• We would like to welcome American Trench as an official Affiliate Vendor. American Trench is a Philadelphia based outerwear, apparel, and accessories brand, making all of its products in the United States at (mostly) family owned factories. . Please visit the American Trench thread and welcome them to the forum.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Washing & drycleaning question

VMan

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
4,996
Reaction score
33
fHello, I have three items that are labeled 'dry clean only', and I have doubts to whether or not this is true. Keep in mind I wouldn't be putting these in the washing machine, but rather I'd handwash them with gentle soap. 1) slacks, in 70% Polyester and 30% viscose. These have some stains on them, so I'd like to be able to hand-wash them and give 'em the Oxy-Clean treatment. 2) Dress shirt, in 100% Polyester (I know, I know, but it doesn't feel like poly. 3) Dress shirt, in 80% cotton, 15% nylon, 5% spandex. Also, I have some suits that could use a cleaning. No rush, though. I've never been to a drycleaner before, but what should I look for? a) I've heard that you should look for places that do in-house rather than send the garments out. There are also both standard cleaners (1-Hour Martenizing) as well as some 'natural' cleaners in my area. Is there a real difference? b) I know pressing is bad and creates shine - should I specify no-pressing? c) How much should I expect to pay to clean a full suit, just a jacket, and just a pair of slacks?
 

regularjoe

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2004
Messages
276
Reaction score
0
I'd say you can wash the first three. When in doubt, cold water-delicate can do the trick. I've washed wool and cashmere sweaters myself on that setting.

Wool and cotton suits ought to be dry-cleaned. You want the cleaners to press. Alternatively, you could take the suit to a tailors who can also press using a tailor's iron.
 

Carlo

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2003
Messages
1,021
Reaction score
4
Vman - one thing with natural/synthetic blends - you can have some funny shrinkage issues at the dry cleaner since synthetics tend to be inert.

A LITTLE bit (drop) of woolite and a clean cloth dampened with distilled water makes a remarkable hand cleaning solvent. Distilled water will begin to dissolve a glass bottle over time. dampen, and gently rub and usually a spot will come out.

For oily stains water will spread'm so use a 'janie stick' which i THINK is probably just talc. that will take most of the oil out. and then you can wash or have it cleaned.

Garment manufacturers stick in a dryclean only tag to cover thier arse - if the drycleaner ruins it you blame the cleaners and not the manufacturer.

On your suits, unless they are dirty (like you take it off and it walks to the closet and hangs itself up) you can spot-treat with a clean cloth and a little distilled water and gentle rubbing. A good brushing and (Y'all sing it with me now) a good steaming followed by hanging loosely for a day will do wonders and extend the life dramatically.

Oddly, ever since I went from a weekly shower to 2 per week the need to clean my clothes has gone way down.

Pressing a suit is entirely NOT needed most of the time. I never do it, i use the steamer and MAYBE will iron using a pressing cloth between trouser and iron if I want to sharpen the crease.

Hope that helps.
 

VMan

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Messages
4,996
Reaction score
33
Thanks for the help.

With that first pair of pants mentioned, the color is very very pale blue, so I thought this could cause a problem. There was a spot on the pants, and I tried to just use a washcloth with a little detergent and some water, and it appeared to leave a 'watermark' on the pants. Unfortunately, the stains are tea, so I was hoping to be able to use my Oxy-Clean treatment, as this has worked on Tea/Coffee in the past.

Carlo,

The reason I wanted to clean the suits is this; They are Oxxfords, having previously belonged to my uncle, which he gave me to sell on ebay. They are not old suits - within 10 years - but they were stored in a basement or attic or something...they smell a bit musty and are slightly wrinkled. I figured dry cleaning would be the best way to help this, but maybe you have a better suggestion.
 

Carlo

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2003
Messages
1,021
Reaction score
4
I think a little fabreze and a good steaming, then hang them loosely in the bathroom with a fan going for a few days would be my first choice, then a trip to a very good dry cleaner and a SPECIFIC request to hold them until they are running a batch of fresh solution would be what I'd do.

I don't trust dry cleaners and I am a bit of a turd about it - sure most are well meaning.
 

faustian bargain

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2004
Messages
2,443
Reaction score
2
i'm sure this question has been asked before - is there such a thing as in-home dry cleaning? not the bag you stick in the dryer, i haven't heard much good about those. but like a machine, or some magic chemicals, or something.
 

deValcourt

New Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Zegna synthetic fabric and dry cleaning

This is both a question and a greeting from a “new guy” so it’s longer than something I’d normally post.
889655E1-C11E-47F4-AC09-4B6B553B096C.jpeg
C97806ED-45B9-4788-A64B-36764A0B07D7.jpeg
1E412A22-DBEC-42AA-AAE1-E2F4D8553C27.jpeg
D2B1C9E3-6D2E-4D75-ACAE-6BD44F4E45D6.jpeg
5D9AA3D3-CD05-454E-B9B1-5F8B768E871B.jpeg
I don’t know if I’m reviving a long dead thread or if this set of questions should be here, but I’m entirely new to this forum and I had to take the plunge somewhere.

