How to care for your duffle coat
How to care for your duffle coat
Before we get into the nitty gritty of caring for your duffle coat, can we take a moment to remember a scene in the most recent Paddington film? It’s has relevance to looking after your duffle coat, promise.
In the scene, Paddington has just had a makeover, to try and please Mr Brown (Hugh Bonneville). Once Paddington is looking all dapper, Mrs Bird, the housekeeper, (Julie Walters) reaches into a wardrobe and produces a well-worn duffle coat.
And it turns out that it was the same duffle coat that Mr Brown wore on his first day at school.
And that’s the thing with duffle coats. They’re not designed to be worn one season and replaced the next. They’re an investment. One that can be handed down to your children and even your grandchildren. (Or to bears who are visiting from deepest darkest Peru.)
So if you follow our care instructions, your duffle coat can be with you for many years to come. Who knows, you might even hand it on to your grandkids?
Caring for your duffle coat – can it get wet?
Your wool-rich duffle coat has a love-hate relationship with water. And here’s why.
Wool is hydrophobic on the outside, which means it naturally repels a certain amount of moisture. But once the outer layer is penetrated, the core of a wool fibre is hydrophilic. Which means that it can absorb many times its weight in moisture.
So your duffle will be fine in a light shower because the wool will repel the water. But in a downpour the wool will start to absorb the water. The good news is; the rain is unlikely to seep through to your clothes because of the absorbent nature of wool.
The not so good news; your woollen coat will get heavier at it absorbs the water.
And all wool-rich coats that get wet release the faint smell of sheep. Which is logical given that your coat started life as a woolly fleece. The smell will fade as your coat dries. Read more here.
So, although we don’t recommend allowing your coat to get drenched, the worst that will happen is that it will increase in weight.
How to dry your duffle coat
If your duffle coat is wet, first allow it to drip dry, preferably by lying it flat. Then let your duffle coat dry naturally in a warm place, but not in direct contact with a heat source (e.g. a radiator). This could cause the wool to shrink.
Once your coat dries, any sheepy smell should fade.
How to clean your duffle coat
If your coat is only a little dirty – perhaps because of a mud stain or a food spill – leave the mark to dry, then try brushing it off with a clothes brush. We advise against using a stain remover as this could remove the dye from the wool.
For more stubborn stains, or for general cleaning, we only recommend dry cleaning for your duffle coat.
Pilling or ‘bobbling’ in your woollen coat
Pilling is when fibres form into little balls on the surface of a garment. Although wool is more prone to pilling, many fabrics form ‘pills’ or ‘bobbles’ over time. The bobbles usually form around an area of friction, so on a duffle coat they might develop where the arm of the coat brushes the body.
We aim to reduce pilling in our coats by blending our wool with nylon. This makes for a stronger fabric and helps reduce bobbling. And because we use recycled wool for our coats, the bobbling is also naturally reduced.
If you are concerned about bobbling on your duffle, you could try using a clothes brush to reduce the bobbles. But pilling is a natural process and sadly there isn’t a miracle cure. (Our personal view is that it adds to the charm of a duffle coat.)
Although there are various products advertised for removing bobbles, they work on the principle of ‘shaving’ the bobbles off the coat. We wouldn’t recommend this process as it could change the appearance of the coat or cause unevenness in the surface of the fabric.
Hanging your duffle coat
All of our coats have hanging loops, which we recommend you use when hanging your duffle on a coat hook. Otherwise using a coat hanger is the next best option. Regularly hanging your coat by the hood could alter the shape of your coat, but if this happens, dry cleaning should solve the problem.
Storing your woollen coat
When the summer arrives and you no longer have a need for your duffle, here’s what to do:
– Have your coat professionally dry cleaned
– Once clean, wrap your coat in tissue paper
– Fold and store in a cardboard box during the summer
Alternatively, you could store your coat in a suit carrier and hang it during the time that you don’t use it. We don’t recommend storing your duffle in plastic, as any moisture left in the coat could encourage the growth of mould.
We hope that helps!