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    Default breaking in gear

    What can a person do to "soften" up his gear. You know like a new baseball glove, it just dosent fit right until its broke in. I knoe the simple answer would be, wear it to more fires, but thankfully that is a problem we dont have. Ive thought washing it or something like that may help, but any tricks would be appreciated.

    Thanks

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    Just wear it around the house, station, or anywhere else where it isn't inconvenient. This should help to break it in a little.
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    The gear should be broken according to the manufacturers instructions. Morning Pride recommends washing the gear prior to wearing it to soften the fabric. Washing it does, in fact, cause it to soften up quite a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    The gear should be broken according to the manufacturers instructions. Morning Pride recommends washing the gear prior to wearing it to soften the fabric. Washing it does, in fact, cause it to soften up quite a bit.
    guess i have t write 10 charecters, but...

    Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    Washing it does, in fact, cause it to soften up quite a bit.
    "Softening it up" = "Wearing it out"

    Is it really worth shortening the duty life of a $2000 PPE ensemble just to make it more comfy to wear?
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

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    Yes I think it would be. Try swinging an axe or crawling around all stiffen up I think you would exhaust more breath. As far as wearing it out with washing it a few times I dout it. Do what ever you have to do to soften it up, much more comfortable and easier to work with tools and stuff. I am sure somebody around here has some tricks of the trade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    "Softening it up" = "Wearing it out"

    Is it really worth shortening the duty life of a $2000 PPE ensemble just to make it more comfy to wear?
    Yes.............. Comfort usually means that it is less stiff and easier to work in. Less stiff, less restrictive gear = better fireground performance, to me anyway.
    I am a complacent liability to the fire service

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    I knew I would attract a little criticism with the question, almost like im trying to wear it out before I get good use out of it. I feel much safer in gear that I am comfortable in and not restricted. My head movements with an airpack are a pain since the collar is so stiff, everything just feels bulky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam18 View Post
    I knew I would attract a little criticism with the question, almost like im trying to wear it out before I get good use out of it. I feel much safer in gear that I am comfortable in and not restricted. My head movements with an airpack are a pain since the collar is so stiff, everything just feels bulky.
    Better, IMHO, to break it in with actual use than to put artificial wear and tear on it just for convenience.
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    If you want to soften it up a little, wash it (once) in a commercial washer/extractor. Turn the coat and the pants inside-out first. This will protect the Velcro and hardware from becoming damaged.

    Immediately after the wash, turn it right side to and either air dry it, or use a commercial bunker gear dryer.

    It'll soften up more and more with each use.




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    Washing should be performed to "soften" new gear. As we found out with our last 2 styles of gear, turnout manufacturers starch the fabrics to make them stiff enough to sew. Washing the gear once or twice will remove the starch, allow the fabric to flex as intended and "fluff" the thermal liner, actually increasing insulation. (The NFPA rates TPP AFTER multiple washes)

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    Come to think of it, my last set of gear was sooooooooo soft because of repeated washes.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Better, IMHO, to break it in with actual use than to put artificial wear and tear on it just for convenience.
    Thanks for your opinion. I'll be sure to make a note of it

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    "Softening it up" = "Wearing it out"

    Is it really worth shortening the duty life of a $2000 PPE ensemble just to make it more comfy to wear?

    First of all..I hope you arent serious????

    Second of all, prove to me how washing the gear as described by the manufacturer reduces its duty life, im all ears.

    Ours is only about 1400 dollars.

    If it was bad for the gear the people who make it wouldnt recommend it in the delivery paperwork. Or did I miss something??

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    "Don't forget me!"


    (Actually, using fabric softener is a big no-no!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    First of all..I hope you arent serious????
    Yes, actually, I am.

    Second of all, prove to me how washing the gear as described by the manufacturer reduces its duty life, im all ears.
    Some manufacturers may very well advise washing it on arrival. Once. Otherwise you'll find that the industry standard is once every 6 months or after it becomes heavily soiled.

    As for it affecting duty life, its a simple fact of life that each washing contributes significant wear to any wovern fabric. The reason it feels "softer" after repeated washings is that the fibers are physically becoming worn and the waeve is loosening.

