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Definitive guide to wool that won't shine

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by The Louche, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Well-Known Member

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    Actually I have a suit that has been drycleaned no more than 1-2 times in 5 years; it is very shiny in a few places, namely under the forearms and on the seat, which looks like a mirror at this point.
    Sounds like bad pressing. You can scorch wool. This applies even to new suits where a bad pressing job is used by people with no experience with nice things. Steam pressing is the way to go and it's not expensive, you just need a cleaners that cares, understands and caters to higher end clients.
     
  2. The Louche

    The Louche Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like bad pressing. You can scorch wool. This applies even to new suits where a bad pressing job is used by people with no experience with nice things. Steam pressing is the way to go and it's not expensive, you just need a cleaners that cares, understands and caters to higher end clients.

    I was hoping you'd weigh in, FNB. Vox alluded to the fact that you've ranted about wool shining before - maybe that you particularly had a problem with frescos?
     
  3. Ataturk

    Ataturk Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's hard for pressers to resist ironing the hell out of the seat of the pants and the elbows and forearms of the sleeves.
     
  4. The Louche

    The Louche Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's hard for pressers to resist ironing the hell out of the seat of the pants and the elbows and forearms of the sleeves.

    Really? That seems odd - those places don't really wrinkle that much IMO. I have never thought twice about getting my trousers pressed frequently, thinking that a press wasn't nearly as dangerous as a cleaning. I will be much more wary of pressing now.

    For years I have assumed that shine was caused mainly by hard wear. It now seems to me that while that may be true, it takes some time for hard wear to result in shine.
     
  5. bigbris1

    bigbris1 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's hard for pressers to resist ironing the hell out of the seat of the pants and the elbows and forearms of the sleeves.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping you'd weigh in, FNB. Vox alluded to the fact that you've ranted about wool shining before - maybe that you particularly had a problem with frescos?
    I dont have problems with shining wool. Well, I don't like it but it doesnt happen to me much. I've seen it, even with people who have nice suits, and it's not usually a function of wear (Although it can be) but rather with bad pressing. Second rate wool will shine quickly but first rate wool, if properly care for will take an awful long time to "shine". Vox did not allude to any coloring temperament on my part. He did mention fresco, which doesn't have an innate shine problem (unless of course, it is mis-pressed) but looks homespun after a few wearings.
     
  7. unjung

    unjung Well-Known Member

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    (Full disclosure: not big-timer.)

    I have some crappy (couple hundred buck) suits that have gotten shiny within two years, primarily on the elbows, as I wear my jackets at my desk and rest my arms on my chair's armrests. Mind you, I am wearing a crappy herringbone fabric today and this one shows no signs of shine.
     
  8. dopey

    dopey Well-Known Member

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    I dont have problems with shining wool. Well, I don't like it but it doesnt happen to me much. I've seen it, even with people who have nice suits, and it's not usually a function of wear (Although it can be) but rather with bad pressing. Second rate wool will shine quickly but first rate wool, if properly care for will take an awful long time to "shine".

    Vox did not allude to any coloring temperament on my part. He did mention fresco, which doesn't have an innate shine problem (unless of course, it is mis-pressed) but looks homespun after a few wearings.


    This. Also, certain weaves, especially gabardine and serge, lend themselves to picking up shine more easily than other weaves.
     
  9. JT82

    JT82 Well-Known Member

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    I have never thought twice about getting my trousers pressed frequently, thinking that a press wasn't nearly as dangerous as a cleaning. I will be much more wary of pressing now.
    I was under the impression that it's unwise to press frequently without a full cleaning, as this would press into the cloth any dirt or other particles that might be on the fabric.
     
  10. The Louche

    The Louche Well-Known Member

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    I was under the impression that it's unwise to press frequently without a full cleaning, as this would press into the cloth any dirt or other particles that might be on the fabric.

    This is a good point too. I always knew about this, but am so irritated by less-than-sharp creases in my trousers that I overlooked it.
     
  11. The Louche

    The Louche Well-Known Member

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    This. Also, certain weaves, especially gabardine and serge, lend themselves to picking up shine more easily than other weaves.

    What exactly is serge anyhow? I thought serge was basically the same thing as gabardine: heavy twill.
     
  12. Bird's One View

    Bird's One View Well-Known Member

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    What exactly is serge anyhow? I thought serge was basically the same thing as gabardine: heavy twill.
    I believe serge is the same thing as plain twill (2 up, 2 down). The cloth looks the same on either side, except for the direction of the twill lines. Gabardine is a warp-faced twill (like denim). The warp threads cover more of the front of the cloth, and the weft threads cover more of the back. Denim for jeans normally has blue warp threads and white weft threads, which is why the inside of the cloth is so much lighter than the outside. The same can be done with gabardine, though it is often made in a single color.
     
  13. The Louche

    The Louche Well-Known Member

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    ^


    Thanks for explaining - very interesting...
     
  14. The Louche

    The Louche Well-Known Member

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    Alright, fellas—time to bring this up again. I have continued to pay attention to this problem, and have noticed that many of my suits—which are almost all made of some sort of Holland & Sherry worsted, usually in a 100s – 120s quality—have developed a shiny seat after 3x/month wear in 4 – 5 years. I don't know if that's considered normal, but it's irritating, and it seems that previous posters in this thread have not had this problem—assuming the wool of my suits meets the forum standard of "good" if not the best.

    I do not believe that I'm putting undue wear on these—such as wearing my coat at my desk or sliding about on leather seats—and I keep dry-cleaning to about 2 – 3x/year, which seems reasonable.


    MY POINT: I'M DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT, SO WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING? WHAT SPECIFIC WOOLS CAN I LOOK FOR THAT WILL NOT SHINE?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  15. NeedForTweed123

    NeedForTweed123 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have any helpful information unfortunately, but would also love to hear the answer to your questions as well as I would like to know for when I get a new suit.
     
  16. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Well-Known Member

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    Is your dry cleaner "good"?

    Do you sweat a lot? Do you drag your ass on the ground when it itches? :D

    Obviously, since you say it is localized, it is not caused just by the dry cleaner, but maybe the cleaner screws it up such that it is then more susceptible to wearing in a shine.

    The only problems I've had with shine have been on a pair of pants and a suit which I took to an organic cleaners after my (good) dry cleaner closed. Both came back shiny all over. And 4 great dress shirts tore in the elbow on the immediate next wear. Considered throwing a rock through the window.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  17. The Louche

    The Louche Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I use a few different cleaners, but I would consider each of them good -- if not perhaps the best. I certainly know enough to not inadvertently use a truly poor cleaners.

    As I have thought more about this since my last post, I have come to consider that what I'm experiencing may truly be normal, and that my assessment is a bit of an over-reaction: the seats of the trousers in question ire indeed more shiny than when they were new, but not shiny in the way that can be seen from a distance -- they are merely shiny upon close inspection, and when held under a light that provides glare.

    Anybody else assess this "half-assed" shine (pun intended) as a fact of life?
     
  18. archetypal_yuppie

    archetypal_yuppie Well-Known Member

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    ^

    a.k.a. "anyone else's suits look shiny under lights that make suits look shiny?"
     
  19. The Louche

    The Louche Well-Known Member

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    Tweed won't shine -- of that I'm almost sure.
     
  20. NeedForTweed123

    NeedForTweed123 Well-Known Member

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    Does woolen flannel shine?
     

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