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How to Use a Clothes Brush

With the launch of our horn clothes brush, I thought it might be helpful to publish a series of how to use a clothes brush tips from a former butler — for those without!

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How to use a clothes brush

A step-by-step guide explaining how to use a clothes brush by former butler Stanley Ager.

  1. Take everything out of the pockets so that they lie flat. Glasses out of glasses pockets, Scripts out of script pockets, Hip flasks etc. If the pockets have flaps, make sure the flaps are not tucked inside.
  2. Turn up the collar and lapels before laying the jacket flat face downwards. Fold back the shoulders so they lie flat and the sleeves fall naturally on either side of the back seam.
  3. If you are right-handed you will most likely start from the right, which on a man's jacket is where the buttons are placed. Wherever you start, always brush up the nap first and then brush down the nap immediately afterwords. Brush the entire length with a single long stroke, which will allow you to be fairly vigorous and will leave no brush marks. Sweep your brush up the right front of the jacket, covering the area from the outside edge of the armhole to the edge of the jacket, beyond the buttons.
  4. Take the brush from the hem to the tip of the lapels, and then brush back down again to the hem. Brush the outside of the right sleeve, up and down the nap. Fold the sleeve forward and brush up and down the nap on the inside. Fold the sleeve back to its first position.
  5. The shoulders are the next part of the jacket to brush. Take the brush from behind the outside of the shoulder to the inside edge of the collar, and then back again from the edge of the collar to the tip of the shoulder.Brush the shoulder using short quick strokes, because it is a small area. It is particularly important that the bristles of the brush lift the fibres of the material on the shoulder as this is were dust is more likely to accumulate.
  6. Next, brush the left-hand side of the jacket, using the same strokes as you did on the right. Otherwise the garment would look patchy and uneven in the light. You then, of course, brush up and then down the nap. Brush the outside of the second (left) sleeve first, then fold it forward and brush the inside, not forgetting to brush the part of the jacket behind it. Fold it back to its first position and then brush the shoulder.
  7. Lastly comes the collar; brush across the interfacing from left to right and right to left. Then fold the collar back down and brush forwards and backwards across it. Your jacket is ready to hang in your cupboard or place on your back.

How to use a clothes brush to remove dust

A few tips on how to use a clothes brush to remove dust.

  1. Always remember that brushing action should never be the scrubbing movement used to clean ones wellies; instead it requires a strong sweeping motion with a firm flick of your wrist on areas where dust has accumulated.
  2. All brush strokes must go in the same way; otherwise, when light strikes the cloth, it will look a mess, like the ruffled hair on a horse's shank.
  3. You must first brush the nap—i.e brush against the lie (nap) of the material— to remove all the dust that is trapped inside it. Then brush down the nap for a smooth finish.
  4. If you want to brush out a mark, brush it with short, quick strokes, but never jab at cloth or you are likely to break the fibre.

How to use a damp clothes brush

Freshen up your clothes by using a damp clothes brush. It is a good idea to brush evening clothes with a slightly damp brush.

  1. Dip the bristles of your clothes brush in a bowl of water.
  2. Flick the water from the bristles so the brush is left slightly damp, not wet like a dog brush.
  3. Follow the steps listed above; how to use a clothes brush
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With thanks to Stanley Ager. Former butler to the second and third Lords St. Levan

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