Caring for Your Dancewear to Maximise Its Life

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If you have just purchased some new dancewear you may be interested in the best way to care for it to ensure that it stays looking great throughout its life. Here are some tips for washing and caring for your dancewear.

Minimise washing

While dancewear often gets sweaty, outer pieces of dancewear such as leg warmers and jackets may not get unwearable after one use. If you can extend the time between washing, this is one of the best ways to extend the life of your dancewear. You can try to freshen up the dancewear by hanging it in a doorway, where it can be aired out and dry between wearings. (Throwing the clothes in a washing hamper and leaving them for days before washing can create mildew and make the smells and stains worse than they need to be.) This can be very useful if you have multiple dance sessions in one day as well and won't have time to wash between the performances. If you have small amounts of dirt you can try spot cleaning these with a little detergent on a rag to remove the bulk of it.

Avoid the dryer

All of the common materials for dancewear, including lycra and chiffons, cannot be placed in the dryer and need to be dried flat to maintain their shape and condition. You can wash most modern staple dance pieces such as leotards and tights in the washing machine on a cold gentle wash. It can be helpful to place leotards and tights into a lingerie bag to protect them from stretching in the washing machine. Keeping the dancewear out of the sun when drying can also help to preserve vivid colours.

Care for metallics, sequins and tutus

For some of the more delicate costumes including metallic threads, sequins and tutus, it becomes more challenging to wash the dance pieces. It's worth checking the washing instruction material on the tags on these pieces as some may be dry-clean only. You can try hand washing any pieces that not marked 'dry-clean only' in a bathtub of warm water with a small amount of pure soap and then dry the pieces flat on a towel again. The challenge with metallic threads and sequins is that if left wet they can rust and discolour the dancewear.

Taking care when washing your dancewear can help preserve its appearance and keep you looking spectacular on stage.