Care guides

Sustainable care guide

Footwear

Whistles use only the highest quality leathers, suedes and other materials to produce our range of premium footwear. Slight marks and variations in surface colour and texture are an inherent characteristic of these materials which will develop during wear. These should not be mistaken as a fault as they are part of the unique appeal of leather.

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.

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

Suede Shoes

Remove dust and dirt before cleaning. A crepe brush should be used gently to carefully remove any marks in the suede. Suede is a natural dyed product and cannot be entirely colourfast. 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 and snagged.

Heels

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

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

Leather Soles

Due to the porous nature, a leather sole will absorb some water. For this reason we do not recommend that they should be worn in very wet conditions. A leather sole will wear away (even under normal conditions) making it necessary to re-sole regularly.

Leave wet shoes to dry naturally (never dry by artificial heat). The use of a shoetree will help maintain the shape of your shoes.

Calfskin (hair on cowhide upper) shoes

Hair on the leather 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 - i.e. the back of the 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 leather’s porous nature, a leather sole will absorb some water. This in mind we do not recommend that you wear these shoes in wet conditions. A leather sole will wear away after general use, making it necessary to re-sole the shoe at a cobbler as often as required.

Other 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 handbag 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 using artificial heat. Stuffing with newspaper will help maintain the shape of your bag while drying.

Store your bag in its original dustbag 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 garment 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 gently to carefully remove any marks in the suede. Suede is a natural dyed product and cannot be entirely colourfast. Some loss of colour may be experienced during wear.

Calfskin (hair on cowhide upper) handbags

Hair on the leather 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 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

Fabric Belts

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

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 gently to carefully remove any marks in the suede. Suede is a natural dyed product and cannot be entirely colourfast. Some loss of colour may be experienced during wear.

Calfskin (hair on cowhide upper) belts

Hair on the leather 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.

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

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

Silver jewellery

Silver reacts with the 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 inside the glasses case. This cloth has been specially developed for cleaning lenses.

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.


Whites

Keeping your whites 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:

Option one: 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.

Option two: Add ½ a cup of baking soda to your wash cycle.

Option three: Add ½ cup of lemon juice or 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to your wash.

Option four: Adding water softener to your wash cycle.

Option five: Separate fabric by type:

    • Wash acetates with acrylics.

    • Wash linen and cotton together.

    • Wash wool on its own.

    • Delicates should be washed by hand

Silk

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

Washing silk

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 to check for potential shrinkage and colour fastness before hand washing, and never mix colours in case the dyes run.

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

• Using a clean bowl, dissolve a small amount of Mr Black’s Delicate Wash detergent into lukewarm water at a max temperature of 30°C.

• Add the garment and gently agitate it, very lightly rubbing any stains.

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

• 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 to dissolve soap residue.

• 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

Silk garments can be air dried but it is important to keep them away from direct sunlight (to avoid fibre damage or colour fade).

Warning - make sure you avoid:

• 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 (and is a fire hazard).

• Using a tumble dryer as it can damage the silk.

Ironing silk

To avoid ironing silk garments hang them in the bathroom when you have a shower as the humidity helps the creases drop out.

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

• Set the iron to cool.

• Turn the garment inside out and press whilst damp. Do not wet areas of dry silk as this may cause ring marks.

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

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

Silk care tips

• Do not let hairsprays 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 ensure it is hung away from direct sunlight).

• Only iron when absolutely necessary – hang to allow creases to drop out.


Cashmere

Whistles Cashmere guide


Leather

Whistles Leather care guide