What's not to love about flannel shirts when the weather turns cool? Super soft all-cotton fabric keeping you warm and cozy. Strong and absorbent, flannel wicks away moisture (perfect in a snowball fight). Plus it's machine washable, making it easy to wear all winter long. If you ask us, flannel is the ideal fabric for cold weather – that is as long as it's taken care of. Don't risk your beloved red and black flannel shirts losing their soft and cozy appeal. Follow our tips for how to care for your flannel shirts and keep them a staple in your wardrobe rotation all winter long.
Nothing beats snuggling up to a soft flannel shirt in front of the fire on one of those harsh winter days. Ensure that your favorite flannels stay soft and supple and wash them in cool or warm water (never hot) on the gentle cycle. A slower wash speed will cause less friction on the fabric, making them less likely to pill and reducing the stress on the fabric. It's no secret that the less stress on the fabric the more life in the clothes. Sound familiar?
Using a gentle detergent free of enzymes, phosphates and chlorine can also help keep that soft flannel shirt feeling you love so much. Also, resist the urge to use a liquid fabric softener. These create a type of film on the fabric that clogs the fibers and cause them to stiffen over time. Instead try adding a ½-1 cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle to help remove soap residue without damaging the flannel.
The short answer is yes, but you didn't come here for the short answer, did you? At landsend.com our flannel shirts are made of mostly cotton – which is great for keeping you warm and cozy but, as you know, also susceptible to shrinkage at high heat. If you're going to dry your flannel shirt in the dryer then it's best to do so on low heat and remove it promptly at the end of a cycle to avoid wrinkles. However, if you choose to skip the dryer altogether, our flannel shirts can be air-dried with ease. Just squeeze out any excess water and lay flat to dry, being careful not to stretch the fabric so it doesn't lose it's shape.
Sometimes a freshly ironed shirt on your back is all you need to conquer the day. Our plaid flannel shirts are no exception, however you need to know the correct way to iron flannel to avoid that shiny, flattened look.
When ironing flannel the most important first step is to read the care instructions and make sure the garment allows for ironing. The tag should also tell you what setting you should iron at and if steam can be used. Typically wool flannels require a wool setting and a cotton flannel is best ironed on the cotton setting. (If in doubt start with a low heat setting and slowly increase as needed until the wrinkles are gone.)
Once your iron is warmed up you have a couple of options. First, you could use a pressing cloth between the iron and the flannel shirt to prevent getting that shininess from ironing too long or too hot. Or you could simply turn the shirt inside out and iron on the wrong side, thus protecting that soft, raised finish on the front.
Spray a little moisture from the iron onto the fabric and move the iron slightly every second or two to keep the fabric from overheating. Wool flannel must be damp when ironed to avoid scorching, and all flannel shirts should be inspected after one or two passes to see if they have been ironed smooth. Basically, don't get invested in TV when ironing flannel or else risk overheating the fabric, scorching the wool flannel or giving it a shiny, flat look.
Now that you know how easy it is to care for flannel, add a few more soft and cozy flannel shirts to your winter wardrobe.