How to Look After A Tweed Jacket
Tweed jackets are a fashion staple for many men and women. Tweed is perhaps the most popular fabrics used for making jackets. Not only are tweed jackets stylish, but they are super comfy as well. The level of warmth they provide is far better than most other types of jackets. But like any other fabric, you need to good care of your tweed.
Tweed jackets are generally quite expensive, and therefore maintaining it’s quality is important. This is why, here at oneHOWTO, we will be discussing how to look after tweed jackets.
What is tweed?
You won’t be able to take good care of your tweed jacket unless you completely understand what the fabric is. Tweed is a woolen fabric that looks very similar to hand-spun weave.
There are several methods of making tweed, most common being weaving herringbone or twill. Tweed is an aesthetically appealing fabric that is ideal for making jackets and coats for both men and women. It is an irregularly spun, multi-colored yarn often used to knit jackets, pants and sweaters.Tweed jackets can be made of 100% wool or may be a blend of rayon/wool, wool/acrylic or any other. You can quickly identify this fabric by its multi-colored yarn woven into plain or twill weave fabrics. It has specific plaids and checks, and has a coarse texture.
Harris Tweed is one of the most revered versions of this fabric. It is the only hand-spun, hand-woven, dyed tweed that has a separate Act of Parliament dedicated to protect its standard, reputation and authenticity. Genuine Harris Tweed is made up of pure virgin wool and is woven completely by hand. Due to its look, heritage, authenticity and beauty, it is one of the most favored fabrics desired by jacket lovers across the globe.
How to take care of tweed
- Washing: Whether it is wool or a blend, tweed fabric is highly washable. You can wash it just like any other woolen. However, when it comes to washing jackets made of tweed, you need to keep certain things in mind. Most tweed jackets have reinforced structures, such as: shoulder pads, pad stitched lapels and interfacing. When they come in contact with water, they become distorted and the outer fabric tends to pucker. If your tweed jacket has any of these reinforced structures, then you will need to find other ways to clean it. One method of cleaning is by steaming: a safer method of cleaning tweed. Steaming can reduce wrinkles, kill most bacteria and germs, and help in eliminating tweed smell. If your tweed jacket is not extremely dirty, it isn’t necessary to take it to the dry cleaner. Instead, steam it at your home and save money.
- Storing: You should always store your tweed jacket in a climate-controlled environment where humidity remains within the range of 40-50%. If the relative humidity is higher than this recommended range, it may result in a damaged jacket: because of moisture saturation. Extra moisture in the air may enter the fabric and damage the integrity of its structure. Therefore, where you choose to store your tweed jacket is very important, the area should be neither too dry nor too humid. Apart from that, keep it in a sealable box or bag before storing it. Keep your wardrobe clean, and use cedar and lavender to naturally deter any moths.
- Stain cleaning: When you wear anything, naturally, stains will occur. But before you rush to clean that stain on your tweed jacket, check its label to find out which cleaning method the designers have recommended. Usually, you may remove a light stain by spot cleaning it with a laundry detergent and washcloth. First, place a paper towel or a dry cloth beneath the stained fabric so that it captures any moisture from the cleaning process. Otherwise, it may shift to the other layers of the cloth. Wet a washcloth, place some laundry detergent on it and softly blot the stain on your jacket until it is removed. Any new stain should be treated immediately before it penetrates deeper into the wool fibers. The faster you address the spill, the fewer chances there are of permanent stain damage. If the stain is from a liquid, use a cotton, soft, terry cloth to soak up the liquid. Always use dabbing strokes rather than rubbing it, as rubbing may push the stain even deeper into the fiber as well as spread it. If you notice a heavy stain on your tweed jacket, then let it dry naturally and use a soft bristle brush to sweep it away.
- Using mild detergent: Mild detergent is the best cleansing agent for cleaning stains from tweed jackets. Most stains can be removed by applying mild detergent on the stain. It is equally effective on both water-based and oil-based stains. If it’s a water-based stain, try to spot-clean it with some mild detergent first and then resort to dry cleaning. If it’s an oil-based stain, always spot clean it with mild detergent. The solvent used in the dry cleaning process may make an oil-based stain even worse. Sometimes, it may completely ruin your expensive jacket. Water-based stains include juices, soups etc. while oil-based stains include grease, oil, butter, lipstick, ketchup etc.
- Ironing: One good thing about tweed jackets is that they don’t need to be ironed very often. They have a natural resistance to wrinkles and they are able to retain their texture and shape without much work. However, if you want to iron your tweed jacket, then you must know that most of them can be ironed without any fear of damage. Though, just to be on the safe side, check your jacket’s label for any special instructions.
- DIY dry cleaning kit: This is the best method of treating water-based stains, since dry cleaning solvents are not effective on oil-based stains. While buying a dry cleaning kit, make sure that it is safe to use on woolen fabrics. Since some solvents are toxic, take your jacket to an open area, away from pets and children. Remove any solid dirt from the fabric and apply the solution onto the stain. Then, use a sponge or small towel to rub the stain gently. Keep applying until the stain completely disappears. Once you have removed the stain, place the jacket on a flat surface and let it air-dry. Make sure that the jacket dries up completely before you wear it again.
- Don’ts: Never rub tweed fabric and do not use ammonia or bleach on this fabric, as this will take off the color. Avoid using harsh chemicals like carbon tetrachloride on your tweed. Keep your tweed jacket away from water, especially if it has any reinforced structures like shoulder pads.
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