Living in Miami, breaking out our cold weather gear is a unique and special occasion. This rarity can make caring for these garments all the more important. Whether you are traveling north for the holidays, plan to hit the slopes for ski season, or simply love bundling up whenever the South Florida temps drop, here are some tips to making sure your outerwear stays looking crisp.
Overall, leather is a pretty durable material. Most jackets and gloves usually come pre-treated. If you are unsure, you can reach out to the brand to receive more information. In the meantime, do run a damp cloth over your items about once a week while in use to remove any dirt and grime. Use only water, as any soaps or cleaners can stain or leave a film. Send your items in for a professional cleaning yearly, ideally with a cleaner who specializes in leather (Sudsies is one of them). Here you can discuss with your technician about any needed treatment options, such as conditioning.
Yet another extremely durable fabric, wool naturally repels dust and liquids, but a quick run over with a garment brush is ideal to keep it clean. If you have a long coat, pay special attention to the bottom hem, where street salts can accrue. Before placing back in storage, invest in a professional cleaning to remove oils, which combined with wool’s fibers, can attract moth larvae. If you choose to use moth balls, do not let have them direct contact with the wool. Instead, wrap the balls in their own separate cloths.
These garments tend to get the most abuse throughout the season. Dirt and grime can hinder the breathability and waterproofing of these materials, affecting their performance in keeping you warm. Regular cleanings are recommended. Be sure to check your labels thoroughly, as many can be laundered. (Note: that with down items, you may want to avoid too many wash cycles, as this can reduce their puffy texture). Never place in the dryer. Instead opt to air dry. If feathers on down jackets peek out, avoid pulling them out and gently push them back into the garment. Be sure to repair any rips right away. There are patches specifically for winter gear; just be sure the surrounding area is completely clean before applying. Consider a professional patching with a tailor who is adept in working with these garments. Before storing, pay special attention that cleaned garments are completely dry to avoid mildew or other water damage.
A Few More Important Tips
- If snow or other wet conditions leave your items particularly damp, hang them up as soon as possible. Avoid the temptation to place in front of a heated source for a quicker dry time. The heat will actually shrink and otherwise damage the material.
- NEVER store clothing in plastic garment bags or containers, as this will only lock in moisture and breed mildew. Instead use cotton or muslin garment bags or rattan trunks for breathability.
- Pack items loosely so they can breath and prevent damage to fabric due to smashing. You may want to consider layering in white tissue paper or muslin cloths in between items.
- When unpacking your winter wardrobe at the beginning of each season, hang items for 24 hours to ventilate and help release any wrinkles.
Have any additional questions about winter wear and Sudsies services? Visit sudsies.com or contact us directly at 305.864.3279. Stay warm!