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42outs

Smitty's Poly-Spandex Pants Fading

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So I purchased two new pairs of the Smitty's poly-spandex - one base and one plate - at the beginning of June. Since then, I have worked about 150 games. Roughly half of these were behind the dish and half were on the bases. So after about 75 games on each pair, I have noticed some very clear fading on both pairs of pants. I know it is from the sun because I don't see the same fading around the belt area and in the crouch. It is not terrible but very noticeable to me. I will probably post some pictures tomorrow. Has anyone had the same issue? All of these games are during the day so I expect them to fade eventually; I guess I'm just wondering if this is a normal occurrence or if I should look into buying different pants for next summer. I am going to try soaking my next pants I order in vinegar straight out the package as I have read this helps to set the dye into the fabric and prevent fading.

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If you've worked 150 games in 7 weeks, 20 per week, you have other issues!

 

But seriously, I'd call wherever you bought the pants from and asked for direction.  If they have faded just from you wearing them on the field, I'd think you have a case. If you left them in your vehicle and they faded, then probably not.  Of course if you wash them after each day, then that might be the source of your fading issues.

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LMAO! I call ball for Perfect Game down in Atlanta. Yes, those numbers are correct. 3 a day every single day. Maybe once or twice a week, 4 a day. Gotta love it man. 

 

Anyways, yes the pants have only seen sunlight when on the field. They are hanging in a locker room otherwise - not in my car. I wash them every other day and every now and then I can make it three days when we have a day or two of overcast or playoff games where I'm working 3, 4 or 6 man and not sweating my cajones off behind the plate. I would think maybe the washing is causing the fading except for the fact that the belt area and in the crouch (areas that aren't exposed to the sun) are not fading. I just wanted some input on whether that many games should cause some significant fading. Thanks for the response!

 

I bought the pants from UA btw.

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I've noticed the same kind of fading on my pairs that are in their 2nd summer of calling ball as much as you do.  They are faded exactly as you described.  I'm foregoing replacing them as of now until we see which manufacturer besides Smitty will be offering similar material in an alternate brand.  Mine have close to 200 games on them as well & are not stored in a car where they would be subject to fading during transport.

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I love the material but, like you, I am waiting for another manufacturer to potentially make a similar product. You say yours have close to 200 games on them. Is that 200 on each pair? Mine are around 75 games on each pair. I will try to post pictures tomorrow. Maybe you can do the same?

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13 hours ago, 42outs said:

So I purchased two new pairs of the Smitty's poly-spandex - one base and one plate - at the beginning of June. Since then, I have worked about 150 games. Roughly half of these were behind the dish and half were on the bases. So after about 75 games on each pair, I have noticed some very clear fading on both pairs of pants. I know it is from the sun because I don't see the same fading around the belt area and in the crouch. It is not terrible but very noticeable to me. I will probably post some pictures tomorrow. Has anyone had the same issue? All of these games are during the day so I expect them to fade eventually; I guess I'm just wondering if this is a normal occurrence or if I should look into buying different pants for next summer. I am going to try soaking my next pants I order in vinegar straight out the package as I have read this helps to set the dye into the fabric and prevent fading.

do you wash them often? Do you keep them hung up in your car?  Does your car have tinted windows?

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1 hour ago, taa71458 said:

2nd year for me, wash them at least twice a week. No issues so far on neither of plate or field pants.

But how many games have you worked in them and are they mostly during the day?

1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

do you wash them often? Do you keep them hung up in your car?  Does your car have tinted windows?

I've answered all of these. I wash them usually every other day but sometimes every third. Delicate cold water cycle only. And no, they are never hanging in my car.

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Do you wear them for any night games? :)  jk

I'm sorry.  That has to be frustrating at $60/pair.  I'm cheap and couldn't bring myself to throw that kind of money down. 

I like the idea of these pants, but $60 is a lot of money for pants to sweat in when there are other options at almost 1/2 that cost.

 

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I've had mine for a year, and they are fading slightly. Keep in mind that I'm in the sun-overwhelmed state of Arizona, but I make it a point to wash them in nothing besides a technical soap. Drycleaners were getting too expensive for the little amount of work they were doing, so I now launder all of my umpire shirts and pants with Nathan / Penguin Sportwash. One of Sportwash's advertised (and proven) benefits is that it inhibits fading.

