1. Does frequent drycleaning shorten the life of a garment?
To the contrary, frequent cleaning prolongs the life of a garment. Not only do stains set with age making the garment unwearable, but ground in dirt and soil act as an abrasive, like sand paper causing rapid wear to the fibres. Also, insects are attracted to soiled clothes and will cause further damage.
2. The care label on a jumper indicates hand washable. Can I wash it in a machine on a delicate cycle?
There is some risk involved in using any care process not recommended by the manufacturer. Hand washing involves manual removal of soils with water, detergent and gentle squeezing action. A care label that calls for machine washing, in a delicate or gentle cycle, indicates that the soil can be removed with water, detergent or soap, slow agitation and reduced time in a washing machine.
Hand washing is a restrictive care process that minimizes the abrasion a garment receives in cleaning. If hand-washable garments are machine washed in a gentle cycle, agitation may be further reduced by placing the item in a net bag. Even this procedure is in violation of the care label instruction and places responsibility on the cleaner rather than the manufacturer.