Nowadays, most people can be found lounging at home in their favorite pair of leggings. The stretchy fabric offers enough freedom of movement to do almost any physical activity, from household chores to yoga. Leggings truly are versatile, offering a variety of options in terms of activewear and loungewear.
However, leggings are also quite delicate. Because leggings are often made of delicate fabrics, they can also be easily subjected to abuse. For instance, mishandling leggings can cause a rip or a tear in the fabric, and washing them the wrong way can result in a misshapen pair. Fortunately, you can always buy more leggings, preferably ones that can last a long time.
That said, good-quality leggings are an investment and should be treated as such. With their prices ranging from USD 20 to USD 100, it’s no wonder why women feel so bad about spending so much on clothing that can be so easily damaged. But fret not, because with these easy tips, you can help your leggings last longer.
Pick the Right Type of Fabric
Though it’s rare for any pair of leggings to last forever, picking one made of durable fabric means you won’t have to constantly buy replacements. The type of fabric you pick depends on your intended use for the leggings. For example, cotton performs poorly as activewear because of its lack of breathability. This is why most women who opt for cotton leggings use them around the house or as pajamas instead. Cotton is also notorious for losing its shape over time, especially when stretched.
It is also for this reason that synthetic fabrics like spandex, nylon, and polyester have become popular materials for leggings. These fabrics offer performance features like moisture-wicking to keep you dry during a tough workout. And while not as soft or forgiving as cotton, synthetic fabrics do not easily lose their shape.
Learn to Clean Them Properly
Because leggings are so flimsy, they are also very fragile and therefore do not do well with frequent washing. Your washers can twist and misshapen them and the heat coming from your dryers will do irreversible damage to their delicate fabric. This is why it is always recommended to avoid washing your leggings too often.
Manufacturers recommend that leggings only be washed when necessary–the smell test should be a good enough indicator–and to only wash in cold water using the gentlest setting. In fact, a pre-soak is highly suggested by laundry experts, particularly when hard-to-remove odors and stains are involved.
But don’t reach for more detergent just yet. Instead, try using some white vinegar to clean your leggings. Mix ¼ cup water with ½ cup white vinegar and allow your smelly spandex to soak in the solution for half an hour before washing.
Additionally, you’ll want to invest in detergent that is specifically made for activewear and more delicate fabrics. You can also place your leggings inside of a mesh bag to keep them from snagging during the wash cycle. Never use fabric softeners on leggings, as most of these contain silicon, an ingredient that can harm the integrity of fabrics like spandex or polyester.
As for drying, leggings do best when air-dried. This is because the heat of a dryer can cause the fabric to warp or shrink, resulting in misshapen leggings.
Turn Them Inside Out to Prevent Pilling
Unfortunately, leggings are prone to pilling. Pilling occurs when fabrics rub against each other, causing the materials to fray. This can make your leggings look old and worn. Fortunately, this can be easily avoided if you know how to put them away properly.
Once they’re out of the washer, turn your leggings inside out. This will ensure that they retain their shape and prevent pilling. However, do take note that some pilling can still occur over time, especially with leggings that are frequently used.
Know How to Store Them Correctly
Storing your leggings properly is just as important as cleaning them. If poorly stored, leggings can be stretched, misshapen, scratched, or torn. That being said, leggings hold their shape best when hung. Simply place your leggings on the hanger of your choice and loosely knot it so that it stays in place.
Another excellent way to store leggings is by rolling them up. This is useful for people who have limited closet space. To roll, fold your leggings in half lengthwise and begin rolling from the bottom up. Make sure that you roll them loosely enough so that you don’t damage the fabric, but tautly enough so that they hold their shape. If you do it correctly, you’ll end up with something resembling a sausage roll which will take up only half the space of a folded item of clothing.
Your leggings wrap you in comfort and stick with you through thick and thin. With these simple tips and tricks, you can keep them looking good as new for years to come. By following these easy steps, you won’t have to constantly replace your leggings with new ones any longer.