How to Stop Football Shirts Peeling
While most sportswear is designed to be sturdy and weather the elements, colour fading is only natural over time. As football shirts are designed to be bright and loud, and are usually covered with printed decals, they are more susceptible to weathering than most other activewear.
Whether due to washing or lots of good use, the numbers and letters on your favourite shirts may start to peel. Keep supporting your favourite team and players by looking after your kit, understanding how to wash it properly and carefully, and learning how to restore and repair feeling prints below.
Read our guide now for a comprehensive guide on how to stop football shirts peeling and care for your kit.
How are numbers and letters printed on football shirts?
Before you attempt to repair a football shirt, it is important to understand how they are made and what they are comprised of.
Modern shirts are made from polyester - a type of fabric made from plastics. The team badge is usually sewn onto this, and numbers and letters are either printed or glued on, or applied by heat transfer. This makes them weak points for weathering, which can lead to them becoming unstuck.
Traditionally-made shirts were often made of high-quality cotton, with decals embroidered rather than applied. This makes them more durable but requires proper care and attention.
How to repair numbers and letters on football shirts
The difficulty of repairing shirt printing depends on the material used.. To restick peeling numbers, the simple application of fabric glue to the underside of the symbol can help to reattach it. Follow this by covering the shirt in a towel and ironing over the areas where the peeling symbols are using low heat and no steam. Some guides suggest using plain white paper cardboard, but we recommend using a neutral coloured fabric as paper can be burnt, and may not protect the shirt as effectively.
Hold the iron over the desired area for 30 seconds, and lay the shirt flat for 24 hours to allow it to dry. You can then repeat the process until the whole letter is stuck to the shirt again.
For symbols that are printed on, this may be more difficult to achieve, so the best way to avoid them from fading and cracking is to take care of the shirt through proper washing.
How to wash football shirts
First, separate your colours - football kits are often bright and vibrant, meaning they could dye other clothes. Avoid washing them with whites, and do so in cold water. You might be tempted to give your kits a hot wash to get rid of dirt and grime, but this can cause fading and fabric glue or print to weaken.
To reduce the risk of a shirt print becoming unstuck or snagging onto another piece of clothing in the wash, you should always wash a shirt inside out.
Once washed, do not tumble or radiator-dry as this can cause shrinking and creasing. Instead, hang straight on a rack straight after the wash is done. This may take longer, but will have a massive impact on how long they retain their quality.
To remove wrinkles and creases, iron inside out with caution, avoiding any stitching and embroidery, as they could come unravelled due to the heat.
Retro football shirts
Looking after retro shirts can take a bit more care and attention, but high-quality shirts made from cotton add longevity to a premium feel. The shirts from TOFFS are all created from 100% cotton and are handcrafted right down to the embroidery. Retro shirts are valuable and often have sentimental value, so good maintenance is essential. Read more about looking after your retro football shirts here.
Shop top-quality retro football shirt replicas by visiting our store.