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The Whistles Product Care Guide

Taking proper care of your garments can add years to their lifespan, which is great for both the environment and your wardrobe. From washing silk to essential leather maintenance, keep reading for our definitive guide on caring for your favourite Whistles pieces.

FOOTWEAR

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We use only the highest quality leathers, suedes and other materials to produce our range of footwear, however occasionally slight marks and variations in surface colour and texture can occur in our products. This is an inherent characteristic of natural materials which may develop further during wear. Such marks should not be mistaken for faults, as it is part of the unique appeal of leather.
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To help maintain the appearance of your shoes, and to prolong their life, they should be cared for using the following products and advice. Always patch test a small non-visible area when using a new care product.

Leather shoes

Dust and dirt should be removed prior to cleaning with a neutral leather cream.

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New leather shoes can be softened slightly by putting on a pair of socks and then using a hairdryer to the warm areas that are tight. The heat from the hairdryer will gently soften the leather.

Suede shoes

Remove dust and dirt before cleaning. A crepe brush should be used to gently and carefully remove any marks in the suede. Suede is a natural dyed product and cannot be entirely colourfast, so some loss of colour may be experienced during wear.

Embellished shoes

Particular care must be taken while wearing or cleaning embellished shoes. Beads and studs may be lost or damaged if caught or snagged.

Heels

Heel tips are a replaceable component and can be easily refitted by a good cobbler. Do not allow them to wear down beyond the repairable heel level as this can cause irreparable damage.

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Thin and delicate heels must be worn with extra care. Wearing stiletto heels on uneven or abrasive surfaces, or when driving may weaken the shoes and spoil the leather sole or other components of the shoe.

Calfskin shoes

Hair on the leather naturally varies in length and direction. Colour can also vary within the product because dye reacts differently on different parts of the skin. Hair loss will occur if continual rubbing is experienced on the surface of the product, for example: on the back of a shoe while driving. Clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.

Patent leather shoes

Clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth and dry thoroughly to get a smear-free finish.

Fabric shoes

Dust and dirt should be removed before cleaning with a rubber brush or fabric foam cleaner. Fabric shoes are not ideal for use in wet weather.

Leather soles

Due to the porous nature of leather, a leather sole will naturally absorb some water during use. With this in mind, we do not recommend that you wear such shoes in very wet conditions. A leather sole will wear away after general use, making it necessary to have the shoe resoled by a cobbler as often as required.

Other footwear materials

Materials such as cork and wood naturally absorb water so should not be worn in very wet conditions.

Handbags

Please take care not to overfill your bag as it may lose its shape and cause damage to the handles.

Bags embellished with beads and studs can be especially delicate. Please take particular care when wearing them as scuffing may damage them.

Leave wet handbags to dry naturally, never use artificial heat. Stuffing with newspaper will help maintain the shape of your bag whilst drying.

Store your bag in its original dust bag to protect it.

Leather handbags

Dust and dirt should be removed prior to cleaning with a neutral leather cream. Moisturise your bag using a leather moisturiser or balsam to prevent flaking and wrinkling.

If your leather bag gets excessively wet it is important not to dry it too quickly or to let it get ‘bone’ dry as this will lead to the leather becoming hard and brittle. Dab some balm or neatsfoot oil onto a cloth, gently rub over the item and then wipe away any excess. Dry in an airy room, but not directly on a heater.

Suede handbags

Remove dust and dirt before cleaning. A crepe brush should be used to gently and carefully remove any marks in the suede. Suede is a natural dyed product and cannot be entirely colourfast, so some loss of colour may be experienced during wear.

Calfskin handbags

Hair on the leather naturally varies in length and direction. Colour can also vary within the product because the dye reacts differently on different parts of the skin. Hair loss will occur if continual rubbing is experienced on the surface of the product. Clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.

Patent leather handbags

Clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth and dry thoroughly to get a smear-free finish.

Fabric handbags

Dust and dirt should be removed before cleaning with a rubber brush or fabric foam cleaner. Fabric handbags are not ideal for use in wet weather.

