There’s a reason anonymous business executives are called “suits”. It’s because suits, with their relatively narrow selection of colors and cuts, all tend to look the same. Ties on the other hand? Ties offer an infinite variety of patterns, fabrics and colors. A great tie is an upfront announcement that says “this is who I am” and lets your individual flair and personality shine through.
Unfortunately, it’s that very upfront placement of ties that can lead to problems. Ties are great drip catchers when you’re eating. And, over time, dirt and body oil can build up in the area where the tie is repeatedly knotted. In addition, the very construction of the tie and the way the fabric is cut makes cleaning ties a special skill.
So, what can you do if you stain your favorite accessory? First, stay away from the water. When you drop food on your tie, resist the urge to dip your napkin in your water glass and rub away. Rubbing can chafe, or damage, the fabric and leave a light spot that is hard to remove. Second, get your tie to an expert dry cleaner that has the skill to return it to its former glory.
It’s important to remember that ties are delicate, from the type of fabric used and the way the fabric is cut, to the various materials used in the internal layers that give it its shape. Correctly cleaning a tie takes skill, knowledge, and attention to detail. A couture level dry cleaner will:
- Pre-spot your tie using moisture-free cleaning agents so as not to cause colors to bleed or weaken the fabric.
- Place your tie in a net bag and reduce cleaning and drying times to minimize mechanical actions that can stress and stretch the delicate fabrics.
- Hang your tie on struts after being removed from the dryer to rest the fabric and stabilize its shape.
- Hand finish your tie with brushing and gentle steam to eliminate creases and wrinkles.
Next time you dribble a bit of soup on your favorite tie, dab (don’t rub) it gently with a clean, dry cotton cloth to remove as much of the stain as possible, then take it to your couture dry cleaner to have it cleaned the right way.