If a sudden temperature change has you confused about what to do with your winter style gear, fear not — the outerwear experts at Triple F.A.T. Goose are here to help you clean and store your winter coat.
With 30 years of experience in making tough, winter-ready parkas — filled with lightweight goose-fill and coated for water resistance — the New York City-area roots of Triple F.A.T. Goose have drawn legions of fans and loyal customers. The ever-changing winter weather of NYC and the brand’s recent resurgence (the line was reintroduced and updated last year) have also given them some serious street and style cred when it comes to weather-friendly gear.
As trivial as it might seem, putting away your winter coat — and even your rugged winter boots — is but one way to extend the life of said winter accessories. And when it comes down to it, you need winter gear that’s hardy — and in great shape — for battling the polar vortex and beyond.
“Many people tend to overlook the importance of proper jacket storage procedures because they are unaware that a jacket has to be maintained — they just hang up their jackets in their closet at the end of a winter season and forget about them,” said Triple F.A.T. Goose owner James Chung. “… superior quality down jackets can last you many years if you take care of them properly.”
To that point, Chung notes that the simple things — even sweat — can significantly downgrade the quality of the goose fill and its loft, or insulation. And with loss of insulation comes strange unevenness and clumps within the jacket itself — making it unsightly and uncomfortable to wear, Chung said.
With that background info in mind, Chung recommends the following steps — pay attention!
1. Prep the jacket for washing
Before a jacket can be washed, all items should be removed from the pockets, and the fur should be removed if it is real fur. Also, aluminum foil can be wrapped around any delicate accessories such as rubberized buttons to protect them from abrasion. We recommend you to actually pull the pockets inside out when washing to allow the pockets to be thoroughly cleaned. For any troublesome stains, spray a diluted detergent solution and let it sit for about 30 minutes to loosen the stains.
2. When washing
Wash the jacket in warm water on a wool cycle. Do not use hot water – this can melt the seams and outer shell fabric. Because a down jacket is comprised of air in addition to down, it may float in a top-loading washing machine. Make sure to push the jacket down in the washer if it is floating.
3. When drying
Configure the dryer to the delicates setting and add tennis balls to the dryer (Editor’s note: Tennis balls!). Tennis balls can help redistribute the filling in the jacket to avoid clumping. After drying for half a cycle, take out the jacket and work out any air pockets or clumps. Then place the jacket back in the dryer for the remainder of the drying time. When the jacket is finally dry, turn it inside out and hang it in a well-ventilated area. You can reverse the jacket again after it air dries overnight.
4. Prep the jacket for storage
Make sure the zippers are closed and the buttons are fastened. Doing so will help keep the jacket’s shape and prevent any wrinkling or creasing.
5. Store the jacket in a dark, cool place
Avoid storing the jacket in a humid area because moisture and heat can be detrimental to the condition of the jacket and also the fur. Never compress your jacket because this can cause feathers to clump and form unwanted lumps.
6. Cover the jacket
While storing the jacket in a plastic bag is acceptable, garment bags or a light paper enclosure is preferred as it allows the jacket to breathe while protecting it from light damage or dust.
Hopefully, those steps don’t prove too involved — after all, proper jacket care and storage can certainly pay off.
“The most common mistake people tend to make is to assume that their jackets do not need any maintenance at all, and to simply throw them in the closet at the end of the winter season” he said. Well, the good news is that if you follow the steps listed above, your favorite winter jacket is going to be in great shape for years and years — and plenty of snowstorms — ahead.
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