Tweed + Rain? How to Care for Tweed This Autumn

September 21, 2022

Tweed + Rain? How to Care for Tweed This Autumn

Whether you love the cooler weather or are longing for summer to come back, autumn is here in full force — and for those of us in the northern hemisphere, that means that we’ve got quite a few wet days on the horizon. 

This begs the question: how do you look after your fine clothing after it gets wet? In particular, just how hardy is tweed when faced with a rainstorm? Let’s discuss. 

What happens to tweed in the rain?

Most tweeds will repel a certain amount of water. Let’s not forget, tweed has been used as a textile for hundreds of years and has long been favoured for outdoor activities like hunting, shooting and horse-riding. 

Now, that doesn’t mean you can stroll around in a torrential downpour and expect your clothes to remain bone-dry. But you can walk under an umbrella in the rain wearing tweed and be fine — you can also dash between buildings without doing any damage.

It’s how you care for your tweed once it gets wet that matters — too much exposure to wet conditions may cause tweed to produce an unpleasant smell. It’s a natural fibre, after all.

What to do if your tweed gets damp

Preventative care is the very first step in looking after your tweed. You’ve invested in a high-quality statement piece that can last decades when cared for well, so it's worth taking the time to protect your tweed and keep it in tip-top condition. 

If you happen to get caught out in the rain without an umbrella while wearing tweed, the key is to air it out as soon as possible. Once you get home, hang up your tweed in an area with good ventilation, to allow it to dry. 

You might be tempted to apply heat to speed up the drying time… but refrain. You don't want to put wet tweed even on a radiator or heated drying rack — let it air out naturally at room temperature. Heat might make the tweed warp or shrink which is absolutely the last thing you want. 

If your tweed still retains a little bit of damp odour even after drying out, you can use a handheld steamer to revive the fabric and kill bacteria. Simply steam the jacket on a low setting while it's hanging up, leave it to dry for 20 minutes, then smooth it down and shape it with your hands.

Further tweed maintenance tips for autumn

Again, tweed is a hardy fabric, designed to withstand harsh climates. But it’s simply not befitting of a gentleman to walk around in muddy clothing, especially in the city!

If your tweed gets muddy, the best thing to do is hang it up and let it completely dry before cleaning. Then take a clean, dry brush (like an old toothbrush) and remove the mud from the fabric — being careful not to rub the fabric. It’s such a textured material that if you rub the dirt in, it will be a lot harder to lift.

If your tweed starts to smell, don’t fret. As you probably know, it’s best to wash tweed as infrequently as possible to maintain the structure of the fabric. But of course, all clothing does need to be washed from time to time. Putting your tweed in a washing machine can be pretty risky, however, so leave it in the care of a dry cleaner. 

If your tweed gets a stain or a scuff, spot cleaning is the answer. Lightly dab the mark clean with cool, clean water, but avoid using any detergent. This will protect the bonds in the fabric and allow for a simple, clean dry. You might have to repeat the step a few times to completely lift the stain. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to consult the professionals at a dry cleaner. 

Tweed is one of the best investments you can make for your wardrobe, so it’s important to take the time to look after it properly. Tweed suits will last a lifetime if they’re handled with care. And at Tweedmaker huge range of top-quality tweed suits that are timeless enough to keep in your wardrobe rotation for life.

Browse our collection and start your tweed journey today.