Author Topic: Softening oversuit  (Read 829 times)

Offline Keris82

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Softening oversuit
« on: July 30, 2018, 10:35:01 pm »
So I have just purchased a new warmbac oversuit. It was delivered today and i tried it on quickly and found it feels like I'm wearing stiff plastic. I think once i start caving in it it might rip the back of my knees and elbows to shreds!  :doubt: Has anyone got any advice on how to make it softer?

Offline Pete K

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2018, 10:38:11 pm »
Use it! It'll soften up, it's just new fabric. Also more bendy when wet!

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2018, 11:15:05 pm »
If it's a Cordura type it'll STIFFEN with use! Hope it's a pvc one.

Offline badger

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 07:24:29 am »
as everyone says if its cordura it will become more supply when damp/wet. I also wash mine with Comfort/lenor other brands are available, it also helps, but the nature of cordura means it will always be stiffen as it gets older

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 07:54:16 am »
As badger said it will go through a few transitions from stiff when new to supple offer use to stiff as a board when old . Mine can stand up on it's own ::)

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 08:04:40 am »
Dont pressure wash it and dry it in the sun this time of year. As stated they are always more comfortable when damp. It is possible that some shrinkage occurs also so I always buy a large + which is one size too big.

Currently with our dig so dry in the upper parts I am back to a standard fabric boiler suit as we have half a mile to walk to the cave.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 09:22:56 am »
A new member of the club was asking a well known caving gear purveyor at the weekend about drying an oversuit. They asked whether they could spin dry the oversuit, to which the reply came NO.

But the purveyor did say you could possibly tumble dry it on a slow tumble.

 If the ground is damp, I prefer to stand on the oversuit to change, it serves multipurposes.

Offline Keris82

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 12:35:32 pm »
If it's a Cordura type it'll STIFFEN with use! Hope it's a pvc one.

Yes it is cordura!  :blink:

Offline Pete K

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2018, 07:25:07 am »
Hmm, I am at odds with some here then. I own nearly 40 Warmbac suits for work. They get pressure washed after each and every trip and are no stiffer than when they were new. I get some new ones arriving this week so will have to check. The death of most fabric caving suits is, I am sure, down to tearing open at the seams because of inflexibility in the fabric and weakened stitching due to the abrasion of sharp particles. All down to not cleaning properly. Pressure wash every trip, occasional wash with fabric softener and I'm sure some of my suits are almost inseparable visually from new. I agree about the not hanging in direct sun all the time though.

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2018, 08:20:56 am »
I was lucky enough to buy(cheap) a large capacity washing machine from a local chemical company and washy warmbac on a cold wash with very small amount of washing powder , comes up as good as new ;D. Snug

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2018, 09:17:12 am »

Offline Fulk

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2018, 10:04:30 am »
alastairgott:
Quote
A new member of the club was asking a well known caving gear purveyor at the weekend about drying an oversuit. They asked whether they could spin dry the oversuit, to which the reply came NO.

That strikes me as odd; why shouldn't one spin an oversuit? I've spun mine (an AV suit) (very occasionally, admitttedly) with no obvious signs of harm.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2018, 10:27:31 am »
I think it's less the harm to the oversuit and more the harm to the spinner (/washer). That's why a gentle tumble dry is apparently ok (allegedly).

Maybe as the oversuit is likely to bunch up in one position and cause the motor extra hassle. Probably ok for a washing machine full of water, or with other items in it?
 I'm no expert on this drying lark, I sometimes find in winter that it's not dried from week to week. and most weeks of the year is mostly damp on Sundays.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2018, 10:30:36 am »
an AV suit

I guess there's also one other answer, ask your purveyor of gear.

Offline topcat

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2018, 04:10:25 pm »

I just use the wool wash, or synthetics wash.  Both spin of course.  Hang up to dry.

Offline mattajperry

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2018, 04:02:57 pm »
Just dont get them warm when drying, they can shrink.   How do folk keep their cordura suits ''waterproof ''?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2018, 04:12:47 pm »
How do folk keep their cordura suits ''waterproof ''?

Wear a wetsuit under it?  :shrug:
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2018, 04:35:29 pm »
Cover it in liquid latex...  :lol: :tease:

Offline Tseralo

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2018, 04:49:41 pm »
Just dont get them warm when drying, they can shrink.   How do folk keep their cordura suits ''waterproof ''?

I fail to see the point of a waterproof suit when club members take you down places like giants.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2018, 05:16:05 pm »
(fair warning) We'll have to take you to Yorkshire, then you can do Link to Mistral...

A random report I found online.
http://www.thursday-night-club.co.uk/2009/03/5th-march-mistral-hole-to-link-pot.html

Look up the muddy wallows.

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2018, 05:57:47 pm »
Cover it in liquid latex...  :lol: :tease:

That's just a waste of latex, I'm sure you can find better uses for latex ;) ;)

Offline Keris82

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2018, 01:13:47 pm »
So i used it for a trip down Swildons at the weekend. Although I got half a size bigger it was still very restrictive and uncomfortable. I think i should have got 1 size larger as it was hard work with a wetsuit under it. I really struggled with movement and its very warm. Not sure if ill keep it ir sell it on as i can't return it  :down:

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2018, 02:47:18 pm »
How thick is your wetsuit?

Offline Keris82

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2018, 03:32:00 pm »
How thick is your wetsuit?

It's 5:3. So kinda thick. I usually wear a boiler suit or no oversuit. Last time i didn't wear and oversuit I got really cold.

Offline Maj

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Re: Softening oversuit
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2018, 04:32:26 pm »
As others have said, softer more pliable when damp, particularly for an older suit. Also to flex up an old dry stiff suit before putting on, rough/roll it up a couple of times. 


I usually spin my cordura digging oversuit in a spinner I use purely for caving kit (inc wet socks, gloves, knee pads, fury etc). It gets rinsed in a large bucket, then spun repeating rinse and spin a 2nd time.   It works best for an old oversuit that is no longer waterproof. If you spin a newish one it behaves more like a pvc suit and the water doesn't get spun out.

To prevent the spinner jumping and banging due to an unbalanced load, I feed the ovrtsuit in legs first and spiral it around the spinner drum such that there is almost a void in the middle. That way the oversuit spreads evenly outwards in all directions and not all to one side.
 
A new member of the club was asking a well known caving gear purveyor at the weekend about drying an oversuit. They asked whether they could spin dry the oversuit, to which the reply came NO.

 
Perhaps the reason for the answer "No" to spinning cordura is that the water get forced through the fabric and breaks down the waterproofing on the inside of the oversuit more quickly.


Maj.
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