Maintenance represents one of the largest costs involved in suit ownership and plays a key role in preventing expensive damage in the long run. With proper care, a suit can last a considerably long time.
Care and maintenance represent one of the largest costs involved with owning a bespoke suit. Although often considered an afterthought compared with the initial cost of the suit and the alteration involved in ensuring a proper fit, suit cleaning and maintenance can easily represent a huge portion of one’s expenses, which would naturally grow as you acquire more fitted suits.
Although these costs may seem hefty at first, these pay off immensely in terms of avoiding the even steeper costs of repair and replacement. Adequate care ensures that the suit remains in good condition for quite a long time. A well-maintained suit can last for several years when given the appropriate level of care—and continue to project a sense of timeless style and prestige to its wearer. In addition, having multiple suits cared for in this way can go further in preventing wear and tear.
Due to their complexity and the nature of the materials they use, suits are often dry-cleaned instead of washed. This system of cleaning is often preferred for various other types of cloth that respond poorly to cleaning with soap and water. However, even the most delicate of dry cleaning chemicals can still be too abrasive for many types of suits. Aggressive and frequent dry cleaning, for instance, may rob a suit made of wool of its natural layer of protective oils.
Laundry and dry cleaning must be done on suits with care. Barring the occasional accident or spill, a suit should be dry cleaned no more than twice a year. A suit that’s still clean can usually be worn again with little fuss. Food particles and other things that stick to the suit can be brushed off—first by gently going against the grain of the fabric and then once more with the grain. Simple cleaning can also be done with a fine, soft-bristled horsehair brush. Consult with a laundry company for best results.
At least a day after use, suits should be allowed to freely hang to drape out most of the wrinkles that emerge from use. To eliminate wrinkles before use, the suit should be pressed with a steam cleaner set at the lowest heat setting.
To prevent wear and tear, suits should be properly placed and carefully stored. This begins with selecting the appropriate coat hangers. The ideal type of coat hangers used for suits are those made to be thick and wide, which would prevent the suit from developing protrusions caused by weight of a narrow hanger poking out to the sides of the suit. Wood—especially cedar wood—is an ideal material for suit hangers.
Because of the size and thickness of suit hangers, however, people who own a considerable number of suits should be prepared to have a much larger wardrobe or cabinet dedicated to them.
To deter the presence of clothes moths, cedar blocks or shavings can be added into the wardrobe. Besides repelling moths, cedar has a pleasant scent and can prevent the accumulation of moisture within the wardrobe. As cedar loses its characteristic odour, it should be replaced with cedar oil, with care being taken to ensure that none of it touches the fabric.
Moth problems cannot be solved by cedar alone, however. A recurring problem with clothes moths can only be mitigated by having all of the clothes in the wardrobe cleaned or frozen.
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