do not use steam.

It is best to hang your silk up. Try not to keep your silk garments in plastic covers, as these can harbour heat and moisture. Store in a dry place and use canvas garment bags where possible. Be careful of snagging your silk on jewellery or zips.

Velvet Care Guide

Velvet is a soft, luxurious fabric that is thought to have originated in the East during the Middle Ages.

Velvet was traditionally woven from silk, enhancing its trademark lustre. It can also be made from cotton, wool and viscose, each resulting in a slightly different texture and sheen. Often, one type of yarn is used for the back, and another for the front, known as the pile. The raised loops and tufts of yarn are perfectly distributed to give the fabric a luxurious density and distinctive feel.

At TOAST we like velvet for its sumptuous and soft feel, and for it's soft shine that catches the light.

How to wash

When your velvet requires cleaning, we recommend to dry clean. This will protect the fabric finish as well as the interior structure of the garment.

You can freshen your velvet garment by using steam, or leaving in a steamy bathroom. This will help remove odours, lift the pile if it has been crushed, and remove creases. Always steam your velvet garments inside out and allow to air dry at room temperature.

How to dry & store

Velvet should always be hung, not folded. Folding will leave creases that are difficult to remove. Use a sturdy, preferably padded, hanger to prevent shoulder marks and avoid sagging.

For long-term storage, always use a breathable, washable fabric storage bag.

Viscose Care Guide

Viscose is a biodegradable material that can be produced from a variety of plants such as soy, bamboo and wood pulp.

Viscose was discovered by British chemists, and was the first manufactured fibre to be produced in large quantities. It was initially marketed as a more affordable and accessible alternative to silk.

Viscose fibres and yarns are usually woven or knitted into smooth and soft fabric. This makes them ideal for hot, humid climates. At TOAST, we like viscose for its drapiness and movement, and for its ability to carry intricate prints and rich colour.

How to wash

We recommend that viscose is washed by hand, as it is prone to shrinking. Some viscose is dry clean only, as the twisting that occurs in the washing machine can cause damage to the fibres.

When washing by hand, use cool water, or water no warmer than 20 degrees.

How to dry & store

Line dry your viscose and reshape it whilst still damp, and avoid tumble drying. Allow to air dry flat or on a padded hanger.

Be careful not to wring or twist your viscose. You can easily iron back to shape whilst damp, as viscose grows with steam.

Cotton bags that allow airflow are ideal for storing viscose clothing.

Block Printing

Block printing is a centuries-old craft. Though it might be the simplest and slowest of all textile printing methods, it yields some of the most beautiful results.

The technique demands precision and patience: each block is skilfully hand carved then carefully, laboriously, lined up by eye upon the fabric. It is these human processes that result, inevitably, in slight irregularities. A machine-printed fabric might, by contrast, be perfectly executed, yet it is somehow always a little flat, lacking the inherent liveliness of a hand printed piece.

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Ikat

Ikat is an age-old technique of patterning cloth. The word itself derives from the Malay-Indonesian ‘mengikat’, meaning to tie or bind.

The making of the pattern consists in the precise tying and dying of the threads before weaving. It’s a process demanding skill, patience, organisation and precision yet its beauty, antithetically, lies in the impossibility of perfect execution and the consequent hazy, slightly blurred edges of the motifs.

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Kantha

The kantha cloths, typical of Bangladesh and West Bengal, are an ancient tradition of resourcefulness and fine stitchery. The word kantha itself derives from the Sanskrit for ‘rags’, a reminder of the humble materials from which each kantha is made.

Layers of old, discarded saris and dhotis form the kantha, held together through intricate rows of running stitch. Embroidered stitches unite the multiple layers of salvaged cotton to form an un-wadded quilt, and characterise the kantha with a pleasing regularity.

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