Just a quick note (and perhaps a confession), I’ve only started to really care about fine details of what I wear when I decided to recover my own personal sense of fashion when Covid started and I had a wedding to attend when total lockdowns were lifted and very small numbers could be in one location. I‘ve always considered my look (if you could call it that) to be mine and only guided by suggestions some call rules.

I respect the rules and believe it’s important to know them before one starts to play with or break them - very much like writing and what any good teacher would have told you in college.

Speaking of college, my profile photo for now is a scan of a grainy picture taken of me (left) and my best friend to this day. It was taken in the late 80s, as his mullet suggests. I was more about the 60s neo-hippie revival that I had plenty of a head start on since that hair didn’t grow overnight.

My point to all of this simply that I like what I like. And I really like the Ermenegildo Zegna jacket I’m here to ask about cleaning. I’ve had it for many years and don’t remember if it’s from the late 90s or early 00s. I fully intend to keep it as long as it holds together. To my surprise (considering what little I knew about Zegna), it’s entirely synthetic material, though it neither looks nor feels like it, to me.

I have an excellent dry cleaner I’ve known for years and I brought it to him a couple of years ago to see if a gentle cleaning might be a good thing for it. It’s not stained or “dirty” but he’s done amazing things with my older suits that came back looking like they were fresh from the shop.

He looked at the care labels and said the written instructions contradicted the industry cleaning symbols and he said he didn’t want to take a chance if I liked it that much. I do, so I’ve done a few searches over the years here and there and I’ve been reading various posts on this forum for long enough that I figured I’d join and now I put this problem to the members.

I am attaching photos of the tags for those who may have had similar problem. I’ve seen others on the internet ask the same question but I’ve never seen an answer. It may be as simple as “just skip the cleaners and give it a brisk steaming with the fabric brush attachment.” But even that worries me just a bit since I don’t want to melt or deform the man-made fibers.

I will entertain any suggestion. And a note about the photo of the whole coat: it’s for reference only in case someone else has or knows about this particular design (and despite the photo, the colors are all even - there’s no reddish swath across the midsection). I took the photos on the spur of the moment and the one of the brand label with the size is blurred since I didn’t look at it until I put everything away. It’s the classic deep green label with “M/50” and “made in Italy” on a smaller tag beneath it. If I leave the screen long enough to retake it, I will be logged out.

Thank you in advance to anyone who replies,
P.✌?
 

breakaway01

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
3,295
Reaction score
3,076
I’m not a professional cleaner but I don’t see how the symbols contradict the written instructions. Did your dry cleaner elaborate on his statement?
 

deValcourt

New Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
First of all, thank you for your reply.

It was a few years ago that he and I looked at this jacket, so I’m going off of faded memory, but he said even though the written instructions say dry clean only, one of the symbols with the red X through it wqsays not to clean with whatever method he would have for synthetic/polyester fibers. But that was the extent of the explanation. English is not his first language and Vietnamese isn’t mine, but we normally communicate just fine. I deferred to his judgement since dry cleaning is not my first profession either ;-)

And it’s not so much dirt that I’m looking at getting rid of. I just expect there is quite a bit of dust built up in all the rows and like the suits and even shirts I’ve taken to him over time, they always seem far cleaner when I get them back than I expected. I don’t expect the smooth sheen that can happen with good wool when it’s been cleaned and pressed properly. But even though it’s synthetic, we are talking Zegna quality here and it’s always had a unique look and feel to it.

I guess I’m just hoping for a little “freshening up” of the fabric, if you get my meaning. And if anyone here has run into a similar situation, any experience would be greatly appreciated.

P.
 

breakaway01

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2013
Messages
3,295
Reaction score
3,076
The P with a circle in it means dry clean but avoid certain types of solvents. These laundering symbols are easy to look up. I don’t think a poly/nylon blend is that delicate. I’d take it to a dry cleaner without worrying about it TBH.
 

deValcourt

New Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2022
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Much appreciated. I’ll bring it to him this week. Temperatures are supposed to be colder than this is good for the rest of the week. I have three others from Zegna that are a similar design but in various degrees of increasing formality but they are all pure wool and still look brand new.

I just needed a second opinion.

I have many other questions about numerous subjects, but they can wait.

Thanks again,
P.✌?
 

pablum

Active Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2014
Messages
26
Reaction score
55
There is a misconception that a dry cleaner will treat your garments with better care than you would.

If you care for them, hand wash individually in warm water with a gentle cleaner and gentle agitation. Spot treat if necessary. Monitor often. Dry naturally.
 

Featured Sponsor

What's Your Favorite Summer Shoe?

  • Loafers

  • Boat shoes

  • Espadrilles

  • Sneakers

  • Desert Boots

  • Sandals


Results are only viewable after voting.

Forum statistics

Threads
475,408
Messages
10,161,639
Members
213,618
Latest member
Aleeciamart
Top