Day 20 – Washing! Part 1. (A4, B2, C2)

How do you take care of your clothes when they’re tailor-made? Isn’t it expensive with all that dry-cleaning? That’s the questions I’m often asked. And the fact is, that I never use dry-cleaning services. I wash in machine, or by hand, depending on the item. All done at home. (Or at work.) It’s very inexpensive! And easy on the garments too.

Chapter 1 – The basic hand-wash guide.

So how do you wash by hand then? Well, it’s actually quite easy if you follow some really basic steps. Let’s go through them here!

1. First, preferably use a mild detergent. I myself often use those specifically made for hand-wash. And that’s usually a combined wool-silk detergent. They aren’t ’t quite that harsh, and doesn’t rip the products – or your hands – of their “natural” oils, or coating.

2. Dissolve the detergent into a good amount of warm water. And then soak the garment into that mix. With soaking, I mean letting the water into the fabric by gently spreading the garment under the water surface, and maybe lift it once or twice up over the surface for circulation.

3. Now start the actual washing process by allowing the water-detergent mix to pass through the garment’s fabric fibers. This is achieved by repeatedly soaking – letting the water “into” the garment by spreading it out under the surface – and gripping (squeezing) the water out of the garment. Repeat over and over again in a gentle fashion about 10 times.

4. Let the garment rest for a while in the mixed water, letting the enzymes (in the water) do their job with dissolving dirt and smell out of the fabric. You usually don’t have to leave it long with our modern day detergents – they’re quite effective! And for a more sensitive garment, the shorter you should let those enzymes/chemicals work, sometimes with no “resting” in the mixed water at all. (Try to balance the time used with the intensity of the detergent and the sensitivity of the garment.)

5. Repeat the technique in step 3, the actual washing routine, while checking the garment for cleanness. If there still dirt or possible smell, just rub gently a bit extra in those areas.

6. Now when the garment or garments are washed clean, we have to remove the detergent from them. First we twist the garments to remove as much of the tainted water as possible. Then get rid of that used detergent-mixed water.

7. Time to cleanse the garments! Pour fresh cold water into your container and soak and squeeze the garments repeatedly in the clear water. You will se the water get a bit tainted, and that’s actually exactly what we want – to get the rest of the used water and detergent out of the garment and into the more fresh water.

8. Repeat step 6 and 7 about two times more, in all a three time rinsing. But be sure to check the water. When the rinsing water stays clear, that’s when you know the garment is fully rinsed.

9. Time for the spin! To remove excess water. So, after having twisted the garment as well as you can, after the last rinse, the garment usually still feels rather wet. To help us out with that, we use a couple of (clean) towels. Preferably fluffy ones that soak up a lot of water. Place the garment on top of the open towel, or towels overlapping each other, and just roll it up as tight as you can…

… and then twist it as good as you can. To help you out you can either use one hand in each side, or place your foot at one side and then twist with both hands. But be gentle with sensitive garments! Some garments hardly need any spinnng/twisting at all. Be aware of that the process can give coarse wrinkles. Just as a machine spin would do. And also be aware of the very strong force the hand-spinning actually gives!

10. Finished! Good job! Just hang, or lay, the garment to dry natural. Some wind would help you speeding up the process. Be sure to place the garment in the style and shape you would like it to be, since it will dry into that shape. Feel free to mold, stretch and pat it into your favorite preferable fashion. It’s actually rather surprising how much a moist garment can be reshaped! Also pay attention to your hanger’s shape – it should preferably mirror your own shoulders, and hopefully not be too pointy.

Well done! A gentle but effective wash just copleated. Feel good about it, and be proud of taking care of your garments in a good way.

Chapter 2 – The Project, Day 20.

The 20th day mark reached! And now there’re no more combination possibilities left with the nine garments I currently have. This was the last one. So high time to make a new garment! Let’s do it! And… See you tomorrow!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 13 – Is this a tailor? (A4, B1, C2)

Weekend! Yes! But of course I’m still at work, trying to wrap things up allthough I’ve got so much to do. Customers assignments to attend. New ideas to get systemized. Visions to put on paper (well… pixels). And a working day that sometimes can present itself a bit scattered – all over the place. How to do it all simultaneously?