My colleagues and I are working out a process of re-dying polyester -based pants (polyesters, poly-wools, and poly-spandex) using Rit Dye II in dark charcoal color.

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10 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

Do you wear them for any night games? :)  jk

I'm sorry.  That has to be frustrating at $60/pair.  I'm cheap and couldn't bring myself to throw that kind of money down. 

I like the idea of these pants, but $60 is a lot of money for pants to sweat in when there are other options at almost 1/2 that cost.

 

Lol I mean when I think about it, if I can get 100 games out of a pair of pants before they start to get unusable, isn't that technically getting my money's worth? I'm just not sure because I have only worn Smitty's pants so I don't know if others would do the same. The thing is all of these games have been on turf fields in Atlanta in the low to mid 90's so the reflection of all the sun on the turf is possibly what has caused them to fade so quickly (I was talking to my partner about this today).

3 hours ago, MadMax said:

I've had mine for a year, and they are fading slightly. Keep in mind that I'm in the sun-overwhelmed state of Arizona, but I make it a point to wash them in nothing besides a technical soap. Drycleaners were getting too expensive for the little amount of work they were doing, so I now launder all of my umpire shirts and pants with Nathan / Penguin Sportwash. One of Sportwash's advertised (and proven) benefits is that it inhibits fading.

My colleagues and I are working out a process of re-dying polyester -based pants (polyesters, poly-wools, and poly-spandex) using Rit Dye II in dark charcoal color.

Do you call on turf fields? I have been on nothing but turf fields all summer so I am thinking that this may potentially be a source of the fading as well. Once again, they are not faded in the crouch and around the belt area so I do not think it is much the washing (I wash inside out in cold water and hang dry). I have always been intrigued by the idea of using Rit Dye to re-dye faded pants. I will probably try it with these two pair after the fall season.

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2 hours ago, 42outs said:

Once again, they are not faded in the crouch and around the belt area so I do not think it is much the washing (I wash inside out in cold water and hang dry.

It is the washing that promotes fading. When it comes to umpire gear and other sport or technical clothing, detergents such as Tide, Gain, or Cheer are evil. The chemicals assail the fibers to knock grime and salt off, then bind to them to act as a stain guard. This binding inhibits moisture transference and breathability, but also is affected by UV light, and when it reacts, it leeches the color out of the fibers.

Yeah, I’ve studied this stuff; I worked at Nike and REI. At REI, we heavily relied on a Nikwax product. At the tail end of my employment, we were supplied with Nathan / Penguin Sportwash, and I’ve been using it ever since. My fellow Vulture and I got shirts from TOC at the same time, and after 1 year working the same load of games in the sun, my shirts are less faded than his. The difference? He used (past tense) Tide, I use Sportwash.

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5 hours ago, MadMax said:

It is the washing that promotes fading. When it comes to umpire gear and other sport or technical clothing, detergents such as Tide, Gain, or Cheer are evil. The chemicals assail the fibers to knock grime and salt off, then bind to them to act as a stain guard. This binding inhibits moisture transference and breathability, but also is affected by UV light, and when it reacts, it leeches the color out of the fibers.

Yeah, I’ve studied this stuff; I worked at Nike and REI. At REI, we heavily relied on a Nikwax product. At the tail end of my employment, we were supplied with Nathan / Penguin Sportwash, and I’ve been using it ever since. My fellow Vulture and I got shirts from TOC at the same time, and after 1 year working the same load of games in the sun, my shirts are less faded than his. The difference? He used (past tense) Tide, I use Sportwash.

Very interesting. My next pants I will be soaking in vinegar as I've read that helps set the dye in the fabric. Any word on that? I will also try this Sportswash and see if it does the trick.

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Everything I see says Nathans sport wash.   Where's the penguin?  Is this a Billy Madison kind of thing?

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1 hour ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

Everything I see says Nathans sport wash.   Where's the penguin?  Is this a Billy Madison kind of thing?

I believe it's the same thing.

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8 hours ago, MadMax said:

Nathan / Penguin Sportwash

So I did the ol' cut 'n paste of @MadMax scientific explanation.......and sent it to SWMBO.  Now, being the prudent financial advisor that she is......<pause for crowd laughter>....... she started reading up on it.  I then get a message back from her.  It was something like this.

