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varsity jacket
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How to wash varsity jacket

History of Varsity Jackets

The plain letterman jacket has its roots in the early 20th century, it is also know as letterman jacket when Harvard University’s baseball team began wearing wool and leather jackets to keep warm during games. The trend caught on and soon other universities and high schools began adopting the style, often incorporating their school colors and logos into the design.

Design and Style

Varsity jackets come in a wide variety of styles and designs, with different colors, materials, and patches representing different schools and teams. The traditional varsity jacket typically features a wool body, leather or synthetic sleeves, and ribbed cuffs and waistband. The jacket may also feature a large letter patch on the chest, as well as smaller patches representing sports teams or academic achievements. Modern varsity jackets may also incorporate more contemporary materials and designs, such as denim or satin bodies, embroidered patches, or graphic prints.

Popularity and Cultural Significance

Varsity jackets have long been a staple of American youth culture, representing team spirit, school pride, and a sense of belonging. The jackets have also been featured in numerous films, TV shows, and other media, becoming an iconic symbol of American high school and college life. In recent years, the popularity of varsity jackets has spread beyond the United States, with the style being embraced by fashion-conscious individuals around the world.

Purchasing a Varsity Jacket

Varsity jackets can be purchased from a variety of retailers, both in-store and online. Some popular options include sporting goods stores, online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, and custom varsity jacket retailers. When purchasing a varsity jacket, it’s important to consider factors such as size, style, and customization options to ensure that you get the perfect jacket to represent your school or team spirit.

Caring for Your Varsity Jacket

Proper care and maintenance can help to ensure that your varsity jacket lasts for years to come. This may include spot cleaning stains as soon as they occur, dry cleaning wool and leather portions of the jacket as needed, and storing the jacket in a cool, dry place when not in use. It’s also important to avoid exposing the jacket to heat or direct sunlight, as this can cause the colors to fade or the materials to become damaged.

II. Check the Care Label

Before washing your varsity jacket, it’s important to check the care label to ensure you’re following the manufacturer’s instructions for care. The care label should be located on the inside of the jacket, usually near the neck or the waistband.

Some common care label symbols you may see on your varsity jacket include:

  • Machine washable: If your jacket is machine washable, the care label will indicate the appropriate water temperature, cycle, and any additional instructions such as using a gentle cycle or washing separately from other items.
  • Hand wash only: Some varsity jackets may require hand washing only. If this is the case, the care label will indicate that the jacket should be washed in cold water and hung to dry.
  • Dry clean only: If your varsity jacket is dry clean only, the care label will indicate this. It’s important to follow this instruction as washing the jacket in water could cause damage or shrinkage.
  • Do not iron: The care label may also indicate that the jacket should not be ironed. If this is the case, avoid using a hot iron on the jacket as this could melt or damage any synthetic materials.

By following the care label instructions, you can help prolong the life of your varsity jacket and prevent any damage or shrinkage during the washing process.


Before washing your varsity jacket, it’s important to pre-treat any stains or spots. This will help to ensure that they are fully removed during the washing process.

1. Identify Stains

Before pre-treating, you need to identify any stains or spots on your varsity jacket. Check the sleeves, cuffs, collar, and body of the jacket carefully for any visible stains.

2. Spot-Clean Stains

If you find any stains or spots, you should spot-clean them before washing. Use a stain remover or pre-treatment solution and apply it directly to the affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the fabric.

3. Test the Solution

Before applying any stain remover or pre-treatment solution, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the jacket first. This will ensure that the solution doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage to the fabric. Wait for the test area to dry before proceeding with the rest of the jacket.

4. Use a Laundry Detergent

If you don’t have a pre-treatment solution, you can use a small amount of laundry detergent instead. Mix the detergent with warm water and apply it directly to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush.

5. Rinse the varsity Jacket

After pre-treating the stains, rinse the jacket thoroughly with cool water. Make sure to remove all traces of the stain remover or detergent. Squeeze out excess water gently, but don’t wring the jacket, as this can damage the fabric.

6. Air-Dry the varsity Jacket

After pre-treatment and rinsing, hang the jacket up to air-dry. Avoid using a dryer, as the heat can shrink or damage the fabric. Make sure to hang the jacket in a well-ventilated area, and don’t expose it to direct sunlight, as this can cause fading or discoloration.

Hand Washing

If you prefer to wash your varsity jacket by hand, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause the jacket to shrink or fade.
  2. Submerge the jacket in the water and gently agitate it to distribute the soap. Avoid scrubbing too hard, as this can damage the material.
  3. Let the jacket soak for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Drain the soapy water and refill the sink or basin with clean, lukewarm water.
  5. Rinse the jacket thoroughly in the clean water to remove all soap residue.
  6. Gently press the jacket against the side of the sink or basin to remove excess water. Avoid wringing the jacket out, as this can cause it to lose its shape.
  7. Lay the jacket flat on a clean towel and roll up the towel to absorb more moisture.
  8. Unroll the towel and reshape the jacket as needed. Then, lay the jacket flat to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid exposing the jacket to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can cause it to fade or shrink.

Hand washing your varsity jacket can help ensure that it remains in good condition and extends its lifespan.

When washing a varsity jacket, it is important to take the appropriate measures to protect the material and maintain its quality. Hand washing is a gentle and effective way to clean a varsity jacket without causing damage. By following these steps, you can help ensure that your jacket remains in good condition for years to come.

It is important to note that varsity jackets made of wool should not be washed frequently, as they can shrink and lose their shape. It is recommended to spot clean stains and only wash the jacket when necessary. Additionally, be sure to check the care label on your jacket for specific washing instructions, as some jackets may require dry cleaning instead of hand washing.

Dyeing a Varsity Jacket

If you want to change the color of your varsity jacket or simply give it a fresh new look, dyeing it is an option. Here are some steps to follow:


  • Varsity jacket
  • Fabric dye
  • Salt (if required by dye instructions)
  • Gloves
  • Bucket or sink
  • Stirring utensil


  1. Read the dye instructions carefully to ensure that the dye is appropriate for the material of your varsity jacket. If in doubt, consult with a professional cleaner or tailor.
  2. Fill a bucket or sink with hot water, according to the dye instructions.
  3. Add the dye and salt to the water, if required.
  4. Stir the water and dye mixture with a utensil to ensure that the dye is evenly distributed.
  5. Put on gloves to avoid getting dye on your hands.
  6. Submerge the varsity jacket in the dye mixture, making sure that it is fully submerged and that there are no air pockets. Stir the jacket around in the dye mixture to ensure that it is evenly coated.
  7. Allow the jacket to soak in the dye mixture for the amount of time specified in the dye instructions, stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove the jacket from the dye mixture and rinse it thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clear.
  9. Hang the jacket up to dry, making sure that it is not in direct sunlight or heat, as this can cause fading or damage to the material.
  10. Once the jacket is dry, inspect it to ensure that the dye has evenly penetrated the material. If there are any areas that need more dye, repeat the dyeing process.

Note: Dyeing a varsity jacket can be risky, as the process can damage the material or cause shrinkage. It is recommended to consult with a professional cleaner or tailor before attempting to dye your jacket. For other hoodies visit here

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