    Bunker gear is generally accepted to have a maximum of a 5 year life span as it is (often less). Why do anything to potentially lower that lifespan when it's not necessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    Ours is only about 1400 dollars.
    Okay. You choose whatever gear you prefer. $1400 is still nothing to sneeze at.

    If it was bad for the gear the people who make it wouldnt recommend it in the delivery paperwork. Or did I miss something??
    A single wash will remove any processing chemicals and/or starches but won't have a very significant effect on the gear's initial stiffness. Any washing after that just to make it "softer" is, IMHO, excessive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Yes, actually, I am.



    Otherwise you'll find that the industry standard is once every 6 months or after it becomes heavily soiled.

    Thats actually correct, I looked in my FEMSA manual.

    Bunker gear is generally accepted to have a maximum of a 5 year life span as it is (often less). Why do anything to potentially lower that lifespan when it's not necessary?

    Where did you find this information? I have never been able to find it.

    I recommend you avoid fires then Why expose that fabric to heat and smoke when The washing machine has already ruined it.



    Okay. You choose whatever gear you prefer. $1400 is still nothing to sneeze at.

    Thankfully I dont pay for it and am not allergic to the stuff either



    A single wash will remove any processing chemicals and/or starches but won't have a very significant effect on the gear's initial stiffness. Any washing after that just to make it "softer" is, IMHO, excessive.
    I'm calling shennanigans here. This is completely untrue, for Basofil especially. Your opinion is fine, but it should be basd on something tangible and real.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    I'm calling shennanigans here. This is completely untrue, for Basofil especially. Your opinion is fine, but it should be basd on something tangible and real.
    I'm not going to spend a lot of time doing research to support it but my opinion comes in part from having done laundry for the the last 30 years or so and partly from knowing some serious costumers and fabric mavens and listening to them chat about their hobby.

    Here's one statement that sums it up from a quick web search:

    All clothing fibers wear because of abrasion that occurs during the wash. Every time clothes are washed small pieces of their fibers are left floating in the water.

    It's an appliance service site but it sums up nicely what is a pretty basic premise as far as fabrics are concerned. Pretty much all fabrics -- natural or synthetic -- are composed of relatively short fibers ("staple") held together mostly by friction. You "soften" them by abrading them and working them loose which also eventually weakens the fabric.

    Here's some more from an article called Extend Your Wardrobe's Life:

    "Donít overfill the washing machine. Clothes wonít get as clean, and the extra agitation will cause them to pill and wear out faster.
    ....
    Use the amount of detergent recommended by manufacturer. Too much detergent can weaken fibers; too little wonít erase stains.
    ....
    Use the gentle cycle of your washing machine. It cleans just as well but without the intense agitation that can wear out clothes."


    If you think about it it's a pretty readily apparent concept. Laundering cause wear; chemical and physical. Wear shortens fabric life. Unnecessary wear shortens fabric life unnecessarily.

    It's an opinion but not without support or experience to back it. Take it or leave it as you wish.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    I'm not going to spend a lot of time doing research to support it but my opinion comes in part from having done laundry for the the last 30 years or so and partly from knowing some serious costumers and fabric mavens and listening to them chat about their hobby.

    Here's one statement that sums it up from a quick web search:

    All clothing fibers wear because of abrasion that occurs during the wash. Every time clothes are washed small pieces of their fibers are left floating in the water.

    It's an appliance service site but it sums up nicely what is a pretty basic premise as far as fabrics are concerned. Pretty much all fabrics -- natural or synthetic -- are composed of relatively short fibers ("staple") held together mostly by friction. You "soften" them by abrading them and working them loose which also eventually weakens the fabric.

    Here's some more from an article called Extend Your Wardrobe's Life:

    "Donít overfill the washing machine. Clothes wonít get as clean, and the extra agitation will cause them to pill and wear out faster.
    ....
    Use the amount of detergent recommended by manufacturer. Too much detergent can weaken fibers; too little wonít erase stains.
    ....
    Use the gentle cycle of your washing machine. It cleans just as well but without the intense agitation that can wear out clothes."


    If you think about it it's a pretty readily apparent concept. Laundering cause wear; chemical and physical. Wear shortens fabric life. Unnecessary wear shortens fabric life unnecessarily.

    It's an opinion but not without support or experience to back it. Take it or leave it as you wish.


    so, if I'm following your logic.......we shouldn't wash our gear?
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