guide to touching up your suit without wrecking it

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

  1. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    Continuing on with this analogy, why not wear the garment while having someone else steam to "shape" it?

    ?

    [​IMG]


    - B
     
  2. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    Pressure is required while pressing (pressing=pressure) so steam alone while hanging the cloth is no good.

    The analogy of shaping wool and women styling their hair works for me in understanding this pressing business.

    Moisture relaxes the protein fibers (wool/hair) to allow it to be shaped or the wrinkles removed.

    The application of heat and pressure (via the iron or for hair the curling iron) allow the fibers to "set" in the desired configuration. This is probalby the critical step, the removal of the moisture by heat and pressure after getting them to behave as one wishes.

    To further "freeze" the fibers inthe desired shape, the heat from the iron which has just dried the steam is now either 1 - vacuumed, 2 - blown off, or 3- just allowed to dissipate.

    Women who go through this heat setting of their hair ritual daily probably get this pressing business easier than us men.

    - M
     
  3. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The analogy of shaping wool and women styling their hair works for me in understanding this pressing business.

    Moisture relaxes the protein fibers (wool/hair) to allow it to be shaped or the wrinkles removed.

    The application of heat and pressure (via the iron or for hair the curling iron) allow the fibers to "set" in the desired configuration. This is probalby the critical step, the removal of the moisture by heat and pressure after getting them to behave as one wishes.


    Bingo.
     
  4. mmkn

    mmkn Senior member

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    ?
    [​IMG]
    - B

    Bingo.

    Knowing Vox's testosterone laden and near manic mind, I am not sure what is being "relaxed" by the steam in that picture. [​IMG]

    And where's the hair dryer to remove the steam afterwards?

    - M
     
  5. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    i had no idea that they actually worked a certain shaping into the fabric, like let say, analogous to a leather shoe on its last.
    .



    Moisture relaxes the protein fibers (wool/hair) to allow it to be shaped or the wrinkles removed.

    The application of heat and pressure (via the iron or for hair the curling iron) allow the fibers to "set" in the desired configuration. This is probalby the critical step, the removal of the moisture by heat and pressure after getting them to behave as one wishes.


    - M


    You guys explain this better than I do. Maybe one of you can get through to gdl.
     
  6. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Jeffry, I understand what you are saying about seams, but to me it is a theoretical danger, as I have used steam on my jackets (sparingly, I'll admit) and I have not done any noticeable damage to the seams. Maybe it's there on the inside and I can't see it, but if so, what's the real harm?
     
  7. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Jeffry, I understand what you are saying about seams, but to me it is a theoretical danger, as I have used steam on my jackets (sparingly, I'll admit) and I have not done any noticeable damage to the seams. Maybe it's there on the inside and I can't see it, but if so, what's the real harm?

    You may not notice it now but if I showed you, you would. Like once you didn't know the difference between fused and canvas and then someone showed you.
     
  8. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    You may not notice it now but if I showed you, you would. Like once you didn't know the difference between fused and canvas and then someone showed you.

    No, I can clearly see from your pics what happened to your coat. I am saying that I do not see that happening to mine. The seams still look flat on the outside.
     
  9. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    No, I can clearly see from your pics what happened to your coat. I am saying that I do not see that happening to mine. The seams still look flat on the outside.

    What I showed was the only thing that could easily be shown in a photo and hopefully is much worse than anything you might encounter at home; the video of the woman with the iron was another good example. Mostly, though, they are things that would be very hard to demonstrate using photos and a message board. I am hoping that people will take it on faith that all the tailors on here all cringe at the mention of steamers and that it is not a good thing, since we can't demonstrate in person.

    Aside from the seam puckering, the loss of shaping is not something I can easily demonstrate with photos but is nonetheless real. The shoemaking analogy is very valid- the cloth has been shaped in the same way but wool is much more sensitive than leather and by steaming you undo the shaping that you would made by stretching the skin over the last, or however you would call it; there is limited space in my brain and most of it is occupied by tailoring, no room for shoemaking.
     
  10. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    You are trying to make me feel guilty. It is working. [​IMG]
     
  11. Mark from Plano

    Mark from Plano Lifestyle change - no homo

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    Are there areas of the jacket where it's OK to use a little steam, say with a travel steamer?

    For example, let's say I pack a suit and when it comes out of the luggage it looks OK, but has wrinkles around the "skirt" area, or the lower part of a sleeve (other than on a seam) which isn't highly shaped. Is it OK to use some steam there if you avoid areas like shoulders, chest, all seams, etc.?

    If not, how do you deal with travel wrinkles?
     
  12. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You are trying to make me feel guilty. It is working. [​IMG]

    You, of all people, should have an appreciation for what goes into a good suit, especially since the drape and soft tailoring are the most reliant on shaping and manipulation. Drape + Steam = Droop.
     
  13. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If not, how do you deal with travel wrinkles?


    With the iron and ironing board that they hang in the hotel room closet. I travel a lot, too. And when I do, I am usually seeing clients; imagine my horror at seeing my clothes come out of my luggage and I have to get dressed to meet the buyers for X department store and I, of all people, am expected to look right. I travel with a press cloth, then I set the ironing board up next to the desk so the bulk of the jacket can rest on it while I press the rest, as if using a sleeve board. It's not ideal, but I would never dream of steaming or hanging it in the bathroom while I ran the shower.
     
  14. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    The only pressers I trust are the tailor who made the coat, and one or two very expensive cleaners in Manhattan. I just can't bring myself to bring the coat back to the tailor just for a pressing. It's inconvenient if nothing else, and I assume he would not want to do it.

    Nor have I ever sent a coat to the cleaners just for a pressing.

    So steam is a shortcut, I guess, but it seems to get rid of some very unsightly wrinkles.

    For the most part, however, wrinkles don't bother me that much, so I just live with them.
     
  15. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The only pressers I trust are the tailor who made the coat, and one or two very expensive cleaners in Manhattan. I just can't bring myself to bring the coat back to the tailor just for a pressing. It's inconvenient if nothing else, and I assume he would not want to do it.

    Inconvenient. You spent how many thousands of dollars on it and you want a convenient solution to its maintenance? And not only will he want to do it, he will thank you for it. Try it. If he doesn't, I will personally pay for it to be sent to Madame Paulette.

    But wait. You like drape. You pay extra for unsightly wrinkles.
     

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