Sunday, December 2, 2007

How to Buy and Care for a Football/Soccer Shirt

I am not only a connoisseur/admirer of football shirts, I am also a bit of a collector and a wearer of them. Over the years I have had a lot of experience with these shirts and how to care for them. There are some small, easy steps you can take to assure the longevity of your shirts. They are, after all, quite expensive nowadays, quite delicate, and I have never been one to buy my favorite club's shirt with every new edition that comes out. One caveat: here I am talking about shirts that where made post 1987. I really can't tell you much about shirts that where made before then, because as I understand the history of football shirts, different fabrics where being used before then. Furthermore, my attorneys have advised me to add this disclaimer: any information in this post is for entertainment purposes only. The footballkitblog is not responsible for any damage that may be done to your shirts from following this advice. So without further delay, here is a look into my treasure trove of knowledge:


1. You need to start taking care of your shirt before you even take it out of the store. I've been to the club shops of a couple of big clubs, including AC Milan, FC Barcelona, Real Mallorca, Paris St. Germain, Marseille, and Ajax Amsterdam. I've also gone to a lot of other sports stores throughout Europe. These shops are an absolute dream for someone like me who is from the States and digs football. Aside from having all the gear they can also customize your shirt with any name/number you choose, and they do it right in front of you. Here's where you have to be careful. If you choose to buy a shirt and then have it printed, you have to make sure that it does not get folded too quickly afterward. The heat press that puts the name & number on the shirt makes the material they are made of very soft and malleable. If you fold the shirt while the numbers are too hot and let it cool folded, the name and numbers will always have big creases in them which you will never be able to do away with. It will even affect the way the shirt hangs on your back. The workers at these stores (if they are knowledgeable) will tell you that about 5 minutes is enough, but I say give it at least 10–15 minutes. I know you don't want to look like a jerk holding up your shirt in the middle of the store for 15 minutes, but this is really critical. If you can, try to find a place to lay the shirt on its front for that amount of time. If you are going to be walking around with the shirt for an extended period of time, try to fold it so that the number is not folded.

The few times that I've ordered printed shirts on the web, I haven't had any trouble with the numbers being creased. I suppose it all depends what online store you use.


2. This one may sound obvious, but don't get your shirt too dirty. These shirts can get discolored and damaged very easily, and you will enjoy them longer the less that happens. Don't smoke with one on if you can avoid it. Aside from the smell, one tiny cinder can make a hole in a football shirt a lot faster than on a cotton shirt. If you go to the movies and order some popcorn, take the shirt off and fold it, and put it underneath or behind you (for the sake of your fellow moviegoers, don't do this unless you have an undershirt). Popcorn is greasy and in a dark theatre kernels can easily slip out of your hand onto the shirt. Presto–you now have a permanent grease stain. These grease stains seem to be a lot more visible for some reason on football shirts.


3. How you launder your shirt is the single most important thing you can do to maintain the long life of your shirt. No matter what the color, ALWAYS wash your shirts in cold water, and if you can, use the washing machine's delicate setting (not absolutely necessary). Hand washing is even better, but I know that if you are on the web, then you probably have access to a washing machine. Try to use liquid detergent. Powdered detergent leaves a residue sometimes. For the love of God, NEVER, NEVER use any type of fabric softener when washing your football shirts. Fabric softener makes them permanently wrinkled. No matter what you do, you will never really be able to fix it. Also, NEVER, EVER put your football shirts in a dryer. For best results, you have to take the shirt out of the wash IMMEDIATELY after the machine's washing cycle has stopped. If you let the shirt sit in the wash for a while, or if you machine–dry it, it will also become permanently wrinkled (although not as bad as if you use softener). After taking the shirt out of the wash, dry it completely on a hanger or by laying it flat on something before folding it. Don't iron your shirts. If you want to try it, use a cold iron, but I have found that this is pretty useless.


4. Don't wear a back–pack/ruksack on top of you football shirt. The constant rubbing of the shirt in between your back and the sack is abrasive on these delicate shirts. This causes those tiny little bubbles that will appear on football shirts over time. Also, try to avoid wearing anything with velcro© as it sometimes catches on the shirt and causes ugly snags.


