Jackets are an essential part of everyone’s wardrobe. When the temperatures drop and weather quickly turns into rain and snow, only a jacket can manage to keep you warm, dry and comfortable in such conditions.
We have looked at hundreds of jackets here on our site, compiling selections, reviewing them and also comparing different ones with one goal in mind: to provide you with the best options available on the market.
Jackets are a necessity for the protection they provide, but they require our care in order to be in their best shape.
In the past guides and tutorials, we have looked into different jackets and how to best care for them, by learning how to thoroughly clean them at the comfort of our own homes, while saving money in the meantime.
This brings us to today’s tutorial, where we will learn how to properly look after a fleece jacket and why that is such an important thing to do.
What Is a Fleece Jacket?
First things first, what exactly is a fleece jacket? Or better yet, what is fleece in itself? A material made of Polyethylene, or most commonly known as Polyester, fleece is a soft and fuzzy fabric, with great insulating ability and which shows very low water absorption qualities.
Fleece is a common inner lining of Soft shell jackets, arguably the most popular sports jacket there is. Despite soft shells being made almost entirely of Polyester, just like a fleece jacket is, in the end that is the only similarity between the two, as their purposes and designs are quite different.
So, a fleece jacket is not to be confused with a soft shell one, albeit the latter being lined with fleece on the inside more often than not. For a more detailed difference between the two, we have an article you can refer to.
Now, what is a fleece jacket? A jacket made of fleece, of course. Excuse the simplistic explanation, but that’s exactly what it is, a jacket made entirely of fleece.
Fleece jackets come in two variations: micro and regular fleece, with the former being thinner and the regular fleece being softer and thicker.
Why Are Fleece Jackets Used?
With so many different types of jackets, what could possibly be the reason for a fleece jacket that works as an insulating layer? Well, that is one reason, and also its breathability.
While fleece jackets can be worn on their own, during cool and, preferably, dry weather, when it is worn as part of a layering system is where it truly excels. Due to Polyester being quite a breathable fabric, fleece jackets help prevent overheating and in combination with a breathable over-layer, it is one of the best options for winter wear.
Because fleece, as a fabric, has a very low water absorption rate, since it lets water pass through rather than into the fabric, it is fast-drying and makes moisture wicking quite easy, leaving you dry and comfortable.
Why Is Proper Care So Important?
Fleece jackets are the closest layer to the body, in a jacket system, and as such they come into direct contact with perspiration, body oils and odors, so it is very important to correctly clean them in order to get rid of any stain or smell.
Just throwing it into the washing machine and calling it a day does not really do much for fleece jackets. On the contrary, being careless about the care you show for a fleece jacket, can cause trouble.
We stress proper care for your jackets with every guide we write about how to wash them, because the better the maintenance, the longer the jacket will last and the better able it will be in keeping you warm and protected from the elements.
If you look through any type of clothing you own, jackets included, there is a label they come with which shows the best way to clean and care for your garments. That is a very important step that you must not skip.
A guide like ours will give you a useful “rule of thumb”, which serves as a generalized way of caring for a fleece jacket, but the water temperature on the washing machine, for example, should be adjusted according to the tag on the jacket, so we highly advise you to not skip this first step.
How To Wash a Fleece Jacket: The Guide
Washing Machine Method
You went ahead and got a fleece jacket and it’s now finally time to wash it. You checked the tag, washing machine is a go, so let’s get started right away.
First things first, if there is no water temperature indication on the tag itself, then go with the lowest setting on your washing machine, just to be on the safe side. High temperatures will damage the fabric by causing it to shrink down tremendously, or in some cases even lose its shape and stretch out entirely. So the lower the temperature, the better.
Next, because fleece has a tendency to pill, which you may have seen in the form of tiny fuzz balls all over the surface, it’s best to turn the jacket inside out to prevent the threads from catching.
It’s time to turn on the washing machine and get your jacket clean. Avoid mixing different fabrics together as fleece is notorious for picking up lint, therefore only wash fleece with fleece to be on the safe side.
Using a mild detergent is the best way to go and steer clear of bleach and fabric softeners as they will destroy the look and feel of the jacket.
If there is an odor present, baking soda is a great way to get rid of it, by mixing it in with the detergent.
After the washing cycle is done, hang the jacket to dry, preferably in a dry room rather than out in the sun. Fleece dries out very quickly so it won’t take long.
Hand Washing Method
Washing machines, while very efficient cleaner, can be an issue with fleece jackets that have a higher risk of pilling. If you want to avoid this, then gently washing the jacket by hand is the best way.
The water you will use in this method should be cold, to minimize damage to the fabric. Mix in the mild detergent into the water and make sure everything is dissolved as much as possible, otherwise it will create residue on the fabric.
Soaking the jacket for a little while, is a good first step, and then rub carefully on the areas where stains, dirt and sweat are present.
Rinsing is another important step as you must rinse until you are certain that there is no more detergent left on the jacket. One way to do this is by rinsing the jacket into fresh water until there is no sign of detergent in the water.
Afterwards, hang it to dry in a dry room.
Regardless of the method used, dryers are not recommended, unless it is a must. You run the risk of damaging the jacket and it really isn’t necessary to use one, since fleece dries so quickly on its own. However, if you must use a dryer, then use the coolest setting and preferably an air dry option.
Storing a Fleece Jacket
The jacket is clean and dry, which brings us the last step, that of storing it for later use.
While most jackets can be put on the wardrobe hung on a hanger, fleece jackets are best stored folded into a drawer. They tend to attract lint and dust, which are very difficult to remove once on there. Moths can also become an issue in wider, more open areas, so a drawer is the best storing method for a fleece jacket.
As always, we hope you found this guide useful and that it will help your fleece jacket last for a very long time!