Take some hints from this guide on how to wash your clothes properly to extend their lives and to keep them looking great for as long as possible.
Cotton and linen
Most of the cotton clothing, that you buy, is generally preshrunk to avoid excessive shrinkage later on, however hot water and harsh detergents should still be avoided. As for cotton clothing which is not preshrunk, stick to hand washing only and that too with mild detergents.
Linen, with is made from firm flax plant fibers, looks good only when it stays crisp. Machine washing and hot water can damage the firmness of the fiber and take away the crispness, and although most people will suggest you to dry clean linen, a mild hand wash is also suitable.
Synthetic and semi-synthetic
Nylon, spandex, polyester and acrylic are some of the synthetic fabrics used extensively in fashion clothing, and in terms of wash care they are the best, because you can wash them the way you like, without really causing any damage to them.
Rayon is one of the semi-synthetic fabrics, and to keep it in good shape and to keep the color intact, dry cleaning should be on ideal choice. However, you can also wash it separately in cold water with a mild detergent. Avoid mixing it with your other wash load as the color of this fabric often bleeds.
Pure silk and wool
Silk is truly a luxurious fabric and if you ensure proper care, it can prove to be very durable as well. Machine wash is definitely not advisable, however if you want to skip the dry cleaning then a cold water hand wash with some mild detergent can be tried. Do follow it up with a laundry conditioner to restore its natural texture.
The normal sheep or goat wool is quite resilient and can be easily washed in the washer using cold water. However, for all the delicate varieties of wool, such as angora and pashmina, dry cleaning is the best option to avoid shrinkage.