Binder Manual

Your new binder has arrived, how exciting! To help you get started we’ve gathered some important information so you can wear the binder comfortably and confidently.

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How to put your binder on

Binders without zipper

Look at the binder: the side where the shoulders are cut deeper is the back. Roll up your binder outwards, this prevents the binder from curling up when you put it on. Pull the binder over your head and pull it down, like you would with a regular t-shirt. It’s also possible to put your binder on by stepping into it - this will take some more adjusting but is helpful if you’re unable to pull it over your head. Getting a binder on can be a little bit of a struggle - especially if you’re new to it - so be patient with yourself and take as much time as you need.

Binders with zip, hook-eye closure or Velcro.

Open the zipper, and put the binder on over your shoulders. Close the hook-and-eye closure on the inside of the top at the narrowest part of your waist on the outer eyelet. Then close the zipper, velcro or hooks. Position your breasts to get the desired result - always make sure the nipples are not pointing downwards.

Band binders 

Wrap the binder around your waist. Close the hooks and eyes or the Velcro at the narrowest part of your waist. Turn the top with the closure to the correct position (front or back) and move the top up to the correct height around your chest. Model your breasts to get the flattest effect. We recommend pushing your chest diagonally to the side towards your armpit. 

Binder with closure on the shoulder

Undo the closure on the shoulder. Roll the binder outwards. Pull the binder over your head. Close the hook-and-eye closure on your shoulder. Model your breasts to get the flattest effect. We recommend pushing your chest diagonally to the side towards your armpit.

If you'd like to see visual instructions on how to put your binder on, go to our Chest Binder Guide and scroll down to the section 'how do I put my binder on'

How to wash your binder

It’s best to wash your item at a maximum of 30 degrees. We often use elastic fabrics with a blend of elastane and polyamide. These fabrics can’t be washed or tumble-dried at high temperatures, so we also advise against putting them in the dryer. Don’t use too much laundry detergent, a little goes a long way! Preferably let the item dry flat. To keep your white items as they are, wash these with your other white items.

Build it up

When you start wearing binders, we recommend that you build up the time you wear them. Wear the binder for an hour first, then let your body rest again. The next day, wear it for two hours, then take it off again. Continue building this up over a couple of days; this way your body can get used to wearing a binder. Never wear a binder for more than 8 consecutive hours! If you experience any pain or discomfort while wearing the binder, or if you experience difficulty breathing, we recommend that you take off the binder as soon as possible. 

Resting the body

One of the most important binder-safety tips is to never wear your binder when you're sleeping. At night, the lungs need space to move properly which is why you shouldn’t bind at night. If you find it too confronting to sleep without a binder, perhaps wear a big T-shirt or a sports top. Always remember: the safety of your body is of utmost importance. Be kind to your body! Give yourself one day a week on which you do not wear a binder or compress the chest in any way. This helps the body recover.

Binding for 8+ hours

If you have a long day ahead of you and you’re tempted to wear your binder for more than 8 hours (which we strongly advise against), it might be a good idea to take short binder breaks during your day. For example, when you’re in the bathroom, lift the binder up until it sits above the breast. Take a couple of deep breaths while stretching your torso. This gives the body a short break during the day. If you’re going to spend a long day away from home, bring a sports top or another mild compression top that you can put on once you’ve worn your binder for 8 hours. Only wear it for longer if a medical expert tells you to do so (for example after top surgery).

Breast positioning for safe bloodflow

A binder works by compressing the tissue of the breasts. If the breasts are positioned incorrectly, blood flow to the nipples can be obstructed. This can lead to issues with skin elasticity which can make it harder for the body to recover after a mastectomy. The most important factor is to make sure the nipples never point downwards when binding - this can be harmful to the blood flow. Always make sure the nipples point forward, as they would without a binder.

Health risks of wearing a binder

Below is a list of some of the most common health risks that can occur with binding:

  • Impediment of breath and movement. 
  • Skin fungi and infections. 
  • Other skin problems: scratching, itching, hypersensitivity, redness.
  • Pain in different places: ribs, back, shoulders, abdomen.
  • Muskoskeletal injuries.
  • Loss of skin elasticity.

Remove your binder and consult a medical professional if you experience any of these symptoms.

Tips for secure binding

  • Give your body time to recover after wearing your binder. Do not wear the binder for more than 8 hours and do not wear a binder seven days a week; schedule at least one rest-day each week.
  • Do not wear two binders at the same time.
  • Choose the right size.
  • Do not use products that are not specifically designed for binding.
  • Point the nipples forwards, never downwards.

Binding for developing bodies

Some people want to start wearing binders from the moment their breasts begin to develop. This can leave them or their loved ones worried about the safety of their developing body. The general rule is that there is no damage to a growing body or to the development of the breasts if the binder is worn in the right size. The general safety rules apply: never wear the binder for longer than 8 hours, don’t sleep in a binder, and make sure you have the correct size by checking the size chart. Especially if it's your or your childs' first binder, check the size chart or consult the customer service about the correct size.

A side note for parents, guardians, friends or other loved ones: some kids will want to figure it all out themselves and get the tightest binder that they can possibly find. Understand that your child might want the flattest result, but always remind them of the importance of safe binding!  This might be a sensitive topic for them, so react with love and patience.

Exercising in a binder

The general consensus about exercising in a binder is that it is possible, but that you should keep a close eye on how you’re feeling. Some binders are made with fabric that doesn’t stretch; these types of binders are absolutely unsafe to exercise. These types of binders can prevent the ribs and lungs from expanding which could cause damage. This is why all UNTAG binders are made from a 4-way stretch material. This way you can be sure of the safety of your body, regardless of the activities you’ll be undertaking in your binder.

Only exercise in a binder if it’s specifically designed for exercising - for example our Gym Binder was developed to provide safe binding during a workout. The fabric of this binder stretches with the body so that the lungs and ribs can still expand. On top of that the back is cut lower to leave more breathing room. A general tip for exercising in a binder is to not wear one that’s extremely tight - in fact sizing up one size can also help reduce dysphoria in the gym while still being safe! 

Binding with asthma, joint issues, sensory issues, or other medical issues.

For people with mobility issues, breathing issues or sensory issues, a binder with a zipper is the safest option. These types of binders can be taken off in the blink of an eye - which can be helpful for example in the event of an asthma attack. When choosing your binder, decide for yourself if you want to be able to quickly unzip and remove your binder. If you’re unsure if wearing a binder is the right decision for you, please always consult your doctor first. 

Binding after top-surgery

After having had your top surgery, you are required to wear a binder for 6 weeks. This binder has to have some type of closure so you don't have to pull it over your head. We advise you to get a binder that's adjustable, like our Basic Binder Advanced. This way you can start off wearing it on the biggest size when the swelling is at it's worst, and then you can gradually wear it smaller. Do this for the first two weeks. The remaining four weeks it's also okay to wear a binder with a zipper, like our Basic Binder Zipper. Remember: your doctor has the final say in this, always listen to their advice!