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Suit and Shirt Care 101 – Why Dry Cleaning Trumps Home Washing

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Section: Tailoring and Clothing Maintenance - Blog

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It’s Sunday, you have no clean shirts for tomorrow, and the dry cleaners are closed. Sound familiar? We’ve all been in that situation when a home wash of your shirts is the only option. And your five-minute dash with a lukewarm iron on Monday morning does nothing more than keep your shirt smooth long enough for you to get out the door.

Now anyone who has been in this situation knows all too well that having your shirts and suits dry cleaned is by far the better option. But did you know that it’s not just a matter of convenience? There are more advantages to dry cleaning than just avoiding the Sunday home washing panic. 

But what are they? 

  • Gets rid of oily stains

    You know the ones. The gravy drops or worse, the greasy oil spots. When an unfortunate accident occurs at the dining table we all know there’s only one way it’s coming out – dry cleaning. 
  • No loss of color

    Fabrics like wool or silk will suffer in water but will hold their shape and their color when put through the dry cleaning process. This is particularly true of suits (wool) and ties (silk). 
  • Advice from the pros

    The folk that work at your local dry cleaners know their business, and if there’s something that you’re not sure how to clean, they’ll tell you exactly how to do it. Not only that but they’re masters at spotting signs of wear and tear helping you keep that custom tailored suit a few years longer. They’re also pretty good at giving tips on storing your clothes which brings us to our next point. 
  • Preserving your clothes

    If you have a wedding suit that you know you’ll never wear again but would like to keep, then many dry cleaners will offer you a long-term storage service. It makes sense to allow an expert to take proper care of that much-loved garment especially if you live in a humid climate. 
  • The pressing

    You may think that you’re a dab hand at ironing your work shirts but if you want that custom tailored shirt to look like the tailor intended, then you’ll need to accept that your mediocre iron is no match for a professional press. Nothing looks as good as a shirt or suit pressed by a pro.

Methods for Cleaning Clothes 

So you see, it’s not just about not having to do the job yourself. Dry cleaning is a far superior option to home washing, and it’s well worth the extra expense to have a garment that lasts longer due to proper care. 

However, as good as dry cleaning is, you should also be careful not to expose your suits to the process more than is necessary. While having your clothes cleaned professionally at regular intervals is fine, overuse of the chemicals used during the dry cleaning process can ultimately damage your fabrics. 

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Jatin Vengurlekar is the Owner and Chief Stylist of Sydney’s leading men’s tailoring house Montagio Custom Tailoring. Dedicated to the art of sartorial perfection, Jatin has been designing custom tailored suits and business shirts for Australia’s fashion elite since 2010. 

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Simon Frazer

Montagio did a great job on wedding suits for me and my two groomsmen. Bally provided us with fantastic service and the result was definitely superior to an off-the-rack option... more »

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