Garment Care Guide

At Crane Brothers, we believe in making timeless clothing and footwear that lasts, but to get the very most out of your garments, they do need a bit of special care. We'll walk you through some of the best ways to look after your tailoring, shirts, knits and shoes - and some of the common pitfalls to avoid.


Tailoring

Hanging

Your suit or jacket will come with a shaped hanger and protective suit bag. This bag should be used for transporting the garments only, and is not suitable for storage. The shoulder of a jacket should sit forward so that the coat hangs straight. A badly hung coat will sag and lose shape, so take a moment to make sure it’s sitting properly Likewise, always hang your trousers over the hanger, folded along the crease lines. Try not to crush your suits in the wardrobe and allow the fibres to breathe.

Brushing

Regular brushing with a stiff brush will remove dust build-up.The abrasive quality of dust, combined with friction from wear, is what causes suits to ‘glaze’ or take on a shiny patina. Always brush in long sweeping movements and never use a circular or scrubbing motion. Brushing with the grain of the fabric will produce the best results.

Pressing

If your suit is wrinkled, do not iron it directly - you risk scorching the cloth. In a pinch, you can press trouser legs by laying a clean, damp tea towel over them and giving them a gentle press. Avoid using an iron on any other area of the jacket or trouser.Hanging your suit in your bathroom whilst running a hot shower is a great way to get it back in shape as the steam helps to relax the fibres. A good cloth has a memory and moisture, heat and gravity will generally help it return to its original shape.If the wrinkles beat you, or you want to get the creases put back into your trousers, take it to your dry-cleaner and have them press the suit (as opposed to having the suit cleaned). Alternatively bring the suit to us and we can have it pressed for you on-site.

Dry-Cleaning

Bad dry-cleaning can do irreversible damage to your suit - wherever possible, avoid ‘convenience’ vendors such as one hour or same day services. You will always be better to pay a little more for a service you can trust.

Make sure you use a reputable firm and ask our staff for recommendations. We use Regal Dry-Cleaners in Auckland, Mall Dry-Cleaners in Wellington and Eastern Drycleaners in Christchurch.

Dry-cleaning is very effective at lifting stains, but it is harsh on fabric and should not be used frequently. On average you should expect to dry-clean your suits around twice a year or less, and as a good rule of thumb don’t dry-clean your suit unless it’s been soiled. If you’re looking for that ‘fresh-pressed’ look that dry-cleaned garments have, this can be requested separately without the harsh cleaning treatment - great if you’re simply looking to get your suit back in shape after a hard night out (or in). Always request your garments be pressed by hand to avoid excessive machine pressing. We offer this service on-site - drop your items in and we can have it taken care of for you.

Stains & Repairs

It is inevitable that you will stain your suit at some stage. Most small stains can be gently removed using a baby wipe or cold water, however if in doubt, do not try and remove the stain yourself as you may exacerbate it - this is where a dry-cleaner comes in. We recommend Dr. Beckmann’s range of stain removal products for small stains. If you’re unsure of how best to proceed, speak with one of our team and we can advise you. If your garments do get damaged, need darning, lose a button or are generally looking a bit worse for wear, get in touch with us. We can assess them and in the majority of cases can easily get them back in fighting shape.


Shirts

Washing

Always wash your shirts with the buttons undone - this will lessen the chance of them getting snagged. Likewise remove any collar stays - they’re liable to go missing or get bent out of shape, and their presence can cause additional wear for the collar.

Wash your shirts inside out - it helps prevent the buttons from chipping and allows the cleaning agents direct access to underarms stains. Always check the washing instructions on each shirt for directions around washing temperature. As a rule, between 20ºC and 40ºC is a good washing temperature for a fine cotton shirt. Avoid the dryer if possible - line-drying on a hanger is the best way to keep your shirts looking their best.

