If you have a gymnast in the family, you know that a gymnastics leotard is an important item of clothing that is crucial to your gymnast's success. Because the leotards are subject to hard use during training and competitions, they can wear out faster than you might think. But knowing how to care for your gymnastics leotard can help make it last longer and keep it looking great as well. Take a look at some tips that will help you get the most wear out of a gymnastics leotard:
Let It Dry Before Washing
A leotard can get pretty damp during a hard training session. It's not a good idea to wash a leotard that's already wet with sweat. Have your gymnast change out of their leotard as soon as possible after a training session or competition, and bring along a mesh laundry bag to transport the leotard home in. The mesh bag will allow air to circulate, helping the leotard dry.
The leotard should be folded after removing it, not scrunched up – scrunching it or leaving it in a pile on the floor helps trap in dampness, making it harder for the leotard to dry.
Avoid the Washing Machine
It's always best to follow the instructions on the leotard's tag when it comes to washing. If you decide to remove the tag with washing instructions, make sure to save it, not throw it away. That way, you'll have the washing instructions available if needed. Most will tell you not to machine wash the leotard, and to avoid using detergent.
Instead, turn the leotard inside out and hand wash it, using only enough water to cover the leotard. Use cold water – hot water can damage the fabric. If the leotard has foil prints or velour, it's important that you don't rub or scrub these delicate features.
Adding a small amount of salt to the water can help sterilize the leotard. When you're finished washing, you'll need to squeeze the water out of the fabric. Be gentle – you don't want to twist the leotard or wring it out, as this will weaken the stretchy fabric and damage the print.
Dry the Leotard Flat
The best way to dry a leotard is by laying it out on a flat surface. Using heat could shrink the fabric, and attaching it to a line with clothespins could damage the fabric. In a pinch, you can hang it on a hanger to dry, but laying it flat on a table or other flat surface is the best way to ensure that the leotard keeps its shape.
Proper leotard care will help keep your gymnastics costs under control and keep your gymnast looking great at each competition. Make sure to choose leotards made from quality fabrics that are built to last.
Contact a company like Dancers' Place for more information and assistance.