Love your stretchy jeans and yoga pants? Here are the tricks to keeping the stretch in your fabrics while actually helping your budget.
I actually looked… over 85% of my clothing contains nylon, lycra or spandex. Even my jeans. It’s insane just how many pieces of clothing contain these synthetic materials.
I Hate Shopping
Ok. Don’t leave or stop reading because of that!!
I just do not like shopping. I hate trying on clothing. Actually, I am kind of wasteful in that I DO NOT try on things. I buy what I think is the right size and actually have to wash it before I will put it on my body. Explains why the bulk of my wardrobe is jeans and t-shirts, right?
The thought of how yucky other people are aggravates my anxiety. I just can’t have anything on that someone “infected”. There’s skin conditions and bugs and all kinds of things that just freak me out. I just can’t do it.
My Clothes Last Forever
This part of my homemaking skills drives my sister insane. I actually still own and wear a few pairs of stretch pants that I bought when I was pregnant with my daughter.
She just turned 18.
See what I mean about why I don’t like to shop? Why bother when I can make the life cycle of my clothes last so long? Honestly, the reason I typically have to purchase new jeans is because of holes. Especially that lovely “thigh rub” issue that most of the modern women end up with.
And you know exactly what I’m talking about ladies!!
Stretch in Fabric
This is a relatively new trend in the world of clothing. I think almost everything you buy has some sort of synthetic stretchy fiber woven into the garment. All but one pair of my jeans do. (I looked!) And I bet if you went into your closet right now your clothing is trending right along with me.
I’m not complaining. Heck, I love my stretchy jeans. I love that there is more give, especially when I’m gardening or doing some manual labor that I need to bend or lift. It makes it so that splitting the seams of your pants is less likely to occur. Thank goodness too. That is just an embarrassing occurrence.
Caring for Your Stretch Fabrics
This is honestly the easiest thing in the world to do to make your stretchy fabrics last basically forever.
No more sagging. No more stretch without a bounce back. It’s going to stay like brand new, at least as long as you don’t rip them or generally destroy them otherwise.
Stop. Using. Fabric. Softener.
In order to keep the stretch in your fabrics, giving up softener will save them. There is something in the chemical makeup of fabric softeners (liquid AND sheets) that binds to the spandex/lycra/nylon fibers and weakens them. It leaves a residue behind that over time makes the fibers stop doing what they are meant to do. Stretch.
But it’s going to be all wrinkly and yucky! What about static?
I hear you. Seriously I do. I used to think that it was going to be a disaster folding and putting on clothes that hadn’t had fabric softener added to them.
I Was Wrong
Stretch fabrics, as long as you make sure that you take other precautions to keep them static free, are actually nicer to wear without the fabric softener!
Here is how I care for MY stretch fabrics….
If you are used to fabric softener in the washing machine, use white vinegar instead. It not only softens your stretch fabrics (and all of your clothing) but it actually is better than fabric softener at disinfecting your clothing.
Why is that important? It’s the bacteria from your skin and other things that come into contact with your clothing that cause odors. No amount of perfume-y smell in your laundry care routine can cover these up. Using vinegar kills the bacteria that causes the smells and over time actually helps your laundry smell better.
I keep 4-5 wool dryer balls in my dryer at all times. I can’t live without them. They help tremendously at knocking out static cling. If you want to, you can even put a few drops of essential oils on them to help your clothing smell even better.
Stretch Fabrics Care is easier than you think.
It’s modifying simple habits and purchases to make the most of the things you already own. Which is cheaper? Buying bottles of fabric softener and new yoga pants every time a pair bites the dust? Or just switching to white vinegar and/or dryer balls to get the most bang for your buck?
You try it and let me know what you think.