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8 TIPS TO LOOK AFTER YOUR WOOL SUIT

By Slaters Style  February 22nd, 2021

 

There are few things more satisfying than slipping into a new wool suit. The material is fresh, the silhouette is crisp, and the fit is just right.

But how do you keep it that way?

Wool is a fantastic clothing material, but it requires some special treatment to stand the test of time. To help ensure you’re always arriving in style, we’ve put together an in-depth guide with some simple steps to maintain your wool suit so it serves you well for years to come.

 

1. GIVE IT A BRUSH

One of the reasons wool is such a popular material for suits is its versatility. As wool typically has a smaller thread count than other fabrics, it creates pockets of air that keep you warm in colder weather, while allowing breezes to cool you down in summer.

Although the structure of wool suits makes them a comfortable option, the low thread count means that small dirt and debris can easily become trapped between the fibres. 

Thankfully, a fabric brush can help to keep your suit fresh without damaging the material. Lightly brush in smooth downward strokes, paying extra attention to high-contact areas like jacket sleeves and trouser legs, will stop your suits from becoming clogged with dirt. 

 

2. ALWAYS AIR DRY

If you want a wool suit to last, avoid the washing machine at all costs! Your suit really doesn’t need this level of cleaning and all it will do is ruin the feel and fit or your clothing. By its very nature, wool is semi-self-cleaning anyway; the keratin in the fabric helps to break down grime and sweat.

Instead of throwing a wool suit into the wash, opt to air dry to help dissipate any unwanted odours. Once you’ve removed any clinging debris with a good brush, air drying is all you need to allow your suit to breathe and keep it feeling fresh.

 

3. GENTLY DAB OUT STAINS

Suits are common at special events, like weddings, dinner parties and drinks, meaning you always run the risk of staining your clothes with a misplaced sip of wine or a poorly aimed mouthful of food. 

Like brushing, the key to removing stains from wool suits is to be very careful with the motion in which you’re cleaning your clothing. Using water and a clean cloth, gently dab the stained area to break up the stain. Too much pressure will push the stain deeper into the fabric and will make it more difficult to remove. 

Wool-safe detergents can be added to the water for particularly-tough stains, but you must continue to dab lightly and never use bleach or acidic solutions.  

 

4. KEEP DRY CLEANING TO A MINIMUM

If you find yourself in a situation where your suit will need more than a damp cloth to restore it to its former glory, it’s time to seek a professional.

Dry cleaning isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it shouldn’t become a habit. Too many visits will significantly reduce the lifespan of a wool suit, so you should only resort to a dry cleaning service if your suit is actually ‘dirty’.  If you follow our previous wool suit treatment steps, two trips a year is plenty to keep your clothing clean without damaging it.

 

5. STEAM OUT ANY CREASES

If your wool suit is looking creased, put down the iron and walk away! Whereas this method may be fine for other clothing, the heat from the iron — even at low temperatures — can easily burn the fibres and upset the structure of the weave. Not only that, but a dry iron will ruin the premium finish of the fabric, giving it a cheap, unnatural sheen. 

The best way to remove creases and crumples is to use a steamer, allowing you to gently ease them out without overheating the wool. Purchasing a steamer may be an investment, but one that is well worth it to easily and effortlessly keep your wool suits crisp and in great condition.

 

6. HANG WITH CARE

Believe it or not, there’s an art to hanging up a suit the right way. Always opt for a wooden hanger: the wood will naturally absorb moisture from the fabric. Also make sure it’s wide enough to fill the shoulders of your jacket to keep the shape of the jacket intact.

Keeping your suits free from pests like moths is also crucial to ensure it retains its quality over time. A clothes bag will help to keep your wool suit protected, while cedar blocks are a good way to keep insects at bay — you could even hang your suit on a cedar wood hanger for additional protection. Make sure you choose a cloth bag, as this will allow air to flow through and keep your suit from becoming stale. 

 

7. TRY TO KEEP YOUR POCKETS LIGHT

It’s always better to travel light when donning a wool suit. Overloading your pockets with bulky wallets and heavy smartphones can damage your clothing.

Suit pockets aren’t as robust as other garments, especially your inner jacket pockets. As tempting as it may be to keep your valuables close to your chest, the weight can cause the seams of the pockets to distress and eventually tear. 

It’s not a wise move aesthetically either, as bulky pockets ruin the crisp silhouette of a fine wool suit. 

 

8. INVEST IN SPARE TROUSERS

Like any clothing, wool suits don’t last forever. However, the simple act of buying a spare pair of trousers will help to stretch out your suit’s lifespan. 

Suit trousers naturally go through more wear and tear than jackets as they’re always in use, meaning high-contact areas will start to degrade quicker. As a consequence of this, you’re also far more likely to wash your suit trousers than you would a wool jacket. A spare pair of trousers will allow you to switch between the two to ensure that no single pair is receiving too much use to retain its quality. It also means you have a spare pair if you want to mix up your look with a different jacket or a smart knitted jumper.

TALK TO THE EXPERTS

Here at Slater Menswear, we have years of industry experience that we love to share. For more style guides, outfit inspiration and clothing advice, head over to our style inspiration page to learn more. Or if you’re feeling inspired, you can check out our full range of suits to try out our top tips for maintaining your wool suit.

 

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