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After extensive use, you should consider washing your technical clothing. To make sure your gear is in perfect condition for your next big adventure, we’ve got some tips to keep your gear looking and performing the way it did the day you first bought it.
Wash gently at 30°C / 86°F inside a washing bag
Wash gently at 40°C / 104°F inside a washing bag
Iron at max 110°C / 230°F and do not iron directly
Do not iron
Do not bleach
Tumble dry at low temperature
Do not tumble dry
Do not dry-clean
Before washing your gear, make sure you check the care labels on your FW garment. All of our labels ask that you care for your garment and the environment, wash sparingly and at a cool temperature. Not only will washing your clothes in cold water (30°C / 86°F) save you money on your energy bill; it’s also better for the environment, as it uses one tenth of the energy of a hot wash (Source: Cold Water Saves).
Avoid the use of standard laundry detergent. Your FW gear is created with technical fabrics that require special care, which means specific detergent. There are a lot of technical washing products out there, such as NixWax Tech Wash - make sure to choose one that’s PFC free.Before washing your technical gear, clean out the detergent drawer in your washing machine to make sure there’s no residue left from your everyday detergent. For best results, we recommend you open all pockets, loosen all cords/elastic adjusters, fasten all velcros in their relaxed positions and zip the garment closed.Wash similar products together; wash with similar colors and avoid mixing with regular clothes (e.g. jeans), as this will increase wear and tear.
Fabric softeners have a negative impact on the environment and also the performance of your outerwear; softeners will deposit a waxy coating on the surface of your garment’s fabric, affecting its wicking properties. To ensure the performance of your garments, never use softeners.
Have your waterproof layers become less waterproof over time? This is because dirt, sweat and grease can break down the DWR (durable water repellent) on your jacket. But don’t worry, it’s easy to get the waterproofness back.First, make sure you’ve followed the washing steps in section 2 above and that your jacket is sparkling clean before trying to re-waterproof it, otherwise you’ll trap all that dirt, sweat and grime onto your jacket.For optimal waterproofing, we recommend using a waterproofing spray, such as Nixwax TX.Direct® Spray-On, as you will have greater control over the waterproofing application. Please make sure your waterproofing spray is PFC-free. Hang your garment on a clothes hanger and apply the waterproofing spray all over, focussing on highly exposed areas. Avoid laying your garment flat when applying the waterproofer as some of the spray will transfer to the flat surface when you flip the garment. Leave the spray to settle onto your garment for a few minutes and then gently remove any excess with a cloth.You may prefer to use a waterproofer that you put directly in the washing machine, such as NixWax® TX.Direct® Wash-In. If this is your preferred method, after washing put the garments you want to re-waterproof into the washing machine (maximum 2 garments at a time) and use your waterproofer according to the instructions. Some washing machines have a ‘waterproofing’ setting, but if your machine doesn’t have this we recommend a cold synthetic cycle with slow spin.
After washing and applying your chosen waterproofer, drip-dry your garment. This might take a little while, please be patient. Once dry, to reactivate the DWR membrane, put your garment in the tumble-dryer for 20 minutes.It might be tempting to speed up the process by draping them over a heat source, but avoid doing this as it can damage the inner membrane of your garment.
Your down jacket requires two step cleaning and waterproofing.Wash your down jacket in cold water with a down specific technical wash (different to the one you use for garments made from membrane fabrics), such as NixWax® Down Wash.Direct®. Never use fabric softener as it damages your garment and is harmful to the environment.If you feel the DWR coating has become less efficient (i.e. water no longer beads on the jacket) then you can use a down specific waterproofer, such as NixWax® Down Proof™.After the initial wash, put your down jacket on an extra rinse cycle. The detergent residue can stick to the feathers and down after a regular wash cycle making the feathers and down heavy and clumpy, reducing their ability to loft and retain air and heat.After the two cycles, your jacket will be wet and heavy so we recommend laying it flat to dry on a drying rack and gently fluffing up any clumps of down. When it’s almost dry (and be patient because this can take a while.) put it in the tumble dryer on no-to-low heat cycles with a few clean dryer balls in the dryer to restore the feathers’ fluff.
When you come back from a day on the mountain, make sure you hang your garments up to dry. Not only will this mean that you will have warm, dry clothes the next day but it will also prolong the breathability of the membrane.Empty your pockets. A very easy step to forget but trust us, you don’t want to come back 6 months later and realize you left snacks in your pockets… At the end of the season you’ll want to make sure your clothes are clean (washed & waterproofed) and dry, and that any nicks or tears are repaired. You’ll thank yourself next season when you pull on your garments and they are ready for another season of adventures.
When washing synthetic fabrics, microplastics find their way from your clothes into rivers, lakes and oceans. To minimize this pollution we suggest using a Guppyfriend wash bag that filters out these harmful plastics.
FW garments don’t need ironing. The technical fabrics we use are sensitive to damage when exposed to the direct heat of an iron.While we strongly discourage ironing our garments, if you do decide to do so you should always check the product care label first to ensure it is safe and use a cloth between the iron and FW garment as a protective layer.
We create durable garments to stand the test of time but we understand that accidents happen. If your favorite garment ends up in need of a repair, don’t worry. Our robust repair programme operates over three different continents, so wherever you are in the world we will mend your garment.To submit a repair check out our repairs page.
Please treat this page as a guide on best practices for washing and caring for your technical FW equipment. FW is not to be held accountable for the natural wear of your garments, it is ultimately up to you to care for your gear, so that it lasts for many adventures to come.For more on our technical gear, check out the links below.