Flannel is such a versatile, playful material that offers so many uses. You can snuggle up with a flannel duvet cover and blanket as the snow falls outside and the fireplace crackles. You can throw on a flannel jacket when you have to run outside to grab the mail or shovel the driveway. You can put together a cute outfit with a colorful plaid flannel shirt. And let’s not forget the myriad of flannel accessories like scarves, hats, gloves, slippers, and even bags.
Whether you are a flannel junkie or you just have a few flannel pieces, it’s important to know how to care for your items to get the most wear out of them. To preserve its soft texture, here are a few simple washing tips, whether you are washing flannel shirts, pajamas, flannel sheets, or blankets. We’ve come up with a simple guide for anyone wondering how to properly care for and wash their flannel.
Avoid washing your flannel pieces in hot water at all costs. Hot water will lead to faster fading and will also have a negative effect on the softness of the pieces. To keep your flannel intact, always wash it in warm or cool water. This will ensure that the flannel remains bright, colorful, and soft for much longer.
Use the same amount of detergent you would when washing other materials of clothing, but be aware that certain detergents have harsh chemicals that can cause the flannel color and print to fade. To prevent deterioration, consider switching to a gentle, mild detergent, such as one without bleach additives.
Wash your women’s flannel shirts and other pieces on a gentle cycle or permanent press. Throughout the wash cycle, keep the water temperature the same. If you wash in warm water, rinse in warm water; and if you wash in cold water, rinse in cold water.
To further ensure the softness of your flannel pieces is kept intact, use fabric softener during the rinse cycle. If you are looking for a natural alternative, you can use white vinegar as fabric softener. One cup per load is recommended, but ultimately it will depend on the size of the load and the type of pieces you are washing. Fabric softener is strongly recommended to limit the amount of lint that often attaches to flannel. Another alternative to fabric softener is adding a dryer sheet once you start drying the flannel items.
You can either air-dry your flannel items or dry them in a machine. If you are going to be using a machine to dry your women’s flannel robes and other flannel items, don’t dry them any longer than necessary, as it can lead to weaker fabric that deteriorates more quickly. In fact, to protect the pieces from weakening or shrinking, dry on low heat or no heat at all. You can also avoid the possibility of damaging the flannel items by hanging them up and letting them air-dry.
Flannel is notorious for shrinking. That is why it is necessary to take extra precautions when washing anything flannel. If you are going to buy a new flannel shirt or women’s flannel pajamas, be sure to read and follow the care instructions shown on the garment tag.
It’s always important to check the label before throwing any flannel items in the washing machine. For example, if your flannel items are made of wool, you are likely going to need a professional cleaner.
Sometimes the softness of a flannel item diminishes because of too much softener. To prevent softener buildup, avoid washing with a fabric softener for every load. Secondly, doing another rinse cycle will help get rid of any buildup and residue that affects the softness of the flannel. Remember that not all flannel is alike. Some lower-quality items do not provide the same softness that a more expensive, higher quality item does. Always check your pieces, their material, and the labels before buying any new flannel items and before washing anything.
In closing, here are a couple more helpful things to keep in mind when washing flannel. It’s best to wash your flannel items with similar colors since flannel is known to shed. To combat shedding, add a cup of white vinegar to act as a natural softener. And finally, because flannel is such a soft material, inevitably the color, strength, and texture will wear out. Keep in mind that by taking care of your flannel, you will increase the lifespan of your clothing.