Can You Tumble Dry A Fleece? (is it safe or does it shrink)

You can tumble dry fleece on a no heat setting but as fleece is made from man made materials (mainly polyester), fleece will leave the washing machine almost dry. This means it will take only a short time to air dry fleece.

The harsh rough and tumble of a tumble dryer could cause your fleece items to start pilling. This is where the material starts to form small circular bobbles which are caused by rubbing against other garments in the dryer or even against the walls of the drum.

Fleece can also lose its fluffiness if subjected to heat so you’ll need to wash fleece at low temperatures and air dry or tumble dry using no heat.

Fleece should never be subjected to heat as it can become irreversibly damaged. You should never wash or tumble dry fleece at high temperatures, and you should never iron fleece.

Fleece is basically recycled plastic which is why it is so adversely affected by heat.

You should always consult the care label before washing or drying any fleece items.

What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On A Fleece

Tumble Dryer Symbols On Clothes

We have listed below all of the symbols pertaining to tumble dryers. Only a few of these will be used on fleece items but we’ll include them all for your information.

  • Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top – Do not tumble dry. This could be the symbol you find on your fleece. If it is then you should never tumble dry your fleece even at low temperatures.
  • Square With White Circle – You can tumble dry, if you find this symbol on your fleece, it should be tumble dried on a no/low heat setting only.
  • Square With Black Circle – You can dry normal, with no heat, this is more than likely the symbol you’ll find on your fleece.
  • Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle – This indicates you can dry on normal, low heat. It is possible to find this label on fleece items.
  • Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle – This indicates you can dry normal, medium heat. You’re unlikely to find this symbol on any fleece item.
  • Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle – You can dry normal, high heat. It is highly unlikely to find this symbol on any fleece item.

How To Dry A Fleece Without A Tumble Dryer

Fleece is made from man made materials like polyester and as such dries relatively quickly without any heat. In fact heat can severely and irreversibly damage fleece items. Which is why it is always best to dry fleece naturally.

Below we have listed the best (and safest) ways to dry fleece. Which are;

Drying Fleece On A Clothesline

After removing your fleece from the washing machine, you’ll probably notice it is almost dry. That’s one of the great properties of the materials used to make fleece. 

All that is needed to completely dry your fleece is to hang it on a clothesline, rotary line or retractable clothesline for an hour or so in a shady position – Out of direct sunlight.

It is important that your fleece is dried in a shady position as the heat from the sun can cause damage to the fleece. 

If space is at a premium in your garden or if you would like to line dry your fleece indoors, a retractable clothesline is a great idea.

The line is extended from one wall to another while being used to dry your fleece. It can then be retracted into the wall mounted box until the next time it is needed. 

This frees up valuable space when you don’t have any washing to be dried.

SEE ALSO: Retractable Clotheslines

Drying A Fleece Using An Airer

You can either lay the fleece flat on one of the airer’s flat surfaces or drape the fleece over one of the racks to air dry. 

The airer can be used indoors or out but if you’re drying a fleece outdoors, remember to position the airer out of direct sunlight.

Using An Electric Fan To Decrease Drying Times Indoors

You can simulate a gentle breeze by positioning an electric fan to blow across the fleece as it is drying indoors.

By opening a window you will allow any moisture to escape which will help speed up the drying process.

SEE ALSO: The Top Bladeless Fans

A Dehumidifier Will Speed Up Drying Times Indoors

Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air which allows extra moisture to be released from the drying fleece.

This can significantly reduce drying times.

SEE ALSO: Good Dehumidifiers For Drying Fleece

What Happens If You Tumble Dry A Fleece

Always check the wash care labels

You should always follow the care instructions on your fleece with regard to washing and in particular drying. If you choose to ignore the care label your fleece could become damaged in one of the following ways;

Shrinking Fleece

As fleece is made from man made materials, mainly polyester, it is likely to shrink if exposed to high temperatures. This is why fleece should be air dried or tumble dried on a no heat or low heat setting only.

Damage To The Fleece

If the polyester is exposed to heat in a tumble dryer it might not shrink if it is removed soon enough. However the fibres could have become damaged just enough to cause a weakness. This weak spot could tear as soon as any pressure is applied to it.

Fleece Can Lose Its Fluffiness

If fleece is exposed to high heat for even a short length of time, it can lose its fluffiness. And in many cases once the fluffiness is lost, it is gone forever.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when you put fleece in the dryer?

If you put fleece in a dryer it could melt and/or shrink. As well as losing its fluffiness.

Is it safe to put a fleece in a tumble dryer?

You should consult your care label first, but in most cases it is OK to tumble dry fleece using no heat or at the very most the low heat setting.

How can I dry a fleece without a tumble dryer?

 Fleece is a very quick drying material and will dry without a tumble dryer. To dry fleece without using a tumble dryer you can; air dry on a washing line, rotary line or retractable clothesline or on an airer (clothes horse).

What is the best dryer setting for fleece?

The best dryer setting for fleece is no heat or at the very most the low heat setting.

Does fleece dry quickly?

Fleece dries extremely quickly as it absorbs hardly any moisture. In fact, in some cases it is possible to dry fleece whilst wearing it.

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