Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:54 am Post subject: Wearing the kilt and cleaning
Being a newbie, I wanted to ask a question. I was bought a kilt for my graduation of which I wore to great response. I have since been wearing it more and more, and am finding that I will need another 2 or 3 as this love grows. Ok the question-how do I clean this beast? I assume the cleaners, but recently heard that isn't good either. Its starting to smell a little wooly/sweaty. How should I???? _________________ Wear it, honor it, love it!
Hi there and welcome!
This is a great question for sure and one that people aren't really knowledgeable on. Of course unless its a Polyviscose, or acrylic kilt-Washing machine is out. I actually once tried washing a kilt on hand wash cycle with cold water and the kilt STILL shrunk!!!! So don't even try it!
Spot cleaning is the best for stains. You can do this with spray bottle and cloth, or you can run water directly over the spot and then pat dry and hang. Taking the kilt to the cleaners is risky, because cleaners will probably no press correctly and you run the risk of having pleats repressed out of shape, thus losing your fit and style of the kilt, but you CAN do it if you need to. It is absolutely essential that you rebaste the pleats before you take the kilt, so that there is no resetting of the pleat when the kilt is pressed. Basting stitches are what held the pleats together when the kilt arrived-Remember how annoying it was to take them out? Taking to the cleaners you must stitch them back in. There are many kilt makers in the US who will do this for you (We offer this service), OR if you are handy with a sewing machine, you can do it yourself. Simply start at the base of your kilt and set your sewing machine to its largest gap stitch setting. Place the kilt on the table and begin your stitching with the first 2 pleats making sure they are aligned. Run 2 stitches per pleat (You may have to alter your machine's setting to make it so only 2 stitches fall on the pleat-My machine is set to 6). You stop and go, and as you complete a pleat, take the next one, line it up correctly and continue on. You'll stop and go for all 25-30 pleats. Once hfinished, your kilt should be perfectly aligned and held tight. You'll want to run another basting line about 7 inches above the basting line at the bottom. Same procedure, but it will be easier now that the bottom portion of the kilt is basted. Once done, take to the cleaners and ask them to use the non solvent solution. This will protect the wool and not affect the material during the pressing portion.
The other alternative is to fill a bath tub with cold water. Use woolite and and lay the kilt in the tub and submerge. Let sit for about 5 minutes and take out. The kilt will be EXTREMELY heavy, so roll it from left to right when removing. This will remove much of the water. Take the kilt and open up and hang (You may need 4-5 hangers with clips on them. Hang outside in shade, but away from direct sunlight. Let air dry (This may take a day or 2). Once dry, take a wet pillow case, put over the kil and iron the kilt into shape again being careful to preserve its shape! Hope that helps.
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