How to Look After Tweed: 6 Tips to Protect your Tweed Suit
6 Tips to Protect Your Tweed Suit
There are no two ways about it, a suit is an investment.
No suit is cheap — they’re a complex piece of tailoring and design that can be fairly pricey, so just like you purchase insurance on your house, you need to take steps to protect your suit.
Come wind, rain, or shine, suits need a bit of love, care, and attention.
Especially a tweed suit. The high-quality wool-based, multi-coloured yarn that’s considered a classic, a tweed suit is the ultimate sign of style. Solidifying your status as a gentleman and taking pride of place as a statement piece in your wardrobe.
But making this investment piece stand the test of time can be a little more difficult. Due to its complex design and delicate fabrics, a tweed suit can be more susceptible to general wear and tear becoming frayed, worn, and faded if it doesn’t receive the correct care.
That’s where we come in. Read on for some expert tips on how to keep your tweed in tip top condition.
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. It can be made of 100% wool or a blend of rayon/wool, wool/acrylic, or any other hard-wearing fabric.
You can quickly identify tweed by its multi-coloured yarn woven into plain or twill weave fabrics, with specific plaids and checks, and a coarse texture.
Washing your tweed suit
So, now you know what it’s made of, here’s the all-important question:
to wash or not to wash?
In short, it’s best to wash tweed as infrequently as possible to maintain the structure of the fabric.
If you get a spillage or a scuff, spot and lightly dab clean with cool, clean water without any detergent. This will protect the bonds in the fabric and allow for a simple, clean dry.
But, if your tweed requires a deeper clean and a simple mop won’t do, we recommend dry cleaning only.
Putting your tweed in a washing machine can be pretty risky, for the very simple reason that when the reinforced structures of the jacket — lapels and shoulders, vents, pockets, and lining — come into contact with water, they distort and tend to pucker.
When this happens you’ll end up with a misshapen jacket without flattering lapels or sculptured sounders. So, to maintain your tweed’s sophisticated structure, be sure to take it to the dry cleaners.
Other definite no-nos:
- Use ammonia, bleach, or other strong substances to clean
- Leave stains for longer than an hour
- Rub the fabric
Steaming your tweed suit
If your tweed jacket is crumpled and in need of a little TLC, it’s possible to freshen it up the old-fashioned way by steaming it.
Steaming doesn’t clean the tweed fabric but it does lift the yarn, removing creases, odours and killing bacteria. You can buy small handheld steamers which should be up to the occasional job.
Simply steam the jacket whilst it's hanging up, leave it to dry for 20 minutes then smooth it down and shape with your hands.
Ironing your tweed suit
One good thing about tweed jackets is that they don’t need to be ironed very often. After all, who likes ironing? Not us.
Due to the heavyweight of a tweed suit, simply hanging it up will allow the creases to slowly come out, as it has a natural resistance to wrinkles and is able to retain its texture and shape without much work.
However, if you want to iron your tweed jacket this can be done without causing damage, but be sure to use a clean iron on the coolest setting to avoid any catching of the cloth.
Storing your tweed suit
Storing is just as important as cleaning.
First things first, you should always keep it in a climate-controlled, relatively cool environment.
If the air is humid, it may result in a damaged jacket: extra moisture in the air can enter the fabric and damage the integrity of its structure.
Keep your wardrobe clean, and use mothballs, lavender, or cedar chips to naturally deter any moths. You can also store your suit in a zip-up clothing bag for additional protection.
And, remember to spot your clean garment before storage. Fresh stains, that may not yet be visible at first, will oxidise and become fixed during storage.
Keeping your tweed looking sharp
There are many handy products you can use and ways to keep your tweed looking in ship shape. Here are two of our top picks:
Wool and cashmere spray. A safe non-toxic, allergen-free fabric spray that naturally repels bugs and moths without the noxious odors of toxic mothballs or, danger of oil stains left by cedar blocks and chips.
Match your shoes. We’ve written an article on how to style your tweed jacket by picking the perfect pair of shoes. Black on black? Navy on red? All the colour combos are answered here.
So, while it may sound like an upheaval, keeping your tweed in tip-top condition is so worth it.
Here at Tweedmaker, we have a huge range of top-quality tweed suits for any occasion. Browse our collection and get that investment piece to last a lifetime.