Many of us turn to polar fleece to keep warm — both indoors and out. Since polar fleece is a knit fabric with a brushed or napped finish, it has a tendency to pill during wear, handling and washing. This leads us to the question: what is the best way to care for fleece so it lasts season after season? Luckily there are some pretty simple answers …
- Whether the care label recommends drycleaning or machine washing, it’s a good idea to place polar fleece in a net bag to minimize pilling when it’s being cleaned.
- Don’t have a net bag? Turn your fleece inside out. This simple advice reduces impact and friction in the wash.
- Wash fleece garments separately from other laundry.
- Set your washing machine to gentle cycle, with a cool or lukewarm temperature.
- Gently smooth nap with a soft brush after cleaning to improve the appearance of the garment.
- Air dry your fleece whenever possible. If the care label says it’s OK to use a dryer, set to “tumble dry”, and briefly dry using the lowest heat setting. Many kinds of polar fleece have a high shrink factor when exposed to dryer temperatures.
- Avoid using any fabric softeners. This is especially true with athletic polar fleece, which sometimes has special “wicking” properties that can be damaged or removed by fabric softener.
- Ironing is not recommended. It could actually melt the fleece. If you must iron, use the lowest heat setting and place a cloth between the fleece and the iron.
- When warmer weather rolls around, store your polar fleece in a cotton sack. This keeps insects away while allowing the fleece to “breathe”. Never store fleece in plastic bags for more than 30 days.
- Hand wash! This is always an option if you want to be extra gentle with your fleece.
Fun Fleece Fact : Some fleece is made from recycled plastics, making it environmentally friendly. We like that!