How To Care For Your Fleece Clothing

woman wearing fleece

You want to keep your fleece clothing looking fresh but you’re not sure how to make it happen. This post details how to care for fleece and make it feel like new. It’s easier than you think!

Named after the wool of sheep, fleece is a warm, lightweight fabric perfect for a winter layer or a spring jacket. Fleece was developed to mimic the warmth of wool and to repel water as wool does. But wool is expensive and even more difficult to care for, so fleece has caught on as a cold-weather staple. Its practicality, accessibility, and warmth have led to its extensive popularity.

Thinking about the clothing you consume, its longevity, and viability is good stewardship and not just of your fleece clothing, but of the earth! So, let’s find out how to keep fleece looking like new.

The New Science of Fleece

Because fleece is synthetic, you can make it from just about anything. This factor is behind the development of innovative fleece made from recycled materials like sea plastic. The results of these newer practices are a refined and ultrasoft fleece that elevates the tactile characteristics fleece is known for.

The trend to sustainability is behind this innovation, driving sportswear retailers to develop fabrics that answer the consumer demand for more environmentally viable manufacturing alternatives. Fleece producers have answered this demand with the development of amazingly tactile luxury fabrics that have raised the bar in the sector, pulling polluting plastics from the ocean and transforming them into stylish clothing.

Concurrent with the trend to sustainability is a demand for exceptional comfort. Retailers are producing garments constructed from sensually tactile, recycled fleece which is so comfortable, you’ll never want to take them off!

Why Is Fleece Difficult to Keep Looking its Best?

Woven on a loom, the yarns called the “warp” (running vertically) are the fabric’s base, with the horizontal “weft” yarns running side to side. A series of tiny loops are formed in the weaving process. On the fabric’s exterior, the loops are tight. On the interior, they’re loose.

Once dyed, the loose loops on the interior of the fleece fabric are treated with a type of fabric brush. The brush is intended to loosen the loops further, creating what’s known as the “nap.” This side of the fabric is soft and cozy next to the body. But it’s also this side of the fabric that makes caring for fleece and keeping it fresh-looking something of a project. But I’m about to make that project a whole lot easier!

Taking Care – Heat and Friction

The tiny fibers in fleece don’t like heat or friction. Some friction – from wear, specifically – is inevitable. But it causes pilling: the production of little balls of loosened fibers that form on the exterior surface of the garment. Not all fleece garments will respond to regular wear with excessive pilling, so think about what you’re buying. Is it pill resistant?

Ironing fleece is also not recommended, as the heat of the iron can melt the fibers, creating hardened patches where the fibers have fused if you’re not careful. Instead of ironing your fleece, remove it from the dryer when it’s not quite dry, then hang it. As for pilling, invest in a fabric shaver to keep the problem under control. Just run the handheld appliance over the garment to remove the pills after washing! And please wash your fleece only in cold water. Hot water will drain your fleece pieces of all their cozy goodness in a hurry.

Thoughtful Washing Practices

You may already be taking an environmentally conscious approach to the products you use to wash your clothes. But keeping your fleece garments away from bleach and fabric softener is a good way to preserve their bounce. 

Extend the life of your fleece garments by turning them inside out before you wash them. Also, try to wash them a little less often. Depending on what type of garment you’re talking about, most clothing can be worn several times before it genuinely needs to be washed. Spot cleaning with a clean cloth and warm water is one way to avoid overwashing, which can radically reduce the life of fleece garments. 

Try daubing any stains with one of these gentle, natural spot removers. If you have time, wash your fleece garments by hand instead of in the washing machine. Handwashing is the number one way to keep your fleece clothing wearable longer. Just soak your wash for an hour to loosen dirt before spot-cleaning any areas that need it, then rinse. If you have a line, hang it to dry. 

Follow these simple tips and your fleece clothing will look and feel like new for much longer! And when you’re ready to part ways with your pre-loved fleece, here are some places it can go!

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels



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