So I’m thinking – what did I actually sign up for, when I choosed this very specific path of work-life? And what did I imagine it would be like, to embark into a tailoring career?

I think the absolute truth is, that I never really got the vision. It was more of a slow search of tools that I could use to solve the problems I encountered while trying to create a version of myself, that I felt was the very true one. It kind of evolved naturally step by step.

I most certainly felt I needed some specific things to compleat me, which I couldn’t get. And I probably felt I needed to know some certain knowledges in order to make those very things things, I couldn’t get. And then, suddenly, there I was titulated as a tailor. But… what is a tailor really? Can a tailor have opinions on existential topics? Can a tailor maybe design things? Could a tailor possible have ideas on the future? And, is there a certain way a tailor should act, be and look like?

I think most people destinctevly separates tailors as producing and altering suits. But really, there’s so much more! Clothes can be almost anything! Anything you need, to be the true you.

Anyway… today I totally made a belt to be serged in to this project. It’s called X2. It reminds me of the late 1970’s. And together with that, I’m wearing A4, B1 and C2.

987 days to go!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 8 – Where to go? (A4, B2, C1)

One week! One full week +1 day! The project is rolling, starting to have a life of it’s own! But what for? What’s the point of trying harder? And is this project good for anyone anyway?

Who knows? Everyone has their own opinion. But the one basic thing is, that tailoring makes me happy. I love analyzing what clothes do for us, and what garments actually are. The ability to create exactly what you want, and then wear it with comfort, is such a joy! I feel truly blessed to be able to do that. Just a simple fact.

Then again, true, there is hardships involved, of course. But where is that not? We all suffer of incomprehensible situations from time to time, right? But I really do like the journey it is, to overcome difficulties. I like solving problems! Also for others. To evolve together with others. To listen and learn. To be inspired!

So, is that reasons enough? Or should there be a larger political take on it? Or environmental? Well, I’ll let that be up to each and everyone. I’m just doing the thing. And, I probably won’t go anywhere soon! I’ll most certain stick with this project for 992 days more.

But… what to do next? On a more practical level? Go totally classic blue denim? Add a dash of dandyism? Punk it up? Or go classic bespoke suit-up-ish? What do you think? Because… anything is possible! As they say – the sky is the limit!

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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Day 4 – Why change? (A4, B1, C1)

Sometimes you just want to wear something totally relaxed. Something that looks and feel like that old washed-out t-shirts from back in the days. Right? But maybe just a tad neater, for work or evening meetings? Ta-da! Enter A4! The latest addition to the Thousand Days Of Hope And Glory project! The relaxed t-shirt!

Making relaxed clothes, as a tailor, many feel is a contradiction in terms. Tailoring should be stiff, expensive and overwhelming! But who says that’s true? Not me! And I’m a tailor!

I want some of my clothes to be stiff and controlled, and some to be comfy and relaxed. I want different, just like my mood changes! But I never ever want uncomfortable clothes. And, regarding those relaxed clothes mentioned before, I of course want them to be relaxed in a way I want them to be, with the look and feel I prefere.

So why not just use the washed out clothes then? Why change? As they say, if there’s a concept that’s working, why not stick with it? Well… maybe because the garment was actually falling apart? Maybe the garment didn’t fit in in your work environment? Or – crayzy thought – maybe there actually was some issues with the garment after all, that just irritated you to pieces, allthough it’s comfyness? Or, maybe you needed one more? Or two?

Most of the tailoring I make, can sometimes feel a bit stiff and strange in the start, and that’s natural for something new. True. But… it actually has a built in change with wear! The thing is, that the more you wear it, the better it will fit!

So this time around, with the new garment on, you’ll again think – Why change? Why not wear this all the time? Hm… maybe becase you started a new project, where you’re supposed to come up with new things and combinations all the time? Who knows.

– Sten Martin / DTTA

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