5. Lastly, don't buy football shirts on ebay unless you are prepared for the shirt to be a fake. My experience has been that 90% of football shirts (especially recent releases) sold on ebay are fakes, no matter where the seller is from. If you are dead–set on buying one there, make sure the seller tells you it is 100% authentic. Ask questions and be specific. For example, "Are you absolutely sure that this shirt is 100% authentic AC Milan Adidas replica?" Also, try to get the seller to guarantee your right to return the shirt if you think it's a fake. Fakes are getting so good nowadays right down to the tags, but there are always telltale signs. Mostly though, you can't tell a good fake from a real shirt unless you are comparing them side by side.


So there it is. I know this guide would have been useful to me when I first started buying football shirts 20 years ago. That's what the web is all about right, the sharing of information. Enjoy and good luck with your shirts.

38 comments:

Vasco_Brazilian said...

it reads the commentaries of the postagem of February, the twisted vascaína makes you a homage

mad.redo1 said...

This is a good blog. I also have a collection of jerseys. Most of them are Arsenal jerseys as I am a Gooner. I have a number of other jerseys with adidas and nike being the favourites together with a number of goalkeeper jerseys.

sports apparel said...

Yes iam a collector of shirts. You realy need to keep a shirt for 30 years or more if you expect it to worth any thing. Try anf get it signed by a star player and have some one take the photoe of them signing. Dont get the star to personilize it or it will be worthless

zizoufan said...

hwy, im having a bit of trouble with a jersey. it has a name and number printed and the letters are starting to curl and come off. do u know how to fix it. i dont want to do something and ruin the shirt

A. Kane said...

unfortunately zizoufan, there is no good answer to your question. once names/numbers start peeling from football shirts, there is very little you can do. I think you really only have a couple of options:

Option 1: carefully peel and remove the name and number from the shirt. This will leave a discoloration from where the name/number used to be, but over time, and with more washes this will be come less obvious. of course, if you are really attached to the name/number, this option would be out of the question.

Option 2: stop wearing the shirt. if it has a lot of sentimental value for you, stick it in the back of your closet and forget about it for a while. I don't know of any way to reverse the peeling process, and the more you wear and wash the shirt, the worse it will get.

I know these were probably not the answers you were looking for, but it's the best I got.

footballfangirl19 said...

Is there a way to safely iron shirts? have you tried steaming at a dry-cleaner?

superchelseafc13 said...

I have justg bought a new shirt with my name and number on the back. Can i put it in the washing machine or should i hand wash it? thanks scott

A. Kane said...

Hi, Thanks for your comment superchelseafc13. Yes, you can wash football shirts in the machine, just make sure to use a mild detergent, and use absolutely no fabric softeners or other additives. Also, remove the garment from the wash immediately after the cycle is over. You can hang dry or lay flat to dry.

lfc fan said...

hi i bought my new lfc shirt yesterday and i noticed the name print was creased .but it waz the guy at the shop who folded it too early . i bought it from jjb store in england .could i refund it .........label stil on as well thank you

SK Lee said...

I bought my Arsenal shirt from my local Nike store recently, and it already has 'wrinkles' on the 2 sleeves when I remove it from the plastic packaging.

I tried ironing it using the lowest temperature but it won't go away. Help, it's quite disturbing and it cost me a fortune!

victorygal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
victorygal said...

I've got a name and number on the back of a Melbourne Victory jersey that is starting to get sticky. It will stick to anything it touches and leaves bits of white from the number on everything. Is there anything that can be done to stop it from being sticky?

Manchester United Shirt said...

I love manchester united team and for that reason I've participated in Manchester United signed shirtPrize Draw.I hope i can wear it in there next match.

Anonymous said...

when the number came off my shirt i pressed a steam iron in top of it and the number on stayed on

Brooks Taylor said...

I sell AUTHENTIC jerseys on eBay, Always post Nike's Authentic label tag with its number in clear view, ive even gone to the lengths of taking a macro picture of the individual threads on the Manchester patch so the customer could see it wasnt ironed on.

tiwati shubham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
discount football shirts said...

According to me, this is very nice and informative content. The details you have been distributed about how to buy and proper take good care of a soccer shirts is might very helpful to buy exclusively for soccer fans.

