Laundering is high impact and yet not laundering is socially unacceptable. But some pieces defy social pressure and are never washed, often motivated by the fear that laundering causes something precious to be lost: a scent, a memory, the particular way a garment fits, the quality of handwork, and even a political stance.
“I inherited this jumper from my father-in-law and call it ‘the camping
jumper’ as it always comes with us on holiday. It's the thing I throw on
at night to keep warm. I've never washed it… I’m afraid it would
shrink. I’ve shrunk a lot of things over the years. It would also lose
its fantastic smell - a mix of fresh air and wood smoke.”
Bollington, Cheshire - July 2009
Photograph by Fiona Bailey