We are all in such a mad rush these days who has time to sort the washing any further than lights and darks? - I know, I know, I'm the worst one for it! 9 times out of 10 I pick all the washing up and sling it all in together at 40c. I mean, no one ever looks at the labels - right? Who even understands all those little funny symbols anyway?
Unfortunately, putting an item in a too hot wash, or worse, throwing something in the tumble dryer which shouldn't be tumbled dried, can cause your item to shrink, stretch, disintegrate or even melt! Disappointing AND annoying - I really don't want to be dealing with a toddler tantrum because their fave Teletubbies pjs have shrunk in the wash!
I won't pretend I knew any more than you about the symbols on clothing labels and what they meant until recently. After buying the fourth lot of school polo shirts in seemingly as many months, I was fed up of the kids uniform being 4 inches too short - a quick google search brought up a load of websites explaining the symbols, but the one I liked best was written by the folks behind Persil (no affiliation). It has a dead easy to follow list explaining all the symbols and what they mean.
It really is worth a look to keep those new clothes in tip top condition!