Fabric and Care Tips for Blouses

Blouses are a key item in most women’s wardrobes. Not only are women’s blouses stylish and feminine, but they are often made with fabrics that drape well on the body, are easy to match with other garments, and are flattering. There are numerous blouses out there to choose from, in a range of fabrics. Let’s look at the different blouse fabrics you’ll encounter, why you would choose each, and general tips on how to care for your blouses.

Blouse fabrics

Blouses can be fashioned from pretty much any fabric, however most often you’ll encounter blouses made from light fabrics that drape well, such as silk, viscose, polyester, cotton, nylon, or a blend of any of these.

Blouses need to be made with reasonably lightweight fabrics so that they ‘blouse out’ and offer that airy, feminine look they are so well known for. Each of these fabrics mentioned below fall into this category, and are commonly fashioned into women’s blouses.


Silk is a classic fabric for women’s blouses. Made from animal-derived fibres, silk fibres are said to be one of the strongest natural fibres out there, and make silk durable. Silk is soft and luxurious to wear, and has a natural sheen. It is also breathable and moisture wicking, can cool your skin in warm weather and also keep it warm during the cold, and is considered hypoallergenic. Silk is best hand washed.


Viscose is commonly used as a substitute for natural silk. Viscose is a semi-synthetic material, derived from cellulose (usually from wood pulp). It is breathable, soft and drapes well. It can also be easily dyed, which makes it a popular choice for blouse manufacturers, as many colours and prints are possible. Viscose absorbs moisture, so it can be a good fabric choice for summer. It’s also quite skin-friendly, since it is made from natural materials.


Polyester is a synthetic fabric, made from petroleum-based chemicals. Polyester fibres are lightweight, wrinkle resistant, and with proper care, durable. Polyester is stain resistant and it  dries quickly, so is a very convenient material for a blouse, as you don’t need to wait long after washing before you can wear your top. Polyester is not very breathable, so you do need to wash it regularly to prevent odour build up.


Cotton is a plant-derived material that is a popular fabric in women’s blouses, due to its ease of care, breathability and durability. Cotton garments can last a very long time, and only soften the more you wear them. Like silk, cotton is considered hypoallergenic. Cotton doesn’t have a lot of stretch, so is often mixed with synthetic fibres with more stretch, ensuring you have the best of both worlds. For a blouse, cotton may feel a little more stiff than a viscose or polyester blouse, but it depends on the thickness of the cotton fabric and blouse design.


Satin is a weave of different fabrics that traditionally included silk, but now may include silk, polyester, cotton or other fibres. Satin has a smooth feel and elegant sheen, which looks sophisticated at formal events. Satin is lightweight and wrinkle resistant.

There are many other blouse fabrics we haven’t included in the list above. Which blouse fabric you choose will likely depend on the season you’re buying it for (in summer, you will want more breathable materials), how much care you want to put into washing it (cotton, viscose and polyester are likely the easiest to care for), and the look and feel of the blouse (how the fabric drapes on your body and the features that make it stand out).

How to wash your blouse

Whilst caring for your blouses shouldn’t be too complicated, it can be easy for things to go wrong. The most important rule is to follow the care instructions outlined on the tag on your blouse. But in case you’ve removed the tag for comfort, here are some general tips for preventing a blouse washing disaster!

  • Use the right heat setting when washing. Check the material your blouse is made from, and then wash it on the appropriate setting. Generally speaking, if your blouse is polyester or a poly-blend, you should wash it in cold to warm water, but never with hot water. Heat breaks down the synthetic fibres in your blouse, so it won’t last long if you wash in hot water (it’s recommended you don’t exceed 40℃).

  • Wash with similar colours. To prevent your blouse’s dyes bleeding onto other garments, or vice versa, it’s best to wash it with similar colours. Not sure how colourfast your blouse is? Try doing a hand wash on your first wash. If you notice a lot of colour bleeding out into the sink or bucket, then you know your blouse is likely to run onto other fabrics. It might be that this happens with only the first few washes, but don’t risk putting any whites in with your blouse.

  • Wash with similar textures. Certain garments may damage a delicate blouse. For example, if you wash thick denim jeans with sturdy buttons with your blouse, you might find that the denim rubs against the blouse fabric or that the buttons catch on the delicate features on your blouse. So try to wash delicate blouses with similar items, or hand wash separately.

  • Use a gentle detergent and avoid soaking in bleaching agents.

  • Don’t wash too many blouses at one time. Ideally, there’ll be plenty of space and water sloshing around in the machine to allow your blouses to each receive a proper wash.

  • Turn the collar up. If your blouse has a collar, turn the collar up before the wash and button it up. This ensures the collar gets a good wash too. Additionally, if your blouse has particularly delicate features that might get caught on other garments, it’s a good idea to wash it inside out, in a wash bag, or separately by hand.

  • Consider hand washing. Many blouses can go in the machine, particularly if they’re made with materials like viscose, polyester, jersey and cotton. Silk, linen and chiffon blouses, on the other hand, are best washed separately by hand. It’s a little extra work, but is well worth it.

Drying your blouse

The best way to dry a blouse is to place it on a hanger, smooth it out and hang it to dry in a shady spot. This way, it’s unlikely to crease, and is ready to hang in your wardrobe once dry. If you want to use a tumble dryer, check the care instructions on your blouse to see if it will be ok, then dry on a low-heat setting.

Note that hanging your blouses in direct sunlight can weaken and damage the fibres in the blouse material, so drying in the shade is important if you want your blouses to last!

Ironing your blouse

Blouses can be tricky garments to iron. Many are made from heat-sensitive fabrics, so can easily be scorched with an iron. Additionally, blouses often have features that mean they don’t lay as flat on an ironing board as a shirt will (think pussy-bow collars, balloon sleeves and pleats).

So, when ironing a blouse:

  • Use a setting suitable for your fabric (generally a low setting). If you’re worried about burning the fabric, use a towel or a piece of cotton fabric between the iron and your blouse, to prevent scorching the fabric.
  • Make sure your iron is clean! Old burn marks from an iron can come off onto your blouse and mar the fabric.
  • Take your time! Unique features on your blouse will take a few extra minutes to iron, so pop on some tunes and enjoy!
  • Don’t expect perfection! If some creases remain after ironing, don’t sweat it! They’ll likely iron themselves out as you wear your blouse.
  • Note, if you have a steamer, use this instead of an iron! There’s much less risk of damaging your blouse, and you don’t even need to take it off the hanger!

How to store your blouses

Whilst you can fold and store your blouses in drawers, they’ll be in their best condition if you store them on hangers, as this way, they won’t crease. 

If your blouse is silk, or includes silk fibres, note that the moths might go for it. Ensure you keep an eye out, and take measures to keep moths out of your closet!

The wrap up…

Blouses are not just garments; they're expressions of style and femininity. From luxurious silk to versatile polyester, the choice of fabric influences not only the look but also the feel of your outfit. By understanding the unique properties of each fabric and following proper care guidelines, you can ensure your blouses remain wardrobe staples for years to come.

Don’t forget to check out Femme Connection’s range of women’s blouses.

And for more fabric care tips, see our Care Tips page.

Become a member!
Join the FC Community

Early access to new collabs

Updates on all things happening at Femme Connection HQ!

Discounts and offers to members only