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guide to touching up your suit without wrecking it

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jefferyd, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. R-H

    R-H Senior member

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    Very interesting article but there is a point where possessions start ruling our lives.

    If my suits need a good pressing I'll take it to a professional. Minor wrinkling gets a little blast from the steamer at home. Probably not the optimal way of doing things but I don't live to serve my wardrobe.

    Clothes should be enjoyed.

    -

    That Prince of Wales check jacket is great btw.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    According to his blog, he made it himself. [​IMG]

    Shhh- now I'll have all the rope-shoulder haters dumping on me!
     
  3. GTR

    GTR Senior member

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    Nice suit and very informative guide. Thank you jefferyd.
     
  4. JetBlast

    JetBlast Senior member

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    Excellent post, thank you sir. +1 on the respect points.
     
  5. gentleman amateur

    gentleman amateur Well-Known Member

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    jefferyd


    Thank you very much for taking a great deal of time for this excellent post. [​IMG] Just as Doc Holliday made us here aware of your great canvass thread at AAAC, I've reposted this thread in AAAC where members can benefit from this and where I hope it will become incorporated into the HOF, joining your canvass thread. Your instructions, along with Kabbaz's instructions for cleaning, spot-cleaning, and ironing a shirt, are very informative and useful.

    I assume that we should hand-press our suits only if we brush them after each wear and make sure that we have removed any stains, either by sponging or spot dry cleaning. In 2 email conversations with Anderson and Sheppard I learned that they have two kinds of sponging, one for when they originally make a suit, the other for stain removal. When they make a suit, the sponging is done with a dolly, a small piece of rolled cloth tied with string, to which they add tap water and then apply to a suit before hand pressing with a flat iron. But for cleaning, sponging for a light stain entails a little water dabbed to the area, followed by brushing, gently for lightweight cloths, more vigorously for heavier flannels and tweeds, in the direction of the cloth's pile. For a deeper stain then brushing with and against the pile is the method used.

    For general brushing, do you recommend going with the pile first, then against the pile, and do you recommend brushing both inside and outside the suit?
     
  6. newtrane

    newtrane Senior member

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    jefferyd: I like your post and your garments - May I ask who makes your clothes?

    Many thanks!
     
  7. Fishball

    Fishball Senior member

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    Thanks Jefferyd, great post!
     
  8. greyinla

    greyinla Senior member

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    Ah, but the problem is *finding* a professional. Dry cleaners who can hand finish a suit, good cobblers, good tailors--all these are rare, and, in some cities, non-existent. I've had a few items butchered by so-called "professionals" on the way to finding ones who actually knew what they were doing. It's good to know how to do things on one's own, even if one hires out. Thanks Jeffreyd.
     
  9. merkur

    merkur Senior member

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  10. penguin vic

    penguin vic Senior member

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    How do we prevent the dry cleaner from destroying our garments?

    We can't. [​IMG]
     
  11. hadamulletonce

    hadamulletonce Senior member

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    How do we prevent the dry cleaner from destroying our garments?

    It's tough to find a true professional these days.
     
  12. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    jefferyd


    For general brushing, do you recommend going with the pile first, then against the pile, and do you recommend brushing both inside and outside the suit?


    Not all fabrics have a pile and those do could pill from an over-aggressive brushing against the nap. If you have a spot to remove, go first against and then with, otherwise I would say just brush with the pile (which in most cases except some velvets goes down). I don't think it is necessary to brush inside the garment.

    jefferyd: I like your post and your garments - May I ask who makes your clothes?


    Thank you. I make my clothes. Well, not the tie.

    It's tough to find a true professional these days.

    try this
    http://www.ifi.org/
     
  13. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I should also have directed your attention to the images in this post on the London Lounge

    http://thelondonlounge.net/gl/forum/...153&highlight=

    which gives an idea of what can be done before a single stitch is sewn. The same sort of manipulation is used throughout the construction process. Steaming a suit will undo all that work. Perhaps having seen these images you may have a slightly better understanding of the importance and why we feel so strongly about it.
     
  14. Wes Bourne

    Wes Bourne Senior member

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    I make my clothes.

    Since you included a pic of a final pressing at Samuelsohn, should we assume you work there?
    Btw, great posts jefferyd! I enjoyed your blog as well. Unfortunately, I don't think I should be trusted with pressing my suits myself...
     