VyRez said...

My shirt is creased a little bit round the armpits because I wore my bag, is there a way to get rid of the creases without damaging the Dri-fit material and without damaging the actual shirt? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

my gf got some lip gloss/lipstick on my barcelona jersey...any help to safely get rid of it?

Soccer jerseys said...

I wash all my jerseys (game jerseys or Football jerseys) separately in cold water without detergent. I lay flat or hang to dry, depending on material.

I find Puma to be the flimsiest, with the sponsors peeling off the easiest. Next Nike and then Adidas, which I've found to be rock solid. Never had a problem with a Kappa jersey.
Soccer Jerseys

Anonymous said...

For football fans, this is a very useful experience. For football shirt selection is a problem, especially to buy good football shirts or cheap football shirt.

John Goodwill said...

i was told by my club shop never ever wash my shirt with fabric conditioner has this removes the lettering print on the shirts if this is true why would fabric conditioner do this

Anonymous said...

I recommend this article:http://www.footballtshirtuk.com/index.php?route=information/news&news_id=36 .I hope for your help.

Semi custom made soccer uniforms said...

This article is very good & informative.I have gain so much information from this blog.I like your blog.Thanks for the post.I am waiting for your new post.

reiko said...

Good post!!I got to know about
TogaSports who sponsor football matches as well provides cheap kids football kits and many football related products.

Sean said...

Ahhh, is there really nothing to do to get out the creases if you've used fabric softener?! I actually committed three cardinal sins, warm wash, fabric softener and left in the machine... My shirts are basically fucked now, aren't they? Wish I'd read this blog before...

Jenny Saunder said...

nice post sharing information related to Custom Football Uniforms

Seo Sea said...

A very high quality Non Wrinkle and Non Sweat dress shirt using special imported woven KoolBiz microfiber fabric to give a very high quality look and feel without the sweat. With no outer stitching seams, the shirt has a very smooth and sleek unique look. Most stains just wash straight out in the wash without any special powders or rubbing. 7 western sizes from XS to XXXL so suitable for men or women. 30 Day money back guarantee. Here are available non wrinkle shirts, non iron shirts, non wrinkle dress shirts, non iron business shirts, business shirts Australia, Dress Shirts Australia, business shirts USA, Dress Shirts USA; women’s dress shirts and women’s business shirts.

Unknown said...

I ordered my jersey online. I know this thread is mostly for soccer jerseys, but mine is an nfl jersey. When it came, it was (of course) folded, and now I want to get the creases out of the shoulders. There's a sewn number at the top of the crease, and then a more plastic/painted design on down the crease. (Yes, I know zero about jersey material terminology. Oh well.) What can I do?

konectfootball kits said...

Your blog is really good. I also belongs to football kit industry. If you are running institute, club or school and looking for a customised football kit then we can help you. We are Konect Football Kit company provide services like customised jersey, shorts and T-shirts as per client requirement with the best rates.

Unknown said...

Hi, I was just wondering if you happened to know how to remove colour run in jerserys. I have a FC Barcelona jersey and the navy color ran into the yellow strips on the side and into the white logos on the the sides.

Josh Aron said...

SoccerBox.com provide advice on how to buy and care for your soccer jersey.
In my opinion they are the best in the business with regards to quality and customer service.

benderchardsfat1970 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken said...

I like to check how to deal with sponsership words starting to get sticky as when 1st brought, it has a smooth feeling texture, but after keeping in my wardrobe for sometime, the sponnsership words start to get a very sticky on it. Any help or advise???

Crystal Sports said...

This bit of composing offers clear thought intended for the new clients of blogging, that truly how to do blogging and website building.
Cricket Gloves

Unknown said...

I'm I'm desperate need of some help. My wife washed my two man utd footy shirts (one red, one white) at different times but some colour has run into both of them. Is there any way to get the colour run back out. I'm desperate .thanks in advance

Sublimation Garments said...

Nice post really...

Custom Football Shorts

Bestchinapills said...

I discovered this blog after quite a while which is truly useful to let comprehend distinctive methodologies. I will receive these new indicate my profession and appreciative for this offer assistance.

รองเท้าฟุตบอลหายาก