I have three favorite T-shirts that I love to wear any day of the week. All three are form fitting and incredibly soft. With some time on my hands, I want to replicate my favorite tees with existing tees from my closet.
Before deconstructing a normal T-shirt into a more form fitting tee, I needed to soften the normal T-shirt. A five-minute scan of the web led me to submerge my Angry Birds tee in a bowl of salt water for three days.
I used a plastic bowl that would fit a crumpled tee, dumped half a cup of salt in the bowl followed by four cups of water (one quart, right?), and carefully submerged the T-shirt. The bowl sat by the kitchen sink for three days.
On the fourth day, I tossed the shirt into the washer and ran it through as normal. After throwing it in the dryer, I didn’t notice a huge difference in softness. So, I returned to the web to research more methods on how to soften a T-shirt.
The second experiment I tried involved simmering my T-shirt in a pot of hot water on the stovetop for an hour. I liked this method because I didn’t have to wait three days to check out the results. My wait lasted about two to three hours.
What I did: filled large pot with water, throw in 1 1/2 cup of salt and dash of baking soda, bring to a boil, reduce heat, wet T-shirt BEFORE tossing it in the pot, submerge wet tee into pot, cover with lid on low heat, and wait for about an hour.
After watching an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent (the bad guys were caught, by the way), I pulled the tee from the pot and quickly rinsed it before throwing it in the washer and running it through as normal. I think the tee feels a little softer.
I’m not 100% sure the T-shirt feels vintage soft, but at this point, I’ll experiment for vintage softness another shirt. Not sure how much more salt and hot water my Angry Bird tee can handle. My research will lead me to try one more method.
The third and last experiment includes aspects of both methods — boil salt in water, pour mixture in container, submerge tee in container, and leave container alone for five days. I guess I could wait five days or more for vintage softness.