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Removing 'shine' from wool suits

VMan

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I recently picked up a second-hand suit to resell. When I got home, I examined the condition - no real damage, everything looks good. The only problem is that the undersides of the sleeves show quite a bit of shine in some spots.

I have two questions:

1) Is it correct to call this iron shine (and is created by ironing), or is it caused by general wear?

2) Is there any way to rejuvinate the fabric by steaming the jacket or using a special brush? I recall reading a post about steamers either on this board or Andy's, and it may have said something about being able to restore the fabric a bit.
 

Mike C.

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I've seen this as a result of too much pressing and also as a result of heavy wear. I remember my high school blazer got shiny on the elbows as a result of sitting on my desk all day, and trust me, those jackets never saw an iron.

I doubt that it can be rejuvinated to normal.
 

j

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I have a suit in a similar condition. The fibres are just smashed flat in the elbow areas and no amount of steaming or brushing will get them looking right again. Certainly not more ironing. I don't know of a cure for this one.
 

kabert

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This question was asked a few months ago, and someone responded that he'd had some luck by steaming the suit. That I recall, that was the only ray of hope in the thread.
Good luck.
 

Alias

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I'd try to do something that will restore the nap of the fibers. This will probably involve water, heat, a brush, and a good amount of swearing.
 

j

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Maybe a sandblaster?
 

quill

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Was this a wool suit?

I'd have to guess that the natural crimp and "hairiness" of wool fibers would have some resilience to them, and would - or could eventually - spring back with treatment.

If the fibers have been crushed flat, I wonder if there's some polyester, rayon, nylon, or other manmade substance in the fabric that doesn't have the same performance properties as wool. Or could be some linen or ramie that might act that way?

If it's 100% worsted wool, I would think there's some solution, but I could be wrong. If the hairs on the fibers have been abraded off, I don't think trying to raise a nap will do any good, as there won't be any fibers to nap.
 

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