Figure skating is a sport in which individuals perform various movements such as jumps and spins on ice. While it has a long history that stretches back to prehistoric times, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that it was introduced to the Olympic Games. Nowadays, it’s the oldest sport in the Winter Games programme.
One thing that’s unique about figure skating is that there’s more than one discipline. For example, there’s ladies singles, men’s singles, ice dancing, pairs, and synchronized skating. As it is, each has their own specific rules and techniques.
Benefits of Figure Skating
As it is with most sports, it does come with various health benefits. For one thing, figure skating requires a certain amount of stability and strength, especially if you’re a competitive skater. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that your body will get stronger over time. Here are a few ways that it can improve your health:
- It helps to build and tone muscles—especially those in the legs
- It will improve your balance and coordination
- It can benefit your joints (if you keep it low-impact)
- It can accelerate weight loss
- It’s a great way to relieve stress
- It will increase your physical endurance
What Kind of Gear Do You Need For Figure Skating?
Figure skating is similar to hockey in that you do need a set of gear. First and foremost, you’ll need to have a pair of figure skates. Because let’s face it—rentals just won’t cut it when you’re doing spins and jumps!
Aside from what goes on your feet, there’s also the clothes that you’ll be wearing. For training purposes, you’ll need a pair of figure skating pants or leggings. In addition to that, you’ll need a tank top or something similar. A jacket is also a good idea in case you get cold at the beginning (your body will eventually warm up as you start to skate).
For competitions, you’ll also need a figure skating dress (or outfit if you’re a guy). More often than not, they’re decorated with fancy stones that glisten and sparkle even from a distance. Considering that, it’s not surprising to know that they can be expensive. Not only that, but women will need a pair of tights as well.
Keeping Your Figure Skating Dresses and Outfits Clean
The good news is that these figure skating dresses and outfits are typically only worn during competitions. In other words, they won’t be as likely to come apart due to wear and tear. Having said that, skating is still a workout, especially if you’re jumping. With how close-fitting they are, chances are, they will get sweaty after a while—that’s why it’s recommended that you clean them after each performance.
The last thing that you want is for the material to absorb your sweat. Not only will it be smelly, but it can actually compromise the delicate fabric over time. You wouldn’t want to ruin your expensive dress or outfit, would you? That’s why it’s so important that you clean it as soon as possible; you don’t want it to turn into a sweaty mess that’ll attract bacteria.
Got into figure skating recently? Want to know the proper way to wash your gear so that it won’t get ruined in the laundry? If so, you’re on the right page. We’ll be going over how to wash dresses, leggings, and tights on this page. Keep reading to learn more!
Best Way to Wash Figure Skating Dresses
Figure skating dresses are delicate, especially if they’re lined with rhinestones. Considering that, you don’t want to put them in the washing machine. Even if you use a gentle cycle, there’s always a chance that the stones can fall off, which will ruin the item. What you want to do instead is to wash them by hand.
Note: Never dry clean your figure skating dress as it can make the stones dull. Not to mention that the solvents can also loosen the glue.
Start by filling a sink or tub with cold or lukewarm water. Add half a scoop of ACTIVE detergent and wait for it to dissolve. Submerge the dress in the sink once the solution becomes sudsy. Use your hands to gently rub the fabric—pay extra attention to areas that tend to have more sweat such as the neckline.
Let the dress soak for 20-30 minutes. Afterward, swish the garment for a few minutes before draining the sink or tub. Re-fill it with clean water and swish it again in clean water. Repeat until all of the soap is gone from the fabric.
Transfer the figure skating dress onto a clean towel; you can use it to absorb some of the excess water. From there, lay it out on a flat surface so that it can air dry.
Note: Male figure skating costumes can be washed in a similar fashion. Depending on the size of the garments, you might have to use more detergent.
How to Wash Figure Skating Pants
As it is, there are specific pants that you can get for figure skating. While it depends on the brand, they usually come with polar fleece on the inside. Alternatively, you can just wear a pair of regular leggings—that works too! Basically, you just want it to be close-fitting so that the fabric won’t get in the way when you’re skating.
Using the Washing Machine For Your Figure Skating Pants
Turn the pants inside out—this is especially important if they have rhinestones or other designs on the outside. By doing that, you’ll be able to protect it from friction damage. Consider using a mesh bag as well; it will offer an additional layer of protection against your other clothes (yes, you can wash your figure skating pants and leggings with other activewear).
Seal the garment bag so that your pants won’t come out during the cycle. Place it into the machine along with your other clothes and add a scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Make sure that you don’t add to much as it can leave residue on the fabric. From there, switch your washer to a delicate cycle. Bleach and fabric softeners should be avoided.
Air dry your figure skating pants afterward. Do not use the dryer; you don’t want to expose the fabric to heat as it can degrade.
Hand Washing Your Figure Skating Pants
Fill a sink with lukewarm water—you don’t want it to be completely full, about three-quarters should do. Next, add in half a scoop of ACTIVE detergent (you can add in a full scoop if you’re washing more than one item). Consider swishing the water so that the powder will dissolve more quickly.
Make sure that your figure skating pants are turned inside out and put them in the sink. Swish the item a few times through the solution so that it’s fully saturated with soap. Do not use scrubbing or twisting actions. Once that’s over, let them soak for about 20-30 minutes.
Empty the sink and refill it with water from the tap. The next step is to rinse out the soap—you can do this by gently pressing on the pants. Continue to rinse the fabric until it’s clear that all of the detergent is gone. Finally, let them air dry.
Washing Instructions for Figure Skating Tights
Figure skating tights are skin-colored garments that are worn during competitions. Generally speaking, they’re made from a thin nylon and spandex material.
Are Figure Skating Tights Machine Washable?
Yes, it’s fine to put figure skating tights in the washer—as long as you use a laundry bag. Given how thin they are, they can easily snag, which can result in holes. If you’re washing more than one pair, you can put them together in the same bag.
Put the laundry bag into the washing machine once you’ve doubled check that they’re closed. Add the rest of your laundry and wash everything with cold water; gentle cycle only. As far as detergent goes, one scoop of ACTIVE detergent will suffice. Once again, you don’t want too much detergent when you’re washing these items.
Let the cycle run fully. Take out the tights and lay them flat (you can cover a table with clean towels) to dry. Never ever put your figure skating tights in the dryer—the heat will destroy the fabric.
Washing Your Figure Skating Tights By Hand
Figure skating tights are super easy to hand wash. Fill a bucket or tub with cold or lukewarm water and mix in 1/2 scoop of ACTIVE detergent. Put the tights into the solution once the powder is fully dissolved (you can always swish it with your hand to speed things up). Let them soak for 20-30 minutes.
After soaking, gently massage the fabric with your hand—you want to get out any remaining oils or sweat. Remember, you do not want to twist or scrub your figure skating gear. From there, all that’s left is to rinse out the soap. Simply hold it under running water; continue until the tights are free from detergent.
The final step is to lay them flat to dry.