"This sport wash info that you sent me made me think of the scent-away that you have for your hunting clothes.  So I went downstairs and read the bottle.  It pretty much does the same thing."

I'm sorry, the only thing that I could think of after reading that note, was that the reduced infra red signature of my umpire uniform will make me less visible to wildlife.

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17 minutes ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

So I did the ol' cut 'n paste of @MadMax scientific explanation.......and sent it to SWMBO.  Now, being the prudent financial advisor that she is......<pause for crowd laughter>....... she started reading up on it.  I then get a message back from her.  It was something like this.

"This sport wash info that you sent me made me think of the scent-away that you have for your hunting clothes.  So I went downstairs and read the bottle.  It pretty much does the same thing."

I'm sorry, the only thing that I could think of after reading that note, was that the reduced infra red signature of my umpire uniform will make me less visible to wildlife.

LOL - funny thing was, I was wondering the same thing when he said "sport wash".  I have hunting clothes wash at home too. :)

 

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Let’s see, 75 games at $50/game (an average game fee). That’s $3750.  Deduct $60 for a pair of plate pants and $120 for plate shoes, because those are the items that wear out the quickest. $3,750 for a $180 investment, plus your time, of course. Now, add another $3750 with another $60 investment for base pants, and another $75 for base shoes. That’s a grand total of $7500, with $315 spent on “supplies.” I would say that’s a pretty good deal. I’m not sure there are many articles of clothing that will still look brand new with zero fading after approximately 150 to 200 hours out in the sun. I’m not saying this to make you feel bad, or to be a wise guy, I just wanted to add some levity to the topic. Have a great night y’all!

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On 7/21/2018 at 12:26 AM, blue32 said:

Let’s see, 75 games at $50/game (an average game fee). That’s $3750.  Deduct $60 for a pair of plate pants and $120 for plate shoes, because those are the items that wear out the quickest. $3,750 for a $180 investment, plus your time, of course. Now, add another $3750 with another $60 investment for base pants, and another $75 for base shoes. That’s a grand total of $7500, with $315 spent on “supplies.” I would say that’s a pretty good deal. I’m not sure there are many articles of clothing that will still look brand new with zero fading after approximately 150 to 200 hours out in the sun. I’m not saying this to make you feel bad, or to be a wise guy, I just wanted to add some levity to the topic. Have a great night y’all!

I agree. That's what I was saying before. I'm definitely going to try the sports wash. My pants from last summer didn't fade as much when I used knock off detergent but I wasn't on turf every single day. @MadMax does this concept work for fading shirts too? I haven't noticed my shirts fading like my pants using Tide.

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Heres my thing... If your working that many games.. buy an extra set.. Rotate them out. that way they last. I do the same with my base shoes. I have 4 pairs.. I rotate them every weekend.

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8 hours ago, Haid D' Salaami said:

Heres my thing... If your working that many games.. buy an extra set.. Rotate them out. that way they last. I do the same with my base shoes. I have 4 pairs.. I rotate them every weekend.

If I have two sets that last two years or one set that lasts one year, they still lasted the same amount of time. With that being said, I do have another set that's basically brand new but I don't wear them when I'm working all of these games. I'd rather just wear out a set and keep the other looking 100%.

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On 7/26/2018 at 5:54 PM, 42outs said:

If I have two sets that last two years or one set that lasts one year, they still lasted the same amount of time. With that being said, I do have another set that's basically brand new but I don't wear them when I'm working all of these games. I'd rather just wear out a set and keep the other looking 100%.

HUH.. i dont work very many games.. maybe 60 D1 games.. I dont work many summer game games , maybe 10-15.... so all year maybe 70 games....but i still rotate, my spandex pants are 2 yrs old and i have poly wools that are 8 yrs old.. you cant tell.

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On 7/20/2018 at 12:16 AM, MadMax said:

.........supplied with Nathan / Penguin Sportwash, and I’ve been using it ever since.

Never heard of this stuff.  Where can you pick it up?  Target/Wal Mart?

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Target and Amazon both show they carry them.

 

I have 4 sets of pants, the oldest pair being 2 full seasons in (about 150 games a year) and don't see a difference.

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