A poster on a kilt Facebook page asked a question on how often he should dry clean his kilt, an interesting question with a complicated answer. That answer always begins with “it depends”. How often do you wear it? What are you doing when you wear it; competing in heavy athletics, attending a Burns Supper, participating in a festival?
Dry cleaning chemicals can take a toll on wool or any other fabric for that matter. So, you want to do it as seldom as possible with a reputable dry cleaner. Another deterrent to dry cleaning kilts often is it can be expensive because of the pleats. Ladies have known this for years. Get used to it, guys.
Generally, the rule of thumb is to take your kilt to the dry cleaner when you can’t spot clean or press (pleats, ugh), or when airing out the garment doesn’t freshen. That’s right, don’t put your kilt directly back in the closet when you get home. Give it an airing before you put it away. This is a really a good idea for all your clothes if you’re not going to clean them before the next wearing.
A valet stand is a posh answer for airing your clothes or use a hanging rack on the outside of your closet door. Someone told me they use a treadmill. So be it. No matter what your wife says, bedrooms are for living in, not waiting for Southern Living Magazine to knock on the door for a photo shoot of your house. If you’re really, really posh and likely to have a photo shoot you will already have a separate room sized closet complete with valet stand, shoe racks and drawers for all your bits and bobs. Now, back to the real world…. You’re the one who has to live with your wife, so use your best judgement when airing your clothes. And, try not to use the excuse of “it’s airing” when it’s still hanging on the back of the closet two weeks later.
It’s also a good idea to store your kilt in an airtight clothing bag to keep the moths away. This does not mean the plastic bag from the dry cleaners, folks. The chemicals in those bags (butylated hydroxyl tolune) produce a yellow pigment when exposed to moisture which can transfer to your clothes and weaken the fabric threads. Plus, these bags can choke children. It’s right there on the bag. Throw them away.
Your kilt is an investment. Take good care of it and it can give you many years of wear and pleasure. What are your kilt hacks for extending the longevity of your kilt?
Author: Becci Himes