New uniforms. A first day of school ritual. Even if it's just a couple of new shirts, we like to start the school year off right in a fresh outfit.
Once you’ve purchased new uniforms, how can you keep them looking their best and lasting longer? Well, as unsurprising as it sounds, proper laundering truly is the key!
1. Laundering instructions. Read the manufacturer's laundering tag. It's really there for a good reason. It tells you the fiber content of your garment and how best to launder it. Most uniforms today are made from a polyester and cotton blend, the polyester for durabilty and reduced shrinkage, the natural cotton for comfort. The higher the polyester content, the less ironing the garment will require and the less it will shrink.
2. The vinegar bath. Unlike pre-washed tee shirts, the fabric of a new school polo or shorts has never been laundered. To prevent the fading of dark colors, try a vinegar laundering. Pour a half cup of white vinegar into your washing machine or laundry basin and fill with cool water, just enough to cover garments. Immerse the dark colored pieces in this solution for a 30 minute soak. Complete the laundry cycle without detergent. This will help to set the dye in your new pieces. Use vinegar in your dark or light colored laundry at least once a month to brighten whites and revive dark colors. For more great tips on using vinegar in your laundry, see http://www.wikihow.com/Add-Vinegar-to-Laundry. We're tried-and-true believers!
3. Less pilling and fading. The answer to that is simple. Wash fewer pieces at a time. The more clothes in the drum, churning and rubbing together, the more the colors will fade and the surface of the garments may "pill" or form little fiber balls, as often seen on interlock knits or plush fleece. Fewer pieces in the laundry mean less friction in the washing and drying process.
4. Hang to dry. Once they’re laundered, polo shirts should be hung to dry. Air drying really goes a long way in minimizing shrinkage and reducing fading and pilling. Not always easy for a family on the go. If you prefer to dry them in the dryer, choose a lower heat setting for your pieces and remove them promptly.
Uniformity is a school uniform retailer and reseller in Lafayette, Louisiana. For these and other school uniform shopping smarts, follow Uniformity on Facebook at www.facebook.com/uniformityschoolapparel or on Instagram @uniformitylafayette.