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How do you protect your suits...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Leo Jay, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. Leo Jay

    Leo Jay Senior Member

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    I've been surprised that home laundering of shirts seems to be so popular among members here. I know that commercial launderers aren't the best thing for your shirts, but the damage they do seems quite insignificant compared to what can happen when you turn over a suit to a drycleaner... So I'm wondering what on earth do you guys do to protect your sizeable sartorial investments from the chemical saturation and harsh ironing of commercial processes?
     


  2. regularjoe

    regularjoe Senior Member

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    Popular method seems to be to use a brush and steamer. There are some instances were dry cleaning is unavoidable, but if you limit your outings, you should be okay.
     


  3. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

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    I'm going to be in the minority here, but I also sweat a fair amount, and feel I need to balance the breakdown in clothing fibers from perspiration with that from chemical processes. Therefore I dry clean my clothes more often than most members here recommend. Choose a dry cleaner with newer equipment that doesn't smell of perch (the predominant chemical used in dry cleaning), who also uses teflon coated finishing machines. This is usually *not* the cheapest cleaner in town. I clean wool trousers every third time worn. I have a pair of Loro Pianas I purchased the day my daughter was born over nine years ago. They're still going strong. As I usually don't wear my coats as often, I clean sport and suit coats once, maybe twice a season. The best resource I know of for info on this is www.clothingdoctor.com.
     


  4. JohnG

    JohnG Well-Known Member

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    One of the most important things is to invest in an inexpensive suit butler or just have a place to hang your suits to air out after each wearing.

    This is a matter of personal preference but I personally feel that the regualr coat or suit hangers work better when airing out a jacket. With the larger ends it lets the jacket form around the hanger better and in my opinion lets air move around better. ( Plus my drycleaner said its a good idea for airing out ijackets. but THAT one IS a matter of personal choice he also admits)

    Fresh air is best but even letting the jacket draped over the butler or a chair overnight helps. For the inclement weather days I picked up ( I think) a pivoting towel rack that  I disguised to hide behind a tin type poster on the back porch. We just hang them out there overnight

    If you get a small stain or spill food on it- dab the area with a soft cloth and water as soon as possible. DAB do not rub it in further until you have most of the area cleaned off. WHITE vinegar and water is good for nuetralizing a lot of small stains as well. Go sparingly or you may get a slight vinegary smell in damp weather if you really saturate the spot your trying to clean.

     A couple tricks from my freindly drycleaner is the roller type lint brush that is made for animal hair. These clean surface debris a bit better I am told ( like noticeable dust or residue from weeds etc.). The others still effectively remove lint better

    Also, we have a few small dry cleaning sponges. The cleaning solution is in the sponge. You just dampen it and dab accordingly.

      Our sponges come from the dry cleaner but  he told me most places such as a "Bed Bath and Beyond" or a "Linen and Things" will carry them. I assume they are relatively inexpensive.

    The small hand held steamers are ok for travel but the larger ones work MUCh faster at home use. btw- AGAIN- mix some white vinegar in the steamer water. It helps neutralize odors and aides in the dewrinkling.

    One last thing I and my wife have both taken a liking too for travel is the jacket hangers that fit on the headrest of your car. These can be found at luggage stores and many times discountstores like value city.  

    The benefit of these are your jackets stay cleaner and fresher when traveling. My wife has to snack if we drive any distance to keep from getting queasy. You would be surprised just how much these jacket hangers can save you in cleanings and piece of mind. When you get to where you are going just put the jacket on. It is not wrinkled as badly as if you had worn it in the car for that 40 or 50 mile drive. You have no worries that something you snacked on or the coffee you drank may have dribbled on your sportcoat. You have MUCH less wear and tear on your suitcoat.

    Best of luck to you sir,
      John

    Edit> A follow-up on what Mr steve B stated. ASK a drycleaner how often he changes his chemicals. If it is over 30 days and he does any volume of business.. GET A NEW DRYCLEANER.

    Some try to be cheap and make the chemicals last as long as they can get by with. This can actually be worse for your garments than having them cleaned 3 times by one who changes his chemicals monthly.

    Yes the chemicals are costly. But a good cleaner will realize it is worth the cost. Also, ask to look at his equipment. DO NOT be concerned if it looks a bit outdated. ( A new ironer alone can cost 50,000 ) DO be CONCERNED if the equipment looks rusty or ill taken care of.

    My best friend owns a linen service/dry cleaning business. I have met others through him. Not all have the latest and greatest equipment. Especially since we live in a rural part of Ohio. Any worth their salt WILL have cleaned and well maintained equipment. That is their livelyhood.

    Cleaners also know that properly working apparatus means properly washed and drycleaned clothes and less chance of damage to the garment. Do NOT be taken in by them telling you otherwise.
     


  5. Leo Jay

    Leo Jay Senior Member

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    Thanks for the information, particularly the suggestion about inquiring about how frequently the chemicals are changed. Can't wait to see the looks I get for daring to ask that one. But if they try to brush me off, I guess that will speak volumes...
     


  6. ROT

    ROT Senior Member

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    I'm almost afraid to ask, but........ I don't dry clean my suits very often, butover the course of the last 15 years, a couple of them have been tot he cleaners after major trips... I just noticed one of the sleeves on a blue suit (hi-twist, super 100s, Canadian make) is a little shiny. Can I correct this? Or have I just added a pair of navy odd trousers to my wardrobe?
     


  7. ernest

    ernest Distinguished Member

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    I do not wash them
     


  8. FIHTies

    FIHTies Distinguished Member

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    How...French... But in truth, washing is for farmers... [​IMG] JJF
     


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