Picture a tee that you have that is perfectly vintage-soft. Soft vintage tee shirts are so amazing to find as you shop, but the truth is that most used tee shirts don’t quite have that incredible texture. There is a trick, however, that you can use to make all of your tee shirts feel that way! Here’s how.
Step One: Find A Great Used Tee
Some of the best fabrics to look for are modal (which is a kind of rayon), cotton, or a cotton and polyester blend. Look for a cut and size that you like. An over-sized, soft tee can be great to wear to bed!
Step Two: Prepare The Solution
Remember science class? I bet you’ve mixed up some solutions before. This one isn’t hard to do, and all you need is water and table salt! Table salt, or sodium-iodine, is an ionic compound. It dissolves into the water to make the perfect fabric-tenderizer. Use about a cup of salt to a quart of warm water.
Step Three: Submerge Your Shirt and Let It Soak
Next up, you have to pop your shirt into the salt bath and let it sit there. For how long? Good question! Some say three days, and others say just seven minutes. Perhaps it depends on the kind of fabric, or how worn down the fabric is already. I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to split the difference.
I left my shirt in for about 14 hours. My test tee was a cotton/poly blend that was about two years old. After I washed it, it still felt the same. Next, I tried soaking it for three days. Success! Therefor, I recommend leaving your tee in the salt bath for three whole days. Test out your patience skills!
Step Four: Wash, Dry, and Touch Up
Wash and dry your salty top as you regularly would. I used a fabric softener because I knew it couldn’t hurt! If your tee has a painted on logo or design, you can lightly wear it down with a bit of fine sand paper or a rough scrubbing pad.
And now you have a “tenderized” tee shirt; one that feels vintage soft even though it may not have truly earned the title. Wear your tee under an ’80s style blazer or with an unbuttoned fair isle sweater! This little tenderizing trick might feel like cheating, but you quickly get over it as you enjoy your super soft tee shirts. Mine turned out great! Let me know how your science experiment goes in the comments below.