BELTS
Leather belts

Dust and dirt should be removed prior to cleaning with a neutral leather cream.

Suede belts

Remove dust and dirt before cleaning. A crepe brush should be used to gently and carefully remove any marks in the suede. Suede is a natural dyed product and cannot be entirely colourfast, so some loss of colour may be experienced during wear.

Calfskin belts

Hair on the leather naturally varies in length and direction. Colour can also vary within the product because the dye reacts differently on different parts of the skin. Hair loss will occur if continual rubbing is experienced on the surface of the product. Clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth.

Fabric belts

Dust and dirt should be removed before cleaning with a rubber brush or fabric foam cleaner.

Costume and precious metal jewellery

Jewellery should not be worn in a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna or steam room, or while bathing or showering. Chlorine, detergents, oils and perfumes can all cause tarnishing and damage.

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Makeup, perfume and hairspray all contain chemicals which may dull the finish of jewellery. Gently wipe jewellery clean with a soft cloth after each wear to remove any makeup.

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Coil your necklaces to prevent damage in storage and always dry jewellery after exposure to water, as moisture can cause tarnishing and affect the performance of clasps.

Silver jewellery

Silver reacts with hydrogen sulphide present in the air, causing it to tarnish over time. This can be easily removed by cleaning with a quality silver polish and using a soft, clean cloth.

Gold jewellery

Most gold jewellery can be maintained with a non-abrasive gold cleaner. Avoid exposing gold jewellery to household bleach, which will cause gold to discolour. Store gold jewellery in a suitably lined box or pouch.

Sunglasses

Clean your sunglasses with the soft microfibre cloth that comes with the glasses case. This cloth has been specially developed for cleaning lenses.

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Store your sunglasses in the case provided and avoid putting them face down on any surface as this may scratch the lenses. Use soap and water when cleaning your sunglasses and avoid using any solvents or alcohol.

Garment Care
Whites

Keeping your whites bright and white will ensure you wear them longer, so it’s a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. The following tips will help you to brighten older pieces and keep new ones fresh:

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Tip 1: Pre-treat stains using 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Put this solution on the stained area and wash as per care label instructions.

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Tip 2: Add ? a cup of baking soda to your wash cycle.

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Tip 3: Add ? cup of lemon juice or 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to your wash.

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Tip 4: Add water softener to your wash cycle.

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Tip 5: Only wash white garments with other white items.

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Tip 6: Separate items by fabric type (you will find the fabric composition on the wash care label located inside the garment):

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? Wash acetates with acrylics

? Wash linen and cotton together

? Wash wool on its own

? Delicates should be washed by hand

SILK

Always read the garment care label before attempting to clean a silk garment. Some Whistles silk garments are dry clean only, while others can be hand washed.

Please note: all Whistles printed silk garments are dry clean only.

Washing plain coloured silk

Garment shrinkage is often a result of water being too hot. So gentle hand washing in cold or lukewarm water will reduce the likelihood of shrinkage happening. Do a small patch test in an inconspicuous area of the item to check for potential shrinkage and colour fastness before you hand wash, and never mix colours in case the dyes transfer from one garment to another.

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Follow this step-by-step guide to washing your silk garments and they will last for years:

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Step 1: Using a clean bowl, dissolve a small amount of Mr Black’s Delicate Wash detergent (or other suitable detergent) into lukewarm water at a max temperature of 30°C.

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Step 2: Add the garment and gently agitate it, very lightly rubbing any stains.

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Step 3: Gently squeeze the excess washing water out (do not wring or twist as this will damage the fabric).

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Step 4: Rinse the item in lukewarm water until all soap residue has been removed. You can add a few tablespoons of distilled white vinegar to the rinse water to neutralise alkali traces and dissolve soap residue.

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Step 5: Lay the garment on a clean dry towel and gently press the water out of the fabric by rolling it up in the towel.

Drying silk

Gently pull damp garments to shape, then lay flat to dry. Silk garments can be air dried but it is important to keep them away from direct sunlight (to avoid fibre damage or colour fade).

