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Basic Care Instructions #7: Sport Jackets and Overcoats

 

 

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BASIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS  #7: Sport Jackets and Overcoats

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This is #7 in a series of newsletters on common care instructions for domestic items and materials most often seen in antique and vintage textiles, including but not limited to housewares and clothing. I hope this care information is helpful to you.

You may well know a lot more about the care of domestic items than I can tell you here, but it's nice to have all this information in one place. So at the risk of boring you, this newsletter goes into some detail.

This newsletter covers sport coats and suit jackets. The information here is basic information relevant to all fiber. Future issues will cover cotton and silk knits, outerwear, sweaters, shoes, trousers, jackets, fine leather goods, and lingerie. 

See our issue BASIC CARE INSTRUCTIONS #1 for information on how to read care labels you may find on vintage fabrics (and you should follow them if you do find them!). All previous newsletters in the series can be found in our library and in the newsletter archives.  

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No matter how fine or well made, every piece of clothing is subject to inevitable attrition imposed through wear. Please do your part in caring for your fine garments. First, heed this warning: Professionally Dry Clean, Low Moisture, Utility Press.

Most fine sports jackets and overcoats need dry cleaning only TWICE a season. That's all.

In between, however, here are some care tricks we recommend.  If these seem like more instructions than you really need, they are. But remember, you're protecting a valuable piece of clothing in which you've made a financial investment, and that takes some doing.

At the very least, invest in a good clothes brush, not a plastic stick with velcro, and brush out your coats and jackets between wearings. Use a strong, sweeping motion.  First up AGAINST the nap, then down WITH the "grain" of the fabric.
 

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Industry perfectionists add these tips:

 

1. Remember to check your pockets, and remove clutter before you brush. And by all means, unbutton the jacket or overcoat buttons.

2. If you're conscientious enough to do your own pressing (and bless you for that!):
    A. Press on the right side of the garment with a damp press cloth and a hot iron. Heat is good because combined with the dampness of the cloth, it produces steam which opens up the fibers of the fabric and eases out the creases.
    B. Whatever you do, KEEP THE IRON MOVING; don't press down on the collar, and avoid pressing on top of vents which will cause a shiny outline of the fabric underneath to show.

3. If you're short on time, instead of pressing, hang up your jackets, coats, and sport coats in the steam build up after you're had a hot shower or bath.  Five or ten minutes will get the job done.  Contrary to popular impressions, this is NOT cheating.  Actually, unless your jacket or overcoat has deep creases, this method is almost better than pressing. How about that!

4. Always hang your jacket or overcoat on a contoured or "wishbone" hanger, with the buttons unbuttoned and the pockets empty. Allow at least 24 hours rest before wearing the jacket or overcoat again.  This increases garment life.

5. It's best not to store jackets or coats in plastic bags which don't allow the fabric to breath.  Get cloth bags or shoulder covers, and allowing a "breathing" space of about 2.5 centimeters or 1 inch between each jacket or coat. 

6. For removing "serious" stains, your best bet is a professional dry cleaner.

7. If you're merely caught in the rain, however, dry your jacket or coat away from direct heat; direct heat can dry out the fabric's fibers and make them brittle.

8. It's best to consider cold storage for wool jackets and coats during the summer, and by all means, store them clean. Moths find the slightest stain irresistible. Be generous in the use of moth crystals and cedar repellents.
 

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In short, have fun with your clothing and take care of it.  After all, you're a "picture worth a thousand words"!

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I sign these newsletters "See Into The Invisible". Thanks for reading.

Best Wishes, 
Debra Spencer

All Content is © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself™ International. Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.
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All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

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All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.
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