We’ve all been there, haven't we?
After a few washes those black leggings have faded to grey.
Or your red top looks a little lighter, and more pinky than red.
It's not so bad when it's cheaper clothes, or clothes designated for messy play or nursery.
But what about when it happens to your child's favourite leggings?
You know, the ones they cry for when they are wet in the washing machine.
The ones you saved up for and look so lovely you aren't even sure you want your baby to actually wear them...
Perhaps you love brightly coloured baby leggings but are worried those lovely bright colours will fade quickly?
Do not fear!
With just a little bit of tweaking to our wash routines we can keep our colourful leggings looking brighter for longer!
Why Do Fabrics Fade in the Wash?
Over time, most clothing made from natural fibers will fade. In the case of Tutti Frutti Clothing baby leggings the fabric I use is 95% cotton - a natural fabric that over time will wear and fade just like anything else made from cotton that you wear.
Warm water combined with clothes sloshing around and rubbing up against each other will all cause those lovely bright colours to fade eventually.
But all is not lost!
But there are several things you can do to slow this process down and make sure that your handmade baby leggings stay looking colourful and bright for as long as possible.
I use only Oeko Tex or GOTS certified fabric so you can be sure that the leggings I make won’t leech harmful chemicals but they will still loose a little colour.
This blog post looks at 7 easy ways to stop those lovely bright colours fading so quickly.
1. Follow the instructions on the label.
Always, always read the label inside your clothes before you wash them.
The label should include laundry symbols which give specific instructions.
You can see from my label here what you should do to look after your Tutti Frutti Clothing leggings.
Wash at 30, do not bleach, do not tumble dry, iron on low and do not dry clean.
The maker of your clothes will know how best to handle each fabric.
Follow their instructions and your clothes will look lovely for longer.
2. Separate your colours
I know, I know, with so much washing to do it is really tempting to chuck the small red and orange clothes in with darker ones but don’t!
Dark colours can, and do, bleed into each other and it won’t be long before the lovely oranges in your leggings are looking a little darker.
Likewise never put whites in with black clothes – you will soon notice they look dingy and grey!
Always wash like colours together and any dye that bleeds out won’t affect the clothing too much.
So always separate your colours and you will stop clothes fading quickly.
3. Wash Like Fabrics Together
As well as washing like colours together, always wash similar fabric weights together.
By that I mean don’t put your heavy jeans in with your soft, comfy baby leggings!
Why? Well, the heavy fibres of the jeans will rub against the soft leggings and cause wear and tear much quicker than if you washed the jeans separately.
The same applies for towels – don’t put them in with your soft jersey clothing and you will notice that the wear on the clothing is much less.
4. Wash Your Clothes Inside Out
Always turn brightly coloured clothing inside out to wash.
Whatever is on the outside of the garment will rub against other garments and become worn and faded first.
By turning your handmade baby leggings inside out to wash them the colourful fabrics won't get worn too quickly..
5. Hang Clothes to Dry
Also known as DO NOT TUMBLE DRY!
I know that tumble drying is really convenient, but if you want your clothes to look nice for longer it's a big no no!
All the care labels for Tutti Frutti Clothing kids clothes say not to tumble dry.
We all know that tumble drying clothes makes them shrink but did you know it will also cause them to fade too?
The majority of fabrics I use have a small percentage of elastane (that’s Lycra or Spandex) and using a dryer will cause the elastane to break down. The more the fabric breaks down the more it looks worn. And appears faded.
So always hang your handmade baby leggings to dry – but not in direct sunlight (nothing is ever easy is it?!) because too much UV can also fade clothes.
Although it you have a white top with a stubborn stain you can always hang it in bright sunshine and the stain will fade…magic!
Read More: Why Do My Clothes Shrink?
6. Wash on cold
Warm water breaks down the fibres in your clothes causing them to fade and wear really quickly.
With this in mind, it is always a good idea to wash clothing on as cool a setting as you can.
My care labels suggest 30 but I would wash on 20 or even just cold if the clothing isn’t really stained.
Most laundry detergents work in cold water too – so clothes will still be clean even on a lower temperature.
7. Wash Clothes Less Often
Even better than washing clothes on cold is to just not wash them at all.
I am convinced that at least half the clothes my kids put in the wash aren’t actually dirty.
Most things can be shaken out popped on a chair and put on again the next day.
If something isn’t dirty, doesn’t smell and hasn’t been worn for long then why not just put it back on?
Do you really need to wash everything after just one wear (pants and socks are probably the exception here...!)
This is one of the reasons why my children get changed after school into home clothes.
This give me the opportunity to spot clean their uniforms – particularly grubby knees on trousers. It also means they only wear the home clothes for around 2-3 hours.
The lothes aren’t dirty at bedtime (unless dinner is dropped on it!) and so can just be put back on the next day.
The less you wash your clothes the less they will fade….
Read More: Home Clothes vs School Uniform
How to Stop Colorful Clothes Fading?
Simply wash them less, wash them on cold, wash like colours and fabrics together and never ever tumble dry!
What could be easier?!