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Warning – be sure to avoid:

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? Drying clothes directly on a wooden drying rack, as the wood finishes can leave stains
? Drying on a radiator as the heat can cause the silk to shrink and cause the fabric to dull (this can also be a fire hazard)
? Using a tumble dryer as it can damage the silk

Ironing silk

To minimise the need to iron silk garments, hang them in the bathroom when you have a shower as the humidity will help the creases drop out.

If it is necessary to iron silk, follow these steps to avoid damage:

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Step 1: Set the iron to cool.

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Step 2: Turn the garment inside out and press whilst damp. Do not wet areas of dry silk as this may cause water marks.

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Step 3: Use a clean, soft, lint free and light coloured pressing cloth between the iron and the garment.

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Step 4: Take care! Too much heat can cause the silk to become dull, pucker, or burn.

Silk care tips

? Do not let hair sprays or perfumes get onto the silk as it will damage the fabric
? Do not wash silk too frequently – we advise using a refresher such as Mr Black’s Delicate Refresh, or air it on a hanger (but do ensure it is hung away from direct sunlight)
? Only iron when absolutely necessary – hang to allow creases to drop out

Viscose

Always read the garment care label before cleaning a viscose garment. Some Whistles viscose garments are dry clean only, while others can be hand washed.

Viscose is a semi-synthetic fibre made up of regenerated cellulose. It has a high absorbency, is highly breathable and is prone to shrinking up to 5% when washed. Please ensure you follow the wash care label carefully to ensure the garment lasts for its optimum lifespan.

Washing your viscose garment

Hand Wash

If your wash care label instructs to cold hand wash:

Step 1: Using a clean bowl, dissolve a small amount of Mr Black’s Delicate Wash detergent (or other suitable detergent) into lukewarm water at a max temperature of 30°C.

Step 2: Submerge the item and gently agitate with your hands, ensuring the soap is evenly distributed.

Step 3: Leave to soak for up to 20 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse the item well with cool water. Do not wring, instead, press the water out of the item.

Step 5:Your item will have a different feel now it is wet due to the high absorbency qualities of the fibres. (Once this is dry and ironed the texture will return to its original quality.)

Machine Wash

If your care label instructs to delicate machine wash:

Step 1: Turn the viscose item inside out.

Step 2: Ideally place your item in a mesh/guppy bag – this helps to prevent snags and damage to the item.

Step 3: Add Mr Black’s delicate washing detergent (or other suitable detergent) to your machine according to the load size (try not to include other items such as jeans that may increase agitation).

Step 4: Select the delicate machine wash cycle on your washing machine, ensuring the temperature is not above 30 degrees and has a very low spin cycle.

Step 5: Your item will have a different hand feel now it is wet due to the high absorbency qualities of the fibres. (Once this is dry and ironed the texture will return to its original quality.)

Drying Viscose

Step 1:Lay garments in their natural shapes to dry. Do not use heat or put them in the tumble dryer.

Step 2:To remove the creases, turn the item inside out and ensure the iron is set to a cool setting. Place a damp cloth between your item and the iron, this will help reduce the creases and help to prevent glazing at the seams.

Polyester

Always read the garment care label before attempting to clean a polyester garment. Some Whistles polyester garments are dry clean only, while others can be machine washed.

Polyester is a synthetic fibre, which is durable and resilient thanks to the strong man made fibres. It washes well, dries quickly and is crease resistant. Please ensure you follow the wash care label carefully to ensure the garment lasts for its optimum lifespan.

Washing your polyester garment

If your wash care label advises a delicate machine wash:

Step 1: Pre-treat any oil based stains prior to machine washing. Spot clean with detergent/stain remover and thoroughly rinse garments before washing.

Step 2: Turn the polyester item inside out. Ideally place your item in a mesh/guppy bag – this helps to prevent snags and damage to the item.

Step 3: Do not overload the machine – garments should be able move freely. Wash similar colours together.

Step 4: Add Mr Black’s washing detergent (or other suitable detergent) to your machine according to the load size. You can also add fabric softener as this helps reduce staticness.

