How to Break-in an Engineer’s Cotton Riding Shirt
These 100% cotton shirts are as tough as nails, and brand new they are uncomfortably stiff as unwashed denim pants. You can run them through your washing machine and dryer a dozen times and though they’ll shrink a tiny amount, they won’t get that much softer or more comfortable feeling.
They do become as soft, luxurious and wonderful as old flannel, eventually. There’s two ways to get there. Fast and slow. The slow way is to start wearing them. This takes a little while, but eventually you have a nice soft-wearing comfortable shirt that’s still cast-iron durable.
Then there’s this shortcut for more immediate wearing comfort:
- Take shirt from washing machine after it’s gone through the rinse and spin cycle and remains damp, or slightly wet.
- Find a large strong tree trunk, solid wooden wall, wooden boat dock, large wood post, or wood floor.
- Firmly grab the shoulders of the shirt and ‘whap’ the still damp-wet shirt as hard as you can against said tree trunk or other wooden surface.
- Repeat this three or four times, then shift your grip to the shirt’s hem and do it a few more times. Hold the shirt in several places and repeat.
- After about ten or fifteen ‘whaps’, put the shirt into a clothes dryer or hang dry.
- Enjoy a soft, lifetime-durable comfortable riding shirt that’s so nice you won’t ever want to take it off.
One note about ‘whapping’ the wet shirt fiercely. Each ‘whap’ makes a heck of a loud noise. Almost like a gunshot. So don’t do this abuse late at night unless you live quite far from your nearest neighbors. And never ‘whap’ the shirt against a concrete, stone or steel surface. Doing that will shatter several of the buttons. (A few buttons gave their lives during this research project.)
Now enjoy a nicely softened riding shirt that is super comfortable yet still tough enough to last you the rest of your life.