Polyester is a popular fabric choice for clothing due to its durability and affordability. However, it can be tricky to care for polyester garments properly. To avoid snags, pilling, holes, shrinkage, and odor, proper care is important. Here are some of my tips on how to care for your Alpine Fit recycled polyester garments to ensure they last for years to come:
Read the Care Label: Before washing any polyester garment, it’s important to read the care label. This will tell you the best way to care for the garment, such as the recommended water temperature and cycle. In general, wash on cold and dry on low or hang to dry.
Wash only as needed: Don’t be gross, if your garment is dirty or smelly take care of it. But if you can reasonably continue wearing it, repeated washing will only deteriorate the fabric faster. Nothing is more damaging to a fabric than the wash cycle. (To go the extra mile, a front-loading washing machine is nicer on your garments than top-loading.) Fortunately Alpine Fit was designed with this in mind and can survive longer periods without washing and won’t stink!
Use Cold Water: Polyester is a delicate fabric, so it’s best to wash it in cold water. This will help preserve the fabric’s color and shape. Gone are the days of polypropylene; it would shrink badly on hot. However, polyester is still a polymer-based fabric that is prone to breakdown under extreme temperature conditions.
Use a Gentle Detergent: Choose a gentle detergent that is specifically designed for delicate fabrics and works well in cool water. This will help protect the fabric from damage. NikWax makes a specially-designed detergent just for base layers, but this may be cost-prohibitive in the long run. Nature’s miracle is another special secret to keep in your laundry room; often used for pet stains and odors, it works well on base layers too, use sparingly.
Avoid Bleach: Bleach can damage polyester fabrics and ruin colors, so it’s best to avoid using it. Bleach is best avoided in most cases with most fabrics.
Air Dry: Polyester should be air dried to prevent shrinkage and damage. If you must use a dryer, use the lowest heat setting. Dryer use is a major contributor to pilling and shortening a garment's life.
For mixed-fabric garments, those with both merino and polyester, err on the side of caution and wash as you would the most delicate fiber in that garment. That will usually be the wool if it has any. See our blog post on care of wool garments
By following these tips, you can ensure that your polyester garments stay looking great for years to come.