Returning from a party recently, my employer commented that although he had gone out looking smart, his evening suit now smelled somewhat of tobacco, and enquired as to how the problem could be remedied.
Good suits require a great deal of care. I always ensure that the wardrobe in which they hang contains mothballs – these days you can buy ones that don’t smell of camphor – and a bug repellent strip to keep it insect free. Prior to replacing worn suits, the jacket, trousers and waistcoat should be sprayed with a scent-free aerosol, which left overnight will rid them of any unwanted odours, including tobacco. Suits that are not worn often can be kept in plastic suit bags to keep them dust free, however, regular brushing should not be neglected. Always ensure they are hung on well shaped hangers, not wire hangers as these are not appropriate for quality suits.
When brushing clothes, it I is important to use the correct type of brush. I prefer an old-fashioned dandy, which may be purchased from a saddlers. They are excellent on tweed and hunting coats and remove all dried on mud and blood. Clothes should only be brushed when completely dry and then may be freshened up with a different, brush dipped in cold water.
On a particularly fine summer’s day, when the master is out, the wardrobe may be emptied and the suits taken to the garden to hang on the washing line. Brush and sponge them down – do not soak – with cold water and leave the clothes to hang. In the meantime, give the wardrobe a good clean-out as this will ensure the suits remain fresh.
Stained clothes need not always be taken to the drycleaners as there are some good stain-removing products on the market. Two that I use are KR2 and a Dutch product called XL, both of which are excellent as they do not leave marks. If it is necessary to use soapy water, make sure it is a pure soap such as Lux.
Pressing is another job that doesn’t require the dry cleaners thanks to the number of excellent steam irons available. Steam vertically. This way you don’t remove the “goodness” from them that many drycleaning agents do. Should the knee area become baggy, open the area out from the side seam and press, remembering to use a pressing cloth. The creases may be put in again afterwards. This technique also works with the backside area.
Finally, remember to buy only good quality cleaning products that will ensure clothes look their best. The results are always worth the extra expense.