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Winter Fabric Care

Fleece Fabric Care During the Winter

Polar fleece is one of the most popular winter garment choices for men for that twilight period when the weather is cold enough to justify long sleeves, but not cold enough to warrant something quite thick and restricting. Fleece is a warm, lightweight option that also offers excellent water resistance and protection against frost and other harsh wintertime conditions. However, the material isn’t all that resistant when it comes to poor care choices and improper fleece care can quickly destroy a pullover or sweater before it has any usable life. Let’s take a look at how to properly care for winter clothing.


It’s not unusual to find care labels suggesting that fleece be washed rather than dry cleaned. However, that doesn’t mean that dry cleaning is eliminated altogether in the event of heavy soiling. Many professional cleaners are able to use wetclean techniques as opposed to dry cleaning a garment in order to remove heavy stains without the use of harsh chemical solvents. While it bears resemblance to a traditional wash cycle in a regular washing machine, wetcleaning isn’t the same process and it is far more gentle than even the most gentle of wash cycles.

Washing winter clothes isn’t a weekly deal either. Winter garments should only be washed after roughly 10 wears, which should see most garments through about two weeks of regular wear or even longer for casual part time wear. Subjecting it to excessive washing will cause the fabric to pills and this will ultimately ruin the fleece if it is not given sufficient time to relax, conform to the wearer again, and recover.

Garment Bag

A fleece sweater should always be washed inside out and placed inside of a netted garment bag or some sort of garment bag suitable for washing. This will reduce the amount of friction the fleece is exposed to when spinning around with other items of clothing, which in turn means the fabric is less susceptible to pilling. A wash cycle should always include mild detergents that are suitable for sensitive skin and/or fabrics where possible as harsh, heavy chemical detergents will cause the fleece to lose its water resistance over time. Fleece should always be allowed to air dry, too.

Michael Snell

Loving father and husband