Shrinking LP Apex breeches.

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by wwittman, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    So, my new Apex breeches are right (enough anyway) at the waist but a bit long.

    My thought is to try to slightly shrink them in the dryer.

    Anyone think this is:
    A) a good idea
    B) madness

    ?

    I can’t see how they could otherwise be shortened by your average tailor.
     
  2. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    What you suggest doing will ruin any protection that the material offers. What you are suggesting doing is nothing but pure madness.

    To maintain the integrity of the uniform material, wash your fencing uniform only in cold water with a non-bleach detergent. Follow the washing by line drying (ie no dryer).
     
  3. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    Is that true?
    The dryer would "ruin" it's 800N rating?

    I understand how bleach might break down fibers.
    I don't see how the dryer does.

    I also know plenty of fencers (including my Olympian coach) who wash and dry their uniforms and accept some shrinkage.
     
  4. Blackwood

    Blackwood DE Bracket

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    Apart from the damage to the fabric, it is likely that you will make the waist too tight before you have any noticeable effect on the length.
     
  5. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    that may be

    I can afford to lose about an inch in the waist, but two in the length.
    still every little bit would help.
    and in truth, I find jeans tend to get too short before they get too tight in the dryer (although yes, I know, fencing breeches aren't jeans)
     
  6. fencer-dad-of-fencer

    fencer-dad-of-fencer Made the Cut

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    I don't have Apex breeches, but I do have an Apex jacket, and I doubt it will work. I used to dry my jacket all the time (now I don't) and it didn't shrink significantly.
     
  7. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Heat. Things shrink in the dryer because of the heat. Dryers get quite hot.

    You can turn off the heat in a dryer, use the delicate cycle or whatever, but then you defeat the purpose of shrinking the fabric because it's the heat which does the job.

    Just about everything we do to clean them causes the fibers in fabrics, just about all fabrics, to deteriorate. Bleach, detergents, soaking, agitation, hot water, minerals in the water. ( Not to mention exposure to sunlight and just wearing them. )

    Plus as fencer-dad-of-fencer says, the ballistic fabrics used in FIE uniforms really don't shrink much, if at all. And if they did, I suspect that they would just stretch back out again in use. Or as Mr. Grainger used to say, "Don't worry about the trouser legs, sir, they'll ride up with wear". :D
     
  8. posineg

    posineg DE Bracket

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    B. Madness

    Note: your average Taylor should be able to rip the seam between the elastic cuff and hem and then hem the pants to the new length without much problem.
     
  9. dcchew

    dcchew Podium

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    Maybe I"m getting old and cranky. In my opinion, your uniform (jacket, knickers, glove, plastron, mask) are your last means of protecting yourself against injury. Why anyone would do anything to reduce that degree of protection is beyond me.

    If your uniform doesn't fit you properly, get it properly tailored or get a uniform that does fit you.
     
  10. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    You’re unlikely to be older or crankier than I am.

    I suppose my thought was that tailoring is more risky a proposition in terms of safety/integrity than drying.
     
  11. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    Tailoring would change one small area around the legs. Drying would affect the entire garment.
     
  12. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    If the tailor uses the appropriate thread, why would it be at all risky? Melting the plastics in the fabric on the other hand...
     
  13. anton_fairfax

    anton_fairfax Made the Cut

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    I feel like I would trust an expert like a tailor before doing an experiment with unknown results on an expensive piece of uniform. Worst case the tailor could take the hem apart then say no, it can’t be done for whatever reason, then reassemble it. If the dryer stuffs it up, there’s no going back...and as jkormann said, he’s just playing with the very edge of the leg, not the fabric of the whole garment.

    (full disclosure - this is second hand info - my wife is a dressmaker)
     
  14. neevel

    neevel Armorer

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    As an additional data point, I know one person who did destroy an FIE uniform by having it dried on high heat (in this case, he ran it through the hotel laundry in an attempt to get it cleaned and dried quickly). The Apex, like all FIE uniforms today, is of synthetic fabric which won’t behave like cotton under heat. I’d take it to a tailor to get it hemmed.
     
  15. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    Thanks. That’s clearly consensus.
     
  16. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Actually no. Look at your dryer. All that lint in the lint trap. That used to be fibers in clothing. The heat and tumbling action cause the fibers to break and all off. If you've ever looked at an old towel that's been washed a lot you'll see that it looks much thinner than a new one. That's the fibers breaking and coming apart and ending up in the lint trap. Where dryers are really helpful is making clothing much softer by breaking the fabrics fibers. Likewise you don't want your uniform to be soft. It's easier and more subject to penetration.

    Whereas ripping, i.e. cutting thread and then restitching the seam does not cause any breakdown in the fiber. But you do need a decent tailor/seamstress to do the work with a sewing machine capable of handling heavy fabrics. And you don't want the stitching to be too close together as you can then cut the material with the needle.
     

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