Step 5:Select the 30 degrees machine wash cycle on your washing machine.

Hand Wash

If your care label instructs to hand wash:

Step 1: Using a clean bowl, dissolve a small amount of Mr Black’s Delicate Wash detergent (or other suitable detergent) into lukewarm water at a max temperature of 30°C.

Step 2: Submerge the item and gently agitate with your hands, ensuring the soap is evenly distributed.

Step 3: Leave to soak for up to 20 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse the item well with cool water. Do not wring, instead, press the water out of the item

Drying Process

Step 1: Hang or line dry. Please read the care label as to whether to avoid direct sunlight due to the garment colour/print.

Step 2: Do not dry with heat or in a tumble dryer as it may cause gradual shrinkage.

Step 3: To remove the creases, turn the item inside out and apply a warm iron on reverse.

GreenEarth Cleaning

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GreenEarth are leading the way when it comes to sustainable dry-cleaning, using a process that replaces the hazardous petrochemical solvents traditionally used with liquid silicone. Liquid silicone is an odourless solution with ideal properties for fabric care that is also better for the environment.
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The benefits of using GreenEarth
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-GreenEarth dry cleaning is effective and gentle, meaning your clothes will still feel soft and wearable.
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-It is 100% odour free, non-allergenic and non-irritating.
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-Perfect for delicate, embellished fabrics, as well as leather and suede.
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-100% non toxic to people or to the environment.
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There are now 200 Johnsons in the UK who can offer GreenEarth, plus 183 Waitrose where customers can drop off dry cleaning and Jeeves of Belgravia.
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To find out more about GreenEarth and to find your nearest store visit the GreenEarth global store locator.

Repairs

At Whistles we take great pride in the design and craftsmanship of all our products. We source the finest materials and seek out the highest manufacturing standards, striving to make sure every item we sell is perfect. In the unlikely event that a Whistles product does not match up to our high standards, we will try our hardest to address the problem.
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If an element of your item has been lost or damaged, for example, a button, zip, popper or buckle etc, please contact your nearest standalone Whistles store or our Customer Care team on enquiries@whistles.com. We will then endeavour to repair the item at no cost to yourself, provided it is within 6 months of purchase.
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If your item is older than 6 months, you will be contacted by either the Customer Care team or an independent repair centre with a quote for the work, and you will be asked if you wish to proceed with the repair for a nominal fee.
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At our St Christopher’s Place store, we also offer a bridal alteration service with Sewnright on our Whistles Wedding product*. This usually consists of two fittings. At the first fitting the customer will be talked through what alterations need to be done to achieve the perfect fit, and the second will review the alterations.
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*The alteration is paid for in full by the customer. You will be asked to pay 50% of the fee at the first fitting, and the balance on the following fitting.

Leather product guarantee and repairs - Clothing and bags

Our leather clothing and bags carry a 12-month guarantee. If within this period you find a fault with your product, we offer a repair or replacement service at no extra cost to you. If you find an issue with your product within the guarantee period, please contact Whistles Customer Care or your local standalone Whistles store, who will be able to advise you. Original proof of purchase will be required.
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If the product is still in the guarantee period and a repair is possible, any work will be carried out free of charge. The repair service is also available outside of the guarantee period for a nominal fee.

Assessing a Leather repair

The simplest way to arrange a repair of an item is to take it into one of our Whistles standalone stores. The store team will take a few details and arrange to have your item sent to our technical services team in head office for assessment. If you are unable to get to a store you can also contact Whistles Customer Care on enquiries@whistles.com and they will assist you on the best way to proceed.

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If after assessment your item can be repaired, you will be contacted by either Customer services or the technical team with a quote for the work (if applicable), and you will be asked if you wish to proceed with the repair. If your item is still inside the guarantee period and you have proof of purchase, you will not be charged for the repair.

Repair timescales

Our repair timescales vary depending upon the exact nature of repair required and the wear and tear of your item. We always take the very best care of your item, and it may need more time and skill to repair an item that has aged over time. The process may take anything from 2-4 weeks

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