How to Care for Your Hosiery: 5 Tips for Making Your Pantyhose Last Longer

Throughout the decades, hosiery has become an integral part of women’s wardrobe. While it offers plenty of practical functions like protecting your legs and giving them warmth and comfort, hosiery is also a fashion essential that can add oomph to your everyday outfits. For my UK readers who are not sure what hosiery means, hosiery means hold-ups, stockings or tights and even socks.

woman wearing tights

Whether you prefer knee-high pantyhose or the waist-high variants, there is no doubt that hosiery can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any outfit. 
However, hosiery can be delicate and prone to damage, which can shorten the product's life. In this article, I will discuss tips for caring for your hosiery to make them last longer.

Observe Proper Storage

Proper storage is one key element to making your hosiery last longer. When not in use, hosiery should be stored flat in a drawer, kept in gentle knots, bagged in small garment bags, or hung up in a closet. If you’re finicky about creases and wrinkles, keeping your hosiery on a hanging organizer can help prevent these unsightly folds from forming on the material. Additionally, hanging your hosiery can help prevent damage to the toe and heel areas that can sometimes occur when the hosiery is stored in a rough-surfaced drawer.

Wash Them Properly (And That Means Gently)

When it comes to washing hosiery, it is essential to follow the manufacturer's instructions. When you shop hosiery, you’ll notice that some brands will recommend hand washing, while others will suggest machine washing on a delicate cycle. Whatever the case may be, always use cold water when washing your hosiery because hot water can damage the fabric and may even cause the colour to fade. Additionally, be sure to use a detergent that is specifically designed for delicate fabrics.

That being said, if you choose to machine wash your hosiery, be sure to place them in a lingerie bag or laundry mesh bag to prevent them from getting tangled or snagged on other items in the wash. It’s especially important not to wash these delicate garments together with very heavy pieces of clothing like denim pants—or with any zippered garment that could latch onto the fine fabric of your hosiery. Moreover, don’t use bleach or fabric softeners as they could also cause the material to lose its elasticity.

Lay Them Flat To Dry After Washing

woman wearing tights

When drying your hosiery, avoid using a tumble dryer as the heat can damage the fibres, cause shrinkage, or cause them to melt outright. Instead, lay your hosiery flat on a clean towel and roll the towel up to gently remove any excess water. Then, lay your hosiery flat to dry. Also, avoid hanging your hosiery to dry as this can cause the material to stretch out of shape because of the weight of the water.

Avoid Sun Exposure And Rotate With Other Pairs

Follow the storage tips mentioned above once your hosiery garments are dry. Be sure to store them away from direct sunlight, however, as this could cause the colour to fade and the fabric to degrade. It would be best to keep them in a drawer or inside any opaque container.

If you have a favourite pair of hosiery that you wear frequently, consider purchasing multiple pairs of them so that you can rotate them and give each pair a chance to rest between wears.

Handle Them With Care

When putting on your hosiery, be sure to handle them gently to prevent snags and runs. Also, avoid wearing jewellery that can catch on your hosiery. In fact, it would be best to put on your pantyhose first and then any jewellery last just to prevent them from coming into contact with the garment. Also, be mindful of your toenails, as long or broken toenails can cause damage to the toes of your hosiery. It goes without saying to check the nails on your fingers as well for much the same reason.

Repair Small Damage Quickly

Despite your best efforts, accidents can and will happen, and your hosiery may become damaged. Small runs can be easily repaired with clear nail polish, but larger tears or snags may require more extensive repairs. There are products out on the market that can be used to repair hosiery, and you’ll see them being advertised as repair kits or special glues. However, if the damage is extensive, these products may be of little help in the end. It may be time to retire your hosiery and purchase new pairs instead.

Indeed, hosiery is an essential part of any woman's wardrobe these days, and you likely already own a few of them if you have a standard closet. Naturally, you’ll want to take care of them so that they can last for as long a time as possible. Thankfully, by following the abovementioned tips for caring for your hosiery, you can extend your collection’s lifespan and ensure that they’ll always look their best.

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