How to Fold Clothes – The Right Way to Fold T-Shirts, Jeans, Socks & More

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We’ve teamed up with LG STUDIO to share our top tips and tricks for laundry success, starting with the appliances. Our pick: The LG STUDIO WashTower, which has built-in technology that selects just the right cycle for your wash-and-rinse routine. And don’t forget their Styler—it’s the perfect laundry room plus-one for refreshing your favorite garments, pillows, plush toys, and more.


Folding clothes can feel like the final mile of a long-distance race: It’s tempting to drop out, which is why we so often end up with piles of clean but yet to-be-folded clothes. However, this last laundry step is just as important as the actual laundering. Proper folding will keep your clothes wrinkle-free and looking their best. Plus, tidily folded clothes make it easier to keep your drawers and closets organized.

Not sure where to get started? We’ll show you how to fold every type of clothing in your closet—from everyday T-shirts to bulky sweaters—like an absolute pro. But first, a few quick tips to set you up for laundry success…

Photo by Rocky Luten

It All Starts With the Dryer

The key to neatly folding anything lies in the transition from drying your clothes to folding them, so keep these two things in mind:

  • First, don’t overload the dryer, which prevents clothes from tumbling properly and can lead to uneven drying or excess wrinkling.
  • Second, don’t over-dry your clothes: Take the laundry out when it’s just-nearly dry. Then, start folding immediately to prevent wrinkles.

Of course, we all forget things in the dryer, which is where steam comes in handy. If your laundry room is equipped with something like the nifty LG STUDIO Styler (which uses gentle steam to sanitize, deodorize, and de-wrinkle laundry), you can just pop wrinkled clothing in there and see those wrinkles fade in minutes. It’s also useful for those barely worn garments that you plan to wear again before laundering. Simply run the garment through a cycle in the Styler and it will be ready to be refolded and put away (this is an especially good option for sweaters, which can be worn many times before washing).

Shirts

Marie Kondo’s style of folding and storing clothes upright like files isn’t just a passing trend. Folding your clothes into small, tidy packets lets you see all your shirts at once and saves so much space. In our experience, it’s best suited to T-shirts, but this fold will work on long-sleeve tees, button-front shirts (button them first), polo shirts, and even tanks.

If you’re a true minimalist or have acres of drawer space, the usual stack of shirts might work just fine (follow our sweater-folding technique below), but for the rest of us, consider making the switch to “filing” your shirts vertically.

Step 1: Lay the shirt flat, with its front side facing down. Then, fold the arms back and down next to the outside of the shirt body.

Step 2: Fold one side of the shirt in towards the center. Repeat on the opposite side, covering the first sleeve.

Step 3: You should now have a long narrow rectangle with the shirt folded into thirds. Next, fold the top and bottom in to meet at the midpoint.

Step 4: Fold in half again to form a neat, rectangular packet. Store vertically with the folded edge facing up. A drawer-full of shirts folded this way should look a little something like this.

Turtlenecks

When folding turtlenecks, you’ll vary the shirt-folding technique slightly to accommodate the shirt’s neck.

Step 1: Lay the shirt flat, with its front side facing down. Then, fold the arms back and down next to the outside of the shirt body. Fold the turtleneck down flat toward the center of the garment, too.

Step 2: Fold one side of the shirt in towards the center, using the neck as a guide for your vertical fold. Repeat on the opposite side.

Step 3: You should now have a long narrow rectangle the width of the shirt’s neck, with the shirt folded approximately into thirds. Next, fold the top and bottom in to meet at the midpoint.

Step 4: Fold in half again to form a neat, rectangular packet. Store vertically with the folded edge facing up.

Sweaters

For sweaters, which are most often stored on shelves or flat in drawers, you’ll fold the sweater like it would be displayed in a store (this is a simpler version of the folding technique described above). Folding a sweater this way takes a little more time than just folding it into quarters, but it will prevent a crease from forming down the center of the sweater’s front.

Step 1: Lay the shirt flat, with its front side facing down. Fold the arms in so they lie flat and parallel to the shirt’s sides.

Step 2: Fold one side in towards the center of the back of the sweater. Repeat on the opposite side, so they meet, but do not overlap.

Step 3: Fold the sweater in half and stack. (If you have an extra-long sweater, you can fold into thirds.)

Pants & Jeans

Pants are pretty straightforward to fold. The one consideration you need to make is if you’ll do them in thirds or quarters. For longer pants or narrower drawers, a quarter fold might be better than thirds. Try to match your finished folded pants to the size of your drawer so they can stack neatly.

Step 1: Straighten out the front pockets by pushing your hand into each one so it lays flat against the front of the pants.

Step 2: Fold the pants in half vertically so the front side faces out. Pull and smooth at the seams to get the pants very flat.

Step 3: Fold the bottom cuff up one-third of the way (or in half, if you are folding into quarters). If folding shorts, fold the cuff up to the desired final size (extra short shorts or kid shorts may not require folding—just stack ‘em!).

Step 4: Fold the top portion down to cover the folded-up lower leg (or fold in half again).

Overalls

For overalls, the trick to keeping things tidy is to hide the bib with your folding. Here’s how:

Step 1: Clip the shoulder straps, button the sides, and straighten out the front pockets.

Step 2: Lay the overalls flat, with the front side facing up. Fold the bib down at the waist, so it lays flat on top of the front of the pants.

Step 3: Fold the pants in half vertically so the bib part is covered by the pant legs. Pull and smooth, especially at the groin seam to get it very flat.

Step 3: Fold the bottom cuff up one-third of the way (or in half, if you are folding into quarters).

Step 4: Fold the top portion down to cover the folded up lower leg (or fold in half again).

Socks

There are many ways to fold socks, but our preferred method is to fold them inside themselves into a neat bundle. This way socks stay together even through the most rigorous drawer rummaging. Critics will say that this stretches out the top of the socks, but this is most often a problem with 100-percent cotton socks, which are rare to find these days. And in our experience, socks tend to get holes long before the cuffs stretch out.

Step 1: Lay one sock flat on top of the other sock.

Step 2: Holding the socks together at the top, open one sock and turn it inside-out over both socks.

Step 3: You can usually fold about a third of the sock in on the first turn. Use your finger to push the rest of the socks inside, trying to keep them neat and flat.



What are your top laundry-folding tricks? Tell us in the comments!

Reinvent your laundry routine with high-tech appliances from our friends at LG STUDIO. Their space-saving WashTower is perfect for laundry rooms big and small, thanks to a compact vertical design and neat features like the TurboWash™ 360, which powers through even your largest loads in a swift 30 minutes. To keep your garments (and other treasured items) clean and fresh in between washes, the LG STUDIO Styler has you covered—it uses the gentle power of steam to deodorize, sanitize, de-wrinkle, and then some.





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