Make the hockey jersey soft
December 14, 2009 12:00 PM   Subscribe

What is the best way to soften up a hockey jersey to make it comfortable to wear without ruining its appearance?

I recently purchased a couple of authentic Penguins jerseys for Mrs. Silvertree and I. We were so excited when they arrived on Saturday we popped them out of the box and wore them that day. The fabric is pretty stiff and scratchy at this point. Presumably they will soften if and when I wash them, but does anyone have any other advice? I would guess washing them is going to take its toll on appearance. Is that correct?
posted by Silvertree to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total)
Best answer: Wash them in the gentle cycle and try your best not to machine dry them. They'll get a little bit more comfortable after washing, but if they're really authentic, the stitching could continue to be a source of itchiness. I think it's a fair trade-off for the fact that the jerseys'll hold up for a good long while.
posted by moviehawk at 12:14 PM on December 14, 2009

Best answer: Personally, Mister Tigerbelly and I always wear our jerseys over other clothing (like hooded sweatshirts., etc.), as we're wearing them inside a chilled hockey arena. The scratchiness is no issue then. I've actually never seen anyone wearing a hockey jersey over completely bare skin.

Washing will soften them slightly, and I can reassure you that over the course of a couple of seasons, I haven't noticed any wear and tear appearance-wise -- however I do try to avoid washing our jerseys that often, just to be safe. I've heard that you can throw clothing in the wash/dryer with a couple of tennis balls to hasten the softening-up process, but possibly at the expense of longevity.
posted by tigerbelly at 12:15 PM on December 14, 2009

Best answer: I have only washed my newish (Reebok Edge era) jersey once but I did cold water and air dried it flat with no ill effect.
posted by ghharr at 12:16 PM on December 14, 2009

Best answer: Ugh jerseys just aren't that comfortable! Definitely wear something underneath them.
posted by radioamy at 12:26 PM on December 14, 2009

Best answer: On refresh: yes, absolutely wear something under them...if they're large enough, go for a sweatshirt, as a long-sleeve tee is okay but not ideal.
posted by moviehawk at 12:30 PM on December 14, 2009

Best answer: Trying to make your jersey baby soft is so non-hockey and if you are a real fan you'd know it was the biggest problem with the penguins. They were too soff.

Hoodie + Jersey is the classic combo. Otherwise just wear a long sleeve T underneath.
posted by zephyr_words at 5:12 PM on December 14, 2009

Best answer: I never wear my jersey on my bare skin, i.e. I never wear it in the summer. I either wear a long-sleeved t-shirt underneath for my smaller jerseys or a hooded sweatshirt under my larger jersey. You have to understand that you bought an "authentic" jersey. It was meant for playing hockey, not casual wear! It's probably stiff for a reason. That said, I noticed that my Reebok non-authentic jersey was softer than my older CCM (also) non-authentic jerseys.
posted by qmechanic at 6:57 AM on December 15, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the words. I have a couple of vintage Lemieux jerseys and I couldn't remember if I did anything special to break them in. I do wear a shirt underneath but I was curious if anyone had a different suggestion. I would think a hooded sweatshirt would get too warm, but I might give it a try.

Too soft Zephyr? Interesting. I can appreciate what Therrien did but I never completely agreed with his style of play.
posted by Silvertree at 1:29 PM on December 15, 2009

Response by poster: All the answers are best answers in this case. Thanks!
posted by Silvertree at 11:30 AM on December 17, 2009

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