MEN'S JACKET CARE AND CLEANING GUIDE
Have you just purchased one or more jackets? At Ernest, we know that to prolong the life and maintain the good looks of these men's wardrobe essentials, it's important to maintain them carefully and regularly. At go, follow these cleaning and storage tips from our fashion experts!
KNOW YOUR JACKET MATERIAL
Before you even think about washing your jacket, you must know what fabric it's made of and its care requirements. You'll find this information on the label. Here, however, is an overview of the care rules specific to different fabrics:
Wool: wool is a noble fibre that requires special care. It is therefore not recommended, not to say forbidden, to machine-wash your wool jacket unless you place it in a lingerie bag and choose the delicate cycle... and even then! Better to wash it by hand (and let it air-dry) or take it to the cleaners, and then only if it's dirty.
Cotton: cotton fiber can generally easily tolerate a gentle wash. However, you need to be careful when spinning and drying. After rinsing, blot your cotton jacket with a towel (above all, don't wring it!) and never put it in the dryer, as it could warp and shrink.
Tweed: dry-cleaning is usually recommended for this material. If the label indicates that the jacket can be washed in water, you can clean it by hand or machine. If you wash it by hand, use lukewarm water and a mild detergent designed for wool. If you're machine-washing it, put it in a mesh laundry bag, and select the delicate cycle in cold water.
Velvet: avoid washing your velvet jacket with other fabrics. If you wash it in the machine, turn it inside out. Choose a delicate cycle and a mild detergent. Above all, don't use fabric softener or bleach, as this will make the velvet rough. To dry, lay your jacket flat and do not use a heat source.
Leather: leather needs to be carefully cared for. To restore its lustre, first remove dust with a slightly damp cloth. Once dry, clean your jacket with a solution specially designed for leather. For best results, or if you're worried about making a blunder, take your leather jacket to a professional cleaner.
In short, whatever the material of your jacket, remember that the washing machine and dryer are to be avoided in the (very) vast majority of cases!
Experts recommend deep-cleaning men's jackets every six months or once a year or more if they are visibly dirty or have greasy stains. To prevent your jacket from becoming soiled or impregnated with unpleasant odours, don't wear it for several days, air it out before putting it away, and remove small stains as you go along.
DRY CLEANING VS. HOME LAUNDERING
Although highly effective, dry-cleaning uses powerful chemicals that can damage fabric. For this reason, it should be used sparingly if you want to preserve your garment for as long as possible.
In other words, this is the best solution if you can clean your jacket by hand. If this is not possible, dry cleaning is the best option.
Instructions for removing minor stains
Most of the time, rubbing the stain with a little soapy water or white vinegar is enough to remove it. If this strategy doesn't work, go to "Plan B"!
There are several effective stain removers on the market for all fabric types. However, you must be extremely careful when trying them for the first time! We recommend testing the product on a hidden jacket part to see if it bleaches the fabric. If the tip of a cotton bud turns colour when you rub it over the area where the product is located, it's a sign that you shouldn't use it.
Is dry-cleaning an unfamiliar process? It involves washing delicate or precious garments (coats, wedding dresses, tuxedos, etc.) without water. Instead, the cleaner uses chemical solvents to remove stains and dirt.
Tips for choosing a good dry cleaner
To choose a dry-cleaning establishment for your jacket, you can do an Internet search and look at Google reviews, for example. You can also ask work colleagues or friends with an impeccable dress for recommendations or ask a member of our team!
Dry-cleaning frequency to prevent fabric wear
If you wear your jacket regularly, a dry cleaning every three months is acceptable. Otherwise, space your visits as far apart as possible (every six months, for example).
If you wash your jacket by hand, use a bathtub, lukewarm water and mild soap. Rinse until the water runs clear. If you choose to machine-wash your jacket because it's labelled to do so, don't put it in with other garments that could damage it. Always use mild detergents designed for the material your jacket is made of.
Drying and ironing
Remember: never use a tumble dryer, as it promotes shrinkage and deformation of jackets. We also strongly advise against drying jackets in the sun or near a heat source. Instead, let your piece air-dry flat, without wringing it to remove excess water. Instead, dab it with a large absorbent towel.
After drying, your jacket may be wrinkled or show some unsightly creases. To remove these, use a steam iron (first hang your jacket on a heavy hanger) or an iron at the temperature indicated on the label. You can place a protective cloth over your jacket to avoid damaging the fabric during ironing. Remember: never iron buttons, seams or pockets, as this can mark them!
Always store your jacket on a wide hanger. Hang it up, leaving space for other garments. Note that a protective cover is necessary when transporting it (for a trip or special event). The rest of the time, let your jacket breathe.
To prevent moths from ruining your precious wardrobe stash, you can place cloves, bay leaves or cedar wood on it. To prevent mildew growth, ensure the ambient humidity is not excessive, and never hang damp clothes in your closet.
Here's a checklist of what to do and what not to do to keep your jacket looking its best:
Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun (which discolours and weakens the fabric);
Always air your jacket after wearing it;
Never store an odorous garment (perfume, perspiration, cigarette) near your jacket, as it will absorb its odours!
Repairs and alterations
A jacket that doesn't fit properly, is missing a button or has a ripped seam can quickly lose all credibility! To look your best, use the services of a qualified tailor. He or she can repair or alter your jacket (in the back or shoulders, for example) so that it "falls" perfectly, whether when you first bought it or after you've lost weight.
All in all, it's not rocket science to take care of a men's jacket! Just remove dust regularly (with a brush or self-adhesive roller), air it out after wearing, remove stains as you go along, and clean it every three months or more according to the manufacturer's instructions. To find your next suit or sports jacket, visit Ernest!