Home Economics Notes

Personal clothing

Meaning of clothing and reasons for wearing clothes, guidelines for

                        choosing  and wearing decent clothes

Clothing is the articles that are worn on the body to protect and beautify the body. It could be dresses, shirts, blouse, trousers, wrappers etc. other are shoes, hand bags, jewellery, make-up, and accessories.

Reasons for clothing

Clothing is worn for the following reasons:

  1. To protect our body: We wear clothes in order to protect the body from harmful things such as insects, plants, worms, and different weather condition such as harmattan, cold, heat, etc.

2.   For modesty: We wear clothes in order to cover our nakedness and appear decent.

      3.   Appearance: We wear clothes to improve our appearance and to beautify our self.

      4.   For role identification: Clothes help to reveal our role in the society. E..g. policeman,

             soldier, Nurse, student.        This type of clothes is called uniform.

  1. To show our status or position: Clothes are worn to show the statues or positions which

people occupy in the society, e.g. special clothes are worn by traditional rulers like   ‘Emirs, Obas’ etc.

  • To show our mood: Showing how we are feeling is another reason for putting on certain

kinds of clothes. When we are in the mood of celebration we tend to dress gorgeously putting on brightly coloured clothes and when the mood is sad, like the case of mourning black clothes are worn.

     7. For cultural reasons.

Clothes help to show the culture of people, i.e where they come from. e.g., iro and buba is commonly worn by Yoruba women.

Guideline for choosing & wearing decent clothes

As a guide the following tips are considered important before we choose clothes to wear.

  1. Available money: Clothes should bechosen based on what your purse can afford.
  2. Occasion:You need to choose the right clothes for the right occasion/function e.g. Church services, party type, picnic, school, sleep or work etc.

3.   Quality of fabric: You must choose clothes that will be durable.

      4.  Activity or work:different clothes suits different jobs, kitchen wear like Chef’s cap &

            apron are not meant for farm work and vice versa.

      5.   Choose clothes that fit well: Clothes worn should not be tightly fitted because this can

            disturb proper circulation of blood in the body and thereby make you ill. Make sure you

            choose clothes that will project your appearance in a beautiful & modest way.

      6.    Personal complexion: you should choose clothes that suits your skin complexion.

      7.   Weather condition:In cold weather, warm clothes like cardigan are advisable to wear and

             when the weather is hot, it is advisable to choose cotton fabrics in hot weather.

     8.     Wash ability of fabric: choose clothes that are easily washable.

     9.     Peer pressure: do not choose indecent clothes in order to confirm or please four peers.


  1. What are clothes?

2. List and explain six reasons for wearing clothes

3. Identify five guide lines for choosing and wearing decent clothes.

Sub-Topic 2: Care of clothes. E.g. airing, proper storage, cleansing of shoes, Washing of under- wears.

We need to care for our clothes because of these reasons:

a.         Dirty clothes are easily infested with disease germs or bacteria

b.         These germs and bacteria can be transferred on the skin causing skin infections like rashes, ring worm scabies etc.

c.         Dirty clothes produce offensive smell.

d.         when clothes are properly cared for, you look beautiful and confident.

Care of clothes

You can care for your clothes in the following ways:

  1. Mend your clothes as soon as they are torn.
  2. Air your clothes before storing them to remove dampness on clothes.
  3. Do not store dirty or damp clothes.
  4. Wash your clothes as soon as they are dirty and make sure you follow the instructions on the care labels.
  5. Do not repeat underwear’s especially pants. Always wash the used one every day.

Proper storage of clothes

  1. Store only clean clothes
  2. Proper storage space or container should be used for personal clothes e.g. box, drawer, wardrobe/closet, wall hanger etc.
  3. Iron and air clothes before storage
  4. Do not overcrowd your clothes closet or wardrobe
  5. Keep your storage place clean.

Care of shoes

  1. Remove shoe lace if available.
  2. Remove dust, dirt, mud from shoes using damp clean cloth.
  3. Before wearing them again, clean with a dry clean cloth.
  4. If your shoes are wet, allow them to dry slowly away from heat, in a warm, airy place.
  5. Shoes that require polishing should be polished with good and correct colour of polish.
  6.  Avoid storing dirty and smelling shoes without treatment
  7. To keep shoes in good shape when not in use, stuff it with clean old newspaper or shoe trees.

Washing of under-wears Laundry work is the process of washing clothes and finishing e.g. starching and ironing.

Laundry equipment

Simple equipment like plastic or aluminum buckets, pegs tongs lines, iron, ironing boards etc. and machines are used for washing clothes.

Washing agents

Washing agents are the materials we use in washing our clothes. These materials include: detergents, soaps, water, stain removers e.g. bleach, stiffening agents e.g. starch, whitening agent e.g. laundry blue, disinfectant e.g. Dettol etc.

Types of soap

i.          Laundry soap- available in bars and cakes

ii.         Soap flakes – available in thin flakes cut from pure soap

iii.        Soap powder – it is in powered form. Most kinds contain whitening or bleaching agents.

Those with a strong bleaching effect are not suitable for fine material and wool.

 These can be obtained in liquid or powered form. They are made from petroleum products. They dissolve more readily than soap in water. Soap only lather in soft water but synthetic detergents lather equally well in soft water, hard water and sea water, and do not form scum in hard water.

Steps in laundry work

Steps in washing clothes include:

  1. Sorting the articles to be laundered, according to colour, type of fabric, etc.
  2. Mending torn articles
  3. Removing stains
  4. Soaking colour-fast article
  5. Washing
  6. Boiling: this can only be done for face towels, pillow cases, bed sheets. Boiling helps to

 remove any remaining dirt and kill germs.

  • Half fill an enamel basin big enough to hold the washing and specially reserved for

this purpose.

            (b)  Place in it, the clothes which have been washed, rinsed and squeezed dry. Bring

                   water to boil for 10-20 minutes.

             (c)  Stair carefully as you are boiling it

             (d)  Remove the basin from heat, drain off water. Never boil colored   cottons.

7.    Rinsing

8.    Blueing and starching

      9.    Hanging and drying

     10.    Finishing/ironing

     11.   Airing

     12.   Storing of finished articles


  1. Give four reasons why we should care for our clothes.
  2. Mention three ways we should care for our clothes.
  3. Define laundry
  4. Mention any five simple laundry equipment and machine
  5. What are washing agents?


Workbook on Home Economics New Concept for Nigeria Jnr. Sec. Schools Bk.1 (ps.23-25)


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