When you purchase a leotard, you expect a lot out of it. You want it to look great, fit and stretch with the body like a second skin, and be affordable. To meet all of these pretty demanding specifications, unique fabrics and manufacturing methods have been created.
The only trade-off with this is that you have to properly care for your leotard if you want it to continue looking new. If you want to give your leotards looking great, use the tips and information here.
Keep in mind, dance leotards are the basic clothing staple for all dancers and gymnasts. This means knowing how to care for them is crucial.
Also, knowing what not to do with your leotard is just as important (if not more important) than knowing what to do when caring for and cleaning your leotard.
A good rule of thumb is to take off a leotard as soon as your session or practice is over. Once it is off, turn it inside out. This will allow any moisture to evaporate instead of being trapped inside the leotard.
Try not to “scrunch-up” the leotard in your bag, but instead fold it gently and carry it in a mesh bag. This will allow the air to continue to circulate around the leotard, helping it dry faster.
Washing Your Leotard
When you read the manufacturer’s instructions for washing your leotard, it is going to be mainly a list of what you shouldn’t do. However, there’s a good reason for this.
Some of the things you need to avoid doing when washing your leotard include:
● Don’t use detergent
● Don’t hang it over radiators
● Don’t use bleach or fabric softeners
● Don’t iron
● Don’t tumble dry
● Don’t scrub or rub metallic or foil print garments
Now that you are aware of what you can’t do, you need to know the proper way to wash it. This includes washing your leotard inside out, by hand, in cold water. That’s it.
Drying Your Leotard
If possible, lay your leotard flat to dry. Keep it away from heat sources, but don’t use clothes pegs. These can weaken the fabric and leave unsightly pressure marks.
Types of Fabrics Used for Leotards
Today, there are several fabrics used for leotards, including velour, Lycra and spandex. These fabrics are popular because of their stretchy and comfortable characteristics.
Spandex and Lycra are essentially the same thing. This material is considered a copolymer, which is what provides the stretchy feel. Velour is a unique knitted, plush fabric that is made out of polyester or cotton. The knitting is what gives velour the stretchy characteristics.
There are quite a few leotards available today that feature special decorative designs. These are great if you want an “eye-catching” design for a competition or other purpose.
However, you have to be careful when cleaning and caring for these types of leotards, as the decoration used can be damaged or come off. As mentioned before, the best way for cleaning this type of leotard is by hand washing it in cold water.
While this may seem like a lot of information, it is actually full of helpful tips that can ensure your leotard lasts for a long time. If you don’t follow the tips and suggestions here, you may soon discover you have to replace your leotard, which can represent an investment, especially for higher quality garments, which are what’s needed for dancers today.