Our latest video on suit maintenance may be the most useful of the lot: How to press your a jacket at home. 

In the video, Richard is at pains to point out that a lot of the pressing process cannot be replicated at home. Customers would need a high-powered steam iron, a board/cushion that were easy to manipulate, and a lot of experience. 

But it is very possible to take out the basic day-to-day wrinkles, around the elbow, the small of the back and the front edge. Ideally it would then be taken to a professional presser once a year for a proper job.

The key takeaways for us are:

  1. Press a jacket when it has obvious wrinkles
  2. The sleeves, front edge and back can be done easily at home
  3. Chests and collars are trickier, and usually require a tailor’s cushion
  4. Always use a damp tea towel between the cloth and iron
  5. Spend time getting the cloth straight and taut at every point
  6. And use an iron with a large steam output 

You can see our first video, on brushing and general maintenance, here.

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Anonymous

Another nice video Simon. I had a tailor’s cushion made up – working with a domestic steam generator iron (not a domestic iron with steam) it all works surprisingly well. Question re. video is Charlie using a shotgun mic (it would improve audio if he isn’t, Richard is a little quiet), also the busy shop gives atmosphere but the gent with the purple tie is somewhat, almost comically, distracting….Cut! Take two!

John

What type of material is that towel made out of that he’s using at 5:15? Silica?

Christopher

Silesia; the cloth used for pockets.

Andy Varga

I was interested to see the shot where the lapels are being ironed…how do they press the lapels without destroying the lapel roll? iE how should one press the lapels so as not to destroy the roll of the lapel…in the video it looked like he was putting a strong crease in it, so you’d think the would be no roll…

Adam Jones

On Richards website it seems to suggest he offers this service (obviously at a charge) to non- RA clients “We are delighted to offer a cleaning and pressing service of the highest quality for clothing purchased from us and for other items in your wardrobe.”

can you confirm if this is the case, because this would a great service to offer. No worrying about if ones selected cleaner is up tot he job, and for me actually more convenient.

facebook_Rolf Holzapfel.100003480487829

Those who want to take pressing a bit more serious, can always invest in a ‘pressing mitt’, a ‘tailor’s ham’ and a ‘seam roll’ (google for images) to iron curved sections of a garment.

Although not as big as the one used in the video, tailor’s ham and seam roll are hard-stuffed with saw-dust (I believe) and offer a good, curved ironing surface. The seam roll gets used on long seams to prevent the underlay (due to too much pressure) showing through on the outside.

Rob

Simon,

A really helpful video, I can’t help but feel there is much more we could do at home if correctly equipped and educated. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone who is currently there to educate us! I would rather take much of my own sponge and pressing into my own hands rather than increase my use of dry cleaning. I’ve recently invested in a scaled down professional iron (ie. far small reservoir, but the same iron weight/heat and steam pressure). I note the use of both a teflon iron shoe and the damp cloth, which is a helpful hint, I wasn’t quite sure if the iron shoe removed the need for the damp cloth. I wonder where it is possible to get the right sort of boards and cushions for use at home, do you have any ideas?

I wonder if there is a market for sponge press training, much like barista training which became popular when people started getting small commercial coffee machines at home (count me guilty on that front too). I would certainly be keen to learn from the experts and happy to pay for a few hours of their time.

Finally, what is the current situation with sponge and press in London. Do you know if sponge2press is back open and Graham Browne still willing to valet other tailors suits? Have you come across any new options recently?

David Cohen

Dear Simon ,

I cannot think of another way to be connected to you on Linkedin . Your posts are a source of inspiration and pleasure .

When you have the time , find me as David Cohen currently working for Hawes and Curtis .

David

Greg

Simon,

Another really useful video – thank you! I’ve clearly been shortening the lives of my suits with too much dry cleaning and other abuse over the years!

On a related note, I’d be really interested to know your views on trouser presses? I’ve used one for many years and am now wondering whether that’s another ‘sartorial crime’ I’ve been committing! Kind regards – Greg

Zsanett Hegedűs

Hello Simon,
I read a topic somewhere that the traditional English bespoke Tailoring press crease into the short seem of jacket sleeve and the blogger attached a picture too. I cannot believe it, I’ve never seen such a jacket-sleeve. I always pay attention to iron roll without any wrinkle and crease. Have you heard similar process or is there any historical background ?

Anonymous

Hi Simon

Apologies if this is the wrong place to post this question. Can you recommend a good place to buy clothes brushes? I’ve managed to find some natural bristle brushes made by Kent. However, theyre quite small.

Omar Asif

Where can one buy this type of a tailoring cushion and sleeve board?

RMD

Portable steamers (easily available online) heat up very fast and also work well, particularly on tricky-to-get-to areas such as sleeve creases. You can also take them away when travelling. I think there’s also the point that you need to be careful about what dry cleaner you use – I’ve noticed many of them do not bother to put a damp cloth between iron and suit, and far too often a good quality suit comes back with a shiny finish