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guide to touching up your suit without wrecking it - Page 8

post #106 of 172
Here's Will's article about cleaners.


- B
post #107 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferyd View Post
Unfortunately, most dry cleaners don't do a very good job of pressing. Some will really wreck it. I would rater have a suit cleaned but not pressed and then brought to a tailor to be pressed; the shaping is not brand-specific so any good presser can do any brand of suit.


thank you. good enough information for me to save some trouble down the road in which i was unknowingly planning for.
post #108 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferyd View Post
You guys explain this better than I do. Maybe one of you can get through to gdl.
I understand perfectly your point and explanations (even before the multiple analogies, if you can believe that). However, the sheer impracticality involved with "doing the right thing" for my suits and their poor seams makes it entirely unapplicable to my life and how I envision spending my free time.

As I said multiple times, and as Manton also stated, I just don't see any of the catastrophic consequences you highlighted in your exposé. None of my suits pucker like that, none of the seams swell and lose shape. I've done this for years. That must be because we apply light steam judiciously for the purpose of removing wrinkles. I am conscious of the effect of steam on shape of fabrics so I don't put my whole suit under a flow of heavy steam, just the parts that need it.

It takes a couple minutes at most and achieves the desired outcome. I have maybe 40 or 50 suits and sport coats, I probably wear a different one every day of the week - guess what: some of them get wrinkles, especially when I travel. I am absolutely not sending several suits a week to my tailor or some high-end cleaner to deal with this minor issue that can successfully resolved with light steam judiciously applied. I'm not going to search for a high end tailor to press my suit when I'm in DesMoines or Kansas City.

So, yes, I understand the theory and "risks" of steam. Yes, I think its catastrophic effect is way overblown because you want to make your point and because you love your work and feel personally hurt whenever anyone anywehre in the world may do something to relax a seam. No, I don't find the alternatives suggested practical at all for my life and my rotation of garments. And yes, I take this subject lightly because the gravity of the warnings seems laughable. To me, at least.
post #109 of 172
gdl,
I concur with your thoughts on the subject. From a professionals pov, pressing is so critical to the finish of a hand made garment that we obsess over it. Like jeffery has said, RTW factories are equipped with millions of dollars of specialized pressing machines that really do a fantastic job. A tailor with a hand iron is very limited and relies on skill over equipment. It is very hard to spend 50 hours making something and have the results marred by poor/improper pressing.
You judiciously use steam and are happy with the results. I get clothing back that have been steamed or poorly cleaned and pressed and it is not easy to correct. This thread explains what can go wrong when steam is applied randomly and excessively but the extent of the effect is subjective to a critical eye. I look at something and think, what a disaster and someone else may see nothing at all.
post #110 of 172
I actually try to avoid seams when I use the steamer.

The two areas that I steam most often are the lower back and the middle of the sleeves, where the arms bend. They accumulate (horizontal) wrinkles.
post #111 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
The two areas that I steam most often are the lower back and the middle of the sleeves, where the arms bend. They accumulate (horizontal) wrinkles.
Same + some areas of the trousers that tend to wrinkle most.

I have used steam before to re-roll a lapel which had flattened too much or that didn't roll like I wanted. I never noticed any issues when doing so but vox's constant bullying on the topic + this thread make me feel a little bad about doing that.

Thanks Chris - I understand your and jeffery's POV very well and can appreciate the usefulness of the thread to those who are willing to commit the time.
post #112 of 172
I use light steam, avoid seams, and havent had any puckering issues. After re-reading this thread I will certainly be more careful.
Thanks for the educational thread.

Regards.
post #113 of 172
Thread Starter 
I'm not recommending you go to your tailor every time you have a wrinkle. Once a year, when you have your garment cleaned, it is worthwhile having it properly pressed, if possible by a tailor.

For daily wear and maintenance it is not recommended to steam, it is recommended to press. It does not take any more time to do, but there is a technique to it. Thus the OP.

You may not have had any trouble in the past, and that may be due to luck or to a bit of care on your part. Others have not been so fortunate- there are a few examples of it on this forum.
post #114 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdl203 View Post
I have used steam before to re-roll a lapel which had flattened too much or that didn't roll like I wanted. I never noticed any major issues when doing so but vox's constant teasing on the subject + this thread make me feel a little bad about doing that.

Thanks Chris - I understand your and jeffery's POV very well and can appreciate the usefulness of the thread to those who are willing to commit the time.

Sorry for teasing you...but you're fair game (as am I.)

Your lapel re-rolling experiments show the same phenomenon Jeffery and Chris describe, which is the degree to which steam and the iron can form a garment. In your case, you took jackets that were less pleasing and made them into ones that were more pleasing. You used the iron to fight cut and construction and more power to you.

The love and care that you put into your own clothes, however, will be absent at the typical commercial dry cleaner...many of which are just local storefront dropoffs for big regional commerical factory operations. The better and more carefully made the clothes, the more one has to lose by having them mistreated.

From a practical standpoint, few of us have the time or they eye to execute the full process that Jeffery describes. Nevertheless, it is still educationally relevant to know what that process is and if you have nice clothes, to seek out the best alternatives within your means. If this can include having the items cleaned separately and then taken to a local tailor for pressing, that is an option worth pursuing.

I remember that the iteration of Huntsman before the current one placed a lot of emphasis in their publicity materials about the aftercare services that they offered. Customers could send stuff back to them, they would get cleaned up in Scotland, and then returned to Huntsman for pressing. That is luxurious service and not replicable for most people.

Nonetheless, even factory-produced clothes, at least at the higher end, have a degree of fabric shaping that is worth preserving if you can.


- B
post #115 of 172
This thread sincerely depresses me. There are no cleaners or tailors in my area, or really any area that isn't NYC, Boston, SF, maybe LA, that can properly steam, press, or clean a garment. There's no point really in me ever buying anything nice because I can't fucking wear it. I'm sure not ever going to learn how to press as Jeffrey has shown, because it's simply too time-consuming, and difficult.
post #116 of 172
I guess "love and care" for one's clothes is a continuum, with at one end someone who throws his suits in a ball on the floor of his closet and at the other end someone who owns all the pressing equipment and learns the skills to do only "the right thing". We all fall somewhere in the middle (I hope) but I guess I fall a little closer to the former end than the latter. I'm extremely comfortable with that. My contribution to this (very useful) thread - if any - is to offer a little bit of a counter-balance to an argument that seems to present things much more as binary rather than continuous.
post #117 of 172
I would still like to learn to do this the right way. Do I have to get a really fancy iron?
post #118 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
This thread sincerely depresses me. There are no cleaners or tailors in my area, or really any area that isn't NYC, Boston, SF, maybe LA, that can properly steam, press, or clean a garment. There's no point really in me ever buying anything nice because I can't fucking wear it. I'm sure not ever going to learn how to press as Jeffrey has shown, because it's simply too time-consuming, and difficult.

Read the link to Will's article that I posted above.

Ideally even in a minimalist wardrobe, you should be at a point where jackets would need cleaning only once a season or year.

- B
post #119 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I would still like to learn to do this the right way. Do I have to get a really fancy iron?
No you don't. My Black and Decker works fine for this. A sleeve board is a necessity though. It helps to do very small sections at a time to my experience. I'd imagine your tailor would be happy to give you tips/demos.
post #120 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtie View Post
No you don't. My Black and Decker works fine for this. A sleeve board is a necessity though.
It helps to do very small sections at a time to my experience.

What do you use for a press cloth?
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