Starting Member
Hello all, I'm relatively new around here and so I hope this thread is in the correct forum.

I'm a college student, and during the semester I refuse to use the communal washing machines for reasons that are self-evident. That said, I'm now home for the summer and have at my disposal a decent washer/dryer.

I've done some research on this forum and found some neat advice on either using the machine's gentle cycle or hand washing clothes, but the guidelines regarding line drying are a bit more ambiguous.

Although I have my dress shirts ironed, I'm a bit less sure how to treat my weekend wear. To be frank, though, it is closer to my everyday wear considering my status as a student. I value my collection, and so I'm striving to take care of the clothes in a manner that promotes longevity and graceful aging.

Please excuse my ignorance, but I live in a hot and humid climate, and I'm wondering whether drying my clothes in the sun would lead to the colors fading. I'm not quite sure how else I would dry them, but I might prefer to do so indoors if the sun is detrimental to their integrity. That or perhaps I should learn to iron my shirts while still damp? Not sure if this is overkill for what are mostly sport shirts/polos.

I've taken all other relevant steps to preserve the integrity of the clothes, and would be grateful for any advice as to the specifics of line drying. Thanks in advance.
Clothes wear out. The sun will probably fade them if you line dry them. That's probably gentler on them, overall, than throwing them in the dryer. It also feels nicer, and is cheaper. Win/win/win.


Moderator and Bon Vivant
If you put the shirts out to dry in the morning, by the time they're dry you can just bring them inside. It's unlikely that the length of sun exposure that it takes to dry them would cause them to fade before they wore out. Yes, sunlight makes anything fade, even rock! But it takes time, lots of time. A couple of hours every week or so won't do enough to notice.


Starting Member
Many thanks for both replies. I'm a bit compulsive when left to my own doings, and so your advice is refreshing. I suppose that a bit of fading is the cost of living!
No line drying for me! My mother loved to put clothes outside to dry. In the south, we have these things called wasps who like to congregate in the darndest of places (like inside the pants leg of a pair of khakis). Without going into graphic detail, I will just tell you that it was painful.

Anthony Charton

Super Member
I tend to lay them flat on a surface in the heated laundry room to avoid both evils. Clothes fade whatever you do with them though. (And that is the importance of a good rotation...)


Advanced Member
Of course sun fades clothing. I have brightly colored golf shirts that show the fade above the beltline after only 3-4 wearings. One only notices, though, by comparing the sections of the shirt when in the laundry. So long as you are otherwise careful, drying the shirts in the sun will not result in an unpleasant or noticeable fading issue.

nonartful dodger

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I have a relatively empty closet and two drying racks in my catch all room. Shirts go on plastic hangers in the closet with everything else on the racks. Not the quickest way, but with the AC going, they dry within a day with the blinds barely open. No ill effects from the dryer or the sun.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
At my job, the security staff wears navy blazers outdoors, and they fade to a nasty purple within months. These are cheap ones from Kohl's or SteinMart, but they fade nonetheless.

Robert Patrick

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
From experience I can confirm that the sun WILL fade clothes and that the rate of fade depends on the fabric and dye. It does not have to be outside - the fading can occur through windows as well so be careful if your closet has exposure.

Personally I would never put any clothing item on a line in the sun. An indoor drying rack is a much better option and can be folded away when not in use.


Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Perhaps I'm revealing nothing more than a generational difference in perspective, but, given the choice, I would always have my laundered clothes dried in the sunshine and fresh air. They just seem to smell better, feel better on the skin, and we're saving natural resources. With a Maytag dryer in our utility room and clotheslines strung across a corner of our back yard and given the choice, the clothesline will get the nod everytime! ;)

Robert Patrick

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
^^ Ah, yessssss... I do fondly remember the smell of sheets from the line. It is hard to describe but there is no substitute for it.

Maybe just put all the white stuff on the line - that would be a good compromise!
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