  15. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    steaming a suit can also make problems appear such as puckering and blown seams, breaking sleeves etc. . . . If you have blown any of the seams (if they look a little puffy instead of flat)

    Jd,

    Do you have any photographic examples of blown seams or steamed and flattened coats/jackets?

    Thanks,

    - M
     
  16. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Since you included a pic of a final pressing at Samuelsohn, should we assume you work there?
    I used to.

    Jd,

    Do you have any photographic examples of blown seams or steamed and flattened coats/jackets?

    - M


    For a blown seam, see the video which I linked to at the beginning of the post. I'll try to get a photo later. As for a garment, I don't have one to hand but it wouldn't be a bad idea to show you a before/ after ; I just don't think I have any suits that I would want to do that to on purpose.
     
  17. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    It's tough to find a true professional these days.

    So true-- I'm going through love hate with cleaners right now myself after I ha a suit cleaned and my tailor had to take open the lining and repress the canvass due to the cleaner's mistakes.
     
  18. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    I'll try to get a photo later.

    Jd,

    Thanks.

    While you're at it, if there is a photo of the back of the jacket you posted (or the gorgeous grey flannel that is your blog's avatar), I would appreciate you posting that photo as well.

    My fitter-tailor recently taught me how to iron suits, and the principles of "what causes wrinkles? = heat and moisture" are consistent with what you've written about steaming wool fibers.

    The key seems to be to "remove the steam out of the fabric" once it has been pressed and "realigned." The vacuum below the ironing board is one way; I also saw him press the steam out with a wooden model of an iron.

    I suppose a culinary analogy would be to cool a dish quickly in ice after cooking it to lock in the desired configuration . . . .

    Perhaps you can clarify this, but leaving the ironing lesson I thought that once the canvas is shaped, it is tend to retain that configuration with various pressing jobs. Is a fully canvassed bespoke garment so delicate that steam could take away its shape?

    Also, it seems that to properly press a suit one needs about 2 hrs. and a 12 lbs. iron at that!

    - M
     
  19. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I would be curious to read the comments of someone brave enough to try this. Post your experience. How well did it work? Tailors have always told me that pressing a suit well is a skill that takes a long time to learn, and that requires lots of practice and many demonstrations/corrections from an observing master.

    That's why I have never tried. That and fear that I would screw it up.
     
  20. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Jd,

    Do you have any photographic examples of blown seams or steamed and flattened coats/jackets?


    - M


    I can't believe I did this.
    Pocket before

    [​IMG]

    pocket after

    [​IMG]

    I might point out that a fused jacket would not look this bad, but nobody here has any of those, do they? Notice how the side seam looks puffy instead of flat? Obviously, fat tweeds won't show as much as finer fabrics will. Another reason to stay with heavy, hard-wearing goods.

    This is the sleeve inseam which has blown, and it now breaks along the front because the top sleeve, which was stretched during the making, has relaxed.

    [​IMG]


    Jd,

    Thanks.

    While you're at it, if there is a photo of the back of the jacket you posted (or the gorgeous grey flannel that is your blog's avatar), I would appreciate you posting that photo as well.

    The key seems to be to "remove the steam out of the fabric" once it has been pressed and "realigned." The vacuum below the ironing board is one way; I also saw him press the steam out with a wooden model of an iron.

    Perhaps you can clarify this, but leaving the ironing lesson I thought that once the canvas is shaped, it is tend to retain that configuration with various pressing jobs. Is a fully canvassed bespoke garment so delicate that steam could take away its shape?

    Also, it seems that to properly press a suit one needs about 2 hrs. and a 12 lbs. iron at that!

    - M


    Remember, we have taken a two-dimentional surface and worked it into three by working the fabric and canvas into a shape which is not natural to it. We use heat and steam to do it. If you apply more heat and steam without molding and drying you undo that shaping. If a woman uses a curling iron to curl her hair and then goes on on a humid day the curls fall. Exactly the same principle. Wool is the best fiber for tailoring for the very same reason- it takes a shape the same way our hair will when we style it using a blowdryer or curling/straightening/crimping iron.


    Oh and here's the back. Now I see a few things I need to correct- a camera straight on is much better than a 3-way mirror for fitting yourself! I'll use my camera instead, next time I make something.

    [​IMG]
    Tailors have always told me that pressing a suit well is a skill that takes a long time to learn, and that requires lots of practice and many demonstrations/corrections from an observing master.

    That's why I have never tried. That and fear that I would screw it up.


    That's why this thread was called "how to touch up" and not "How to press your suit".
     

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