Be it the season of falling leaves or falling temperatures, your jackets keep you comfy, toasty and oh-so-fashionable, no matter when you need to wear them. While you love extracting maximum wear out of this outerwear, do not to forget to give it the tender loving care that it needs.
In order to maintain and even prolong the lifespan of your jacket, the material that it is made of is the single-most important factor to be considered. Jackets made from different materials need different kinds of upkeep. Here is how you can take care of six types of oft-used jackets.
Did you know that well-cared leather artifacts can last you decades and even generations? Case in point, the 5,500-year-old leather shoes dug up in an excavation in Armenia in 2010. With proper care, you too can aim to make your leather jacket last a generation or two!
(i) Apply a leather protector regularly on your leather (this is especially important for a suede leather jacket as it stains easily) to make it resistant to water, oil, and stains.
(i) Never keep it folded or wrapped up. Let your jacket breathe. It’s leather, after all.
(iii) Use a large-sized wooden hanger so your jacket can hang in its natural shape.
(i) Read and follow the instruction label carefully as different types of leather vary in their cleaning treatment. There are also different leather cleaning products for different kinds of leather.
(ii) Gently dust your jacket with a cotton cloth or soft brush. Then use a damp cloth to wipe it all over followed by the gentle use of an appropriate leather cleaning product which is eventually wiped off with a soft dry cloth.
(iii) Never soak your leather jacket in water or use a washing machine to clean it.
(iv) To keep yourself from all this hassle, you can simply choose to give your leather jacket to a professional dry cleaner specializing in cleaning leather.
Faux Leather Jackets
A faux leather alternative is not just easier on the pocket but also an animal-friendly version of the real thing. Also known as pleather (plastic leather), it is generally made up of PU (polyurethane) or PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
(i) Since these jackets are made up of plastic, they are highly inflammable and must be protected from high heat and flame (which means you cannot give them off to the dry cleaners).
(i) You can mostly wash these jackets with a mild liquid detergent in the washing machine or soak them in water but do remember to check the instructions label before doing so.
(ii) If you are using this jacket regularly, then gently dust your faux leather jacket with a soft, microfiber cloth, at least once in a week.
(iii) You can remove stains by mixing warm water with a mild detergent or white vinegar, dipping a soft cloth in this mixture and rubbing it gently over the stains. Y
(iv) You can also use a rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) for removing stains but do a patch test before using this chemical for the first time on your jacket.
Polyester jackets are amongst the most popular jackets in use today because of their sturdiness and lightness.
(i) These jackets hardly demand any extra care or attention.
(i) You can machine wash this jacket on a permanent press cycle using warm water with a standard detergent. Additionally, it is always a good idea to add a fabric softener to the mix in order to reduce static cling that a polyester jacket is susceptible to.
(ii) However, when it comes to a polar fleece jacket, do not use a fabric softener and also do not wash it with clothes which may give off lint residues like towels.
(iii) It is always a good idea to wash your polyester jacket with other polyester clothing items.
(iv) Turn your jacket inside out before washing to prevent snags or other damage to its outer part. Dry your polyester jacket on a low heat setting or simply let it air dry by putting it on a hanger.
(v) Avoid using bleach to brighten a white polyester jacket; instead, you can soak your jacket overnight in 4 liters of water mixed with ½ cup of automatic dishwater detergent and wash it normally in the morning.
(vi) Do read the care instructions before cleaning this jacket and if it says, ‘Dry Clean Only’, send it to the dry cleaners instead of washing it at home.
Seen as the ultimate symbol of Haute Couture, fur jackets are synonymous with high-end luxury. A fur jacket is a piece of investment by itself but can easily show wear-and-tear if not cared for properly.
(i) Always store your fur jacket in a cool, dry and dark place to prevent damage from heat, light, and moisture.
(ii) There is a real danger to your fur jacket from being eaten up by moths or other rodents so keep this jacket stored in a garment bag without fail. However, refrain from using mothballs near your fur jacket as the smell from these can seep inside your jacket which can be almost impossible to remove.
(iii) During sultry summer days, consider storing your fur jacket in a fur storage vault for optimum temperature and humidity regulation.
Never wash this jacket at home and always give it to a professional fur cleaner (not your regular dry cleaner) for a clean.
Faux Fur Jacket
As Karl Lagerfeld rightly said, “You cannot fake chic, but you can be chic and fake fur,” a faux fur jacket gives you the same ultra-stylish appearance as a real fur jacket without the hassle of maintaining or paying an exorbitant amount for one.
(i) Brush your jacket regularly with a slicker brush to keep it fluffed up.
(ii) Protect this jacket from high heat as faux fur fibers are actually made of plastic which can melt or knot up together when exposed to high temperature.
(i) You can handwash faux fur jackets easily.
(ii) However, if your jacket has only trimmings or patches of faux fur then you can also toss it in a top load washing machine by turning it inside out and adjusting the settings to minimize agitation. Soak your jacket in cold water for not more than 15 minutes and use a mild detergent with a quick wash cycle. After washing, shake your jacket to let out excess water from it (otherwise the weight of the water will pull your jacket out of shape) and then put it on a sturdy hanger to air-dry in your room or in shade.
More often than not, a woolen jacket ends up becoming the go-to outerwear for winters due it the huge amount of warmth and comfort it offers.
(i) Care for your woolen jacket by getting it cleaned at least twice a year by a professional dry cleaner.
(ii) Store your jacket in a garment bag when not in use.
(i) If you plan to wash your woolen jacket at home, do it with cold water and a mild wool-safe detergent. It would be preferable to handwash it.
(ii) For a machine wash, clasp the fastenings and buttons of your wool jacket, put it in a mesh bag and place this mesh bag in the washer. The mesh bag will protect your woolen jacket from damage caused due to wringing and spinning in the machine.
(iii) Do not use the washing machine dryer to dry this jacket. Instead, spread it out and squeeze out as much water as possible from it with your hands. You can also press your jacket in between towels to remove excess water. Finally, hang your jacket on a wide-shouldered hanger and let it air dry.
Hope this information helps you in keeping your jackets as good as new for years to come. If you have any tips to share or questions to ask, do let us know in the comments below!