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How To

Tweed: To Wash Or Not To Wash?

Aug 31, 2020

The classic tweed jacket is a fashion staple for both men and women alike that will never lose relevancy. Achieving the perfectly polished look with a hint of playfulness to be found in its multi-colored yarns, we want this investment piece to stand the test of time! Avoid the premature wear and tear experienced at the dry cleaners and, if possible, wash tweed at home with the plant-derived and enzyme-free Wool & Cashmere Shampoo for the gentlest and most effective clean! Not entirely certain which elements deem a tweed washable versus dry clean only? Read on!

How to identify tweed

Tweed is a multi-colored and irregularly spun yarn that's often knitted into sweaters, jackets, and pants. Either 100% wool or a blend of wool/rayon or wool/acrylic, this fabric can be identified by its subtle, multi-colored yarns woven into twill or plain weave fabrics, specific checks and plaids, and coarse texture. Pictured below are two different variations of this fabric.

CMSPage Tweed: To Wash Or Not To Wash? ONE SIZE IMAGE 01

Can it be washed?

The fabric itself, either wool or a wool blend, is highly washable and can be cared for according to the instructions for washing woolens. The construction of the garment needs to be considered when deciding whether or not a tweed piece can be washed. The jacket pictured above is beautifully washed as it does not have reinforced structure.

Read this start-to-finish How-To on caring for woolens.

Men's tweed jackets often times cannot be washed however as they are constructed with interfacing, pad stitched lapels, and shoulder pads. When wet, these pieces can become distorted and result in the puckering of the outer fabric. The diagram below notes where such interfacing and structure can be found in a traditional men's jacket or sport coat.

CMSPage Tweed: To Wash Or Not To Wash? ONE SIZE IMAGE 01

Freshening techniques for ALL tweeds, washable and non-washable


  • Steaming: This practice provides the safest and gentlest finish and freshening for woolens. Steaming reduces wrinkling and kills most germs and bacteria, helping eliminate odors. If the item isn't actually dirty, you don't need to take it to the dry cleaners. Instead, save money and reduce wear on an item from the cleaner by steaming it at home.
  • Spritz with Wool & Cashmere Spray: Freshening fabrics with the Wool & Cashmere Spray clothing refresher between wearing and washing will add a modern-Cedar scent to the garment while removing odor.


The Laundress Product of Perfection

The Wool & Cashmere Spray is a safe non-toxic, allergen-free fabric spray that naturally repels bugs and moths without the noxious odors of toxic mothballs or danger of oil stains left by cedar blocks and chips.

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Wool & Cashmere Shampoo and Spray Duo

Wash & Preserve Woolens

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