Dry-Cleaning

As with tailoring, use a service that you trust and avoid cheap or ‘convenience’ focussed services - they can often be more trouble than they’re worth. Always request your garments be pressed by hand to avoid excessive machine pressing. Request a hand-washing service if possible - this is gentler on the fabric and will help preserve the natural fibres.

Ironing

It goes without saying, but make sure your iron is set to the correct fabric setting. The best time to iron your shirts is when they’re still a little damp from the wash - you’ll find it much easier to get creases out when the fibres are soft and pliable.

For dry shirts, or stubborn creases, use some steam, but then follow up with a dry press. It’s easiest to work from the outside in - collar, cuffs, sleeves, shoulders and yoke, front then back.

Iron your shirt unbuttoned, one side at a time.Iron your collar from the tips towards the centre - that way the floating fabric will be gathered towards the back of the neck rather than bunching on the collar tips. Be gentle with the tips - they’re easily scorched when ironing.

Always, always remove your collar stays before ironing - keeping them in can permanently damage your shirt. Iron your cuffs unbuttoned and double cuffs laid flat. Be gentle around the edges and seams as they can also get damaged with undue pressure.


Knitwear

Washing

To avoid shrinkage, knitwear should wherever possible be cold hand-washed. Wash inside out and air-dry flat - a knitwear drying rack is a great investment as it allows knits to air-flat with airflow from both sides. For more robust stains, speak with a reputable drycleaner. Knits as a rule should not themselves be drycleaned, but most quality drycleaners will offer a dedicated laundry service for such items. Due to the delicate nature of knitwear, it’s best to spend a little more for a premium service.


Sunglasses

Storage

Just like quality pieces of clothing, sunglasses deserve the same degree of care. Look after them and they will last a lifetime and become heirloom pieces. Always store them in their protective case while you're not wearing them - they're a must if you're packing or storing your sunglasses for a long period.

Cleaning

Always use a microfibre cleaning cloth to clean your sunglasses. It's there for a reason, and it will help you remove any dirt or smudges.

Wearing

Gently put on and off your sunglasses, and make sure that you don't stretch or bend the arms. When you wear your sunglasses on top of your head, the screws holding up your sunglasses will loosen. Avoid exposing your sunglasses to excessive heat - this can lead to a distortion of the frame and if you’re at the beach make sure to keep your sunglasses protected from sand and sea water.


Footwear

Storage

Invest in cedarwood shoe trees for your shoes (and avoid plastic alternatives). They help them stay in shape, keep the leather stretched so it doesn’t wrinkle or crack, and the wood absorbs moisture after wear and wicks away odor. Shoe trees can dramatically increase the lifespan of your shoes, and keep them looking their best for years to come. Always put your shoes on and off using a shoe horn in order to keep their shape intact.

Laces

Lacs can fray, snap and break overtime and always in the most inconvenient of scenarios. For lace up derbies or oxfords having an extra pair at home or at the office is great - better yet pop a pair into your briefcase or day bag so you're not caught out when commuting. The fibres in laces wear down from extended water or heat exposure, ensure you are storing your shoes in a cool, dry place.

Polishing

Saphir Medaille D’Or’s most famous product is their Renovateur, made from beeswax and mink oil. Renovateur is the holy grail of shoe care products - regularly applying a light coat of Renovateur will help keep your shoe’s leather supple, protected and restored. The best time to do this is prior to polishing.

There are two kinds of polish - cream and wax. Cream offers a more matte finish, but is better at nourishing older, dry or scuffed leather. Wax offers a more high-shine patina and works best on smooth calf leathers.

For a basic polish, apply a thin layer of polish all over the shoes using a soft cloth and leave them to sit for a minute or two, giving the polish time to soak in.

Then, with a stiff polishing brush, brush down the surface of the shoes using brisk horizontal strokes. Do not scrub. Once they have been brushed fully, you should have a good shine on your hands. Using a small woollen polishing pad, revisit the whole shoe, with particular attention to the toe. This should help it achieve an even richer, deeper shine.