The simple answer to that question is yes. But have you ever wondered why it is recommended that you wash your clothes before wearing them for the first time?
Have you ever developed a rash a few days after wearing a brand-new clothing item? Has this been happening more frequently? As we get older, our skin tends to thin and become more sensitive. We may react more easily to irritants now more than ever.
There are a few reasons why washing your new garment before putting it in contact with your skin for an extended period of time is a good idea.
One of the most common reasons to wash your new item is because of the residual and extra dyes that are on the garments that can transfer to your skin and alleviate the chances of provoking allergic contact dermatitis.
This can cause a rash that can last for several days or even weeks. This skin reaction can happen out of the blue even if you have worn unwashed new clothing items in the past. Synthetic fabrics, like polyester and nylon, are fabrics that seem to harbor the most excess dyes.
Chemicals used in producing fabrics and manufacturing garments can be irritating to the skin and even harmful to your health. The apparel industry doesn’t have the cleanest slate when it comes to health and environmental concerns. Fabric treatments and finishes, like anti-wrinkles for example, can irritate sensitive skin. The treatment applied fades over time with regular washes.
Is your new garment really new? Chances are the item has been tried on in the store before you purchased it. It may have even been bought, worn, and returned. Also, many hands have touched your new clothing item before it made it to your closet; from the apparel workers to the shop employees.
People carry bacteria, fungi, and even insects on their bodies (yes, even you). Although chances are low, you may increase the risk of contracting an infection from a garment.
I worked in the apparel industry for over 20 years and part of my job as a fashion designer was to have fit samples and approved samples delivered to my office before production. These are essentially the same garments that, after approval, are manufactured the same way the sample was and then shipped to the stores.
I have opened boxes of surprises a few times over the years. I once had a stowaway. A small iguana-type animal had hitched a ride all the way from China to Canada. This little guy didn’t make it, but he sure left behind his natural bodily matter on the samples. Other times, samples smelled of smoke or had other unpleasant odors.
Now that I have probably scared the bejesus out of you, you know the main reasons for washing clothes before wearing them for the first time. Read the care label on the garment and wash according to the instructions and have peace of mind.
Do you always wash your new garments before wearing them? Did you know all these reasons why you should wash your new clothing items? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.