True or false? Five common hacks to prevent tights from laddering tested

Tights season is well underway. But how can you stop them from laddering? Read on to discover how true five of the most common hacks are.

Nearly half (47%) of British women admit to wearing tights at least three to four times a week during the colder months. And this can become a pricey style choice as nearly a third (31%) of women ruin three to four pairs of tights every year through laddering and snagging.

In a bid to save money and increase the lifespan of tights, many people turn to quick and well-known hacks like coating them with nail polish or applying hair spray, despite some of these methods ruining the material.

With that in mind, hosiery experts Sarah Western, a technical and quality manager and Charlotte Hanna, a product manager at Pretty Polly, a brand stocked by the digital department store Freemans, have shed light on the top five most popular tight hacks, revealing the ones that are winners and which ones could damage the material.

True hack: Avoid fabric softener when washing tights

Fabric softener can reduce the wicking properties of some fabrics and stop them functioning as they are meant to, and over time will break down the elastane. Constant use of fabric conditioner can leave a residue that dulls the appearance and overtime breaks down the fibres.

True hack: Handwashing is better than machine washing

Handwashing is the best option for delicate hosiery such as patterned tights as it is a gentler process with minimal agitation in wash and removal of water, a mesh laundry bag is essential to prevent potential damage caused by catching on other products in the wash load.

False hack: Using cold water before wearing improves longevity 

Personally, we would say that this isn’t necessary, and you are more likely to cause damage to the tights from unnecessarily washing them.

True hack: Apply hairspray to prevent laddering

We’ve heard of hairspray being used to prevent a ladder running further, rather than being used as ladder prevention.

If using this method, it’s probably best to spray the tights on a flat surface, as the hairspray could be slightly tacky on the skin and might cause the tights to catch. There is also the risk that hairspray could stain the product if used repeatedly.

True hack: Applying nail varnish will prevent a tights ladder from growing bigger

This does work to stop a hole getting bigger. It’s best to use the clear nail varnish as soon as the hole appears. However, it’s a temporary fix as once the tights are damaged you probably only want to stop the damage getting worse while wearing and wouldn’t necessarily wear them again.

Three more tips to help your tights last longer

When it comes to improving longevity of tights, Sarah and Charlotte also share these three tips:

  1. Protect hosiery with careful storage by either bagging or rolling them when not wearing.
  2. Look for quality features that promote durability and longevity of the product such as reinforced toes, anti-run bands etc.
  3. Avoid tumble dryers and harsh strong heat sources when drying your hosiery. Heat degrades the elastane. Instead, dry on an airer or clothesline to protect the fibres and help your hosiery last longer.

A wide selection of tights and hosiery is available at Freemans for all of Brits’ winter and partywear needs.