Ask the Tailor: How Often is Too Often for Dry Cleaning?

Photo by Michael

Each month we ask our expert tailors to address one of your most frequent questions. This month we’re addressing the issue of dry cleaning. How often is too often?

It’s only logical to want to take the best care of your tailoring. This is especially true when it’s bespoke, as you’ll want to ensure it lasts you well for years to come. One of the most important ways we do this is by ensuring our suits are professionally dry cleaned regularly. 

Though dry cleaning is definitely the best method for keeping bespoke tailoring clean and mark-free, there are disadvantages to over cleaning.  

The dry cleaning process involves a liquid solvent. When used too regularly, this solvent can strip fabric fibres of their natural oils. This can result in tailoring becoming prematurely well-worn.

It’s difficult to give an exact formula for how often you should send your tailoring to the cleaners. This depends on how often you wear your suit and how dirty it generally gets when you do! 

The best advice we can give you here is as follows: you should only have a garment of clothing dry cleaned when it really needs it.

You may not be able to pop a bespoke suit in the washing machine, but there are plenty of other ways to refresh it when necessary. In between dry cleanings, we suggest the following techniques:

  • Brushing your tailoring with a good quality suit brush
  • Spot cleaning any marks by hand with a damp cloth
  • Hang it up to air in a well ventilated area
  • Iron your suit with plenty of steam

If these techniques aren’t enough to remove a mark or odour from your suit, then it’s likely time for it to be dry cleaned. Just make sure you send it to a quality cleaner you trust!

Next month we’ll be asking our tailors all about the contentious issue of the trouser fly. Is it best to go zip or button? Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.