Product Care

5 Easy Ways To Care For Your Winter Coat

Words by Schöffel Country

January 05, 2024

5 Easy Ways To Care For Your Winter Coat

At Schöffel, we know a thing or two about coats. Our high-quality, robust men’s and women’s coats use the best fabrics and technologies to keep you warm and dry in the cold and rain.

However, even a tough and durable coat with a range of technical features can be cared for incorrectly during the washing and drying process, and it can be very difficult to regain the sleek, modern outline and look that made you buy it in the first place.

With the right care and approach, though, the life of our already long-lasting coats can be extended even further! In this guide, we explain how to maintain and how to wash a winter jacket or coat so they last longer, what to consider depending on the fabric, the best methods to dry them, as well as how to store coats so they don’t crumple, crease and become misshapen.

1- Store your winter coat correctly

It’s important that you store your winter coat out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources like radiators and fireplaces. Doing this will help prevent fading and shrinkage. It’s also important to use sturdy pegs and hangers, as weaker ones can bend under the weight of a coat made from heavier material and cause it to become misshapen. If your coat looks deflated, limp and crumpled while it hangs, it’s time for you to change your hanging equipment.

Additionally, when storing coats made from more delicate materials like cashmere and lambswool, vacuum-sealed storage packs are to be avoided, as the suction can damage the fibres. When winter is over, it’s best to store winter coats in a simple, sealed garment bag and use natural cedar balls to repel moths.


It’s important to wear the right coat for the activity in question. While some coats are perfectly fine at keeping you warm and dry in light rain, they may not be designed to deal with an absolute downpour for hours and hours. If you’re planning on going on a long country walk where there may be rain, it’s better to opt for something like our Ketton Jacket that utilises waterproofing fabric technologies like Venturi or GORE-TEX.

When pushing your way through harsh undergrowth like brambles and thorn thickets, soft and delicate fabrics like cashmere and lambswool are more likely to suffer damage than tweed or technical, abrasion-resistant fabrics like Cordura.

Furthermore, for activities that may cause you to sweat, it’s important to have a coat that’s breathable and moisture wicking. Coats or jackets that aren’t breathable or moisture wicking soon become uncomfortable as you overheat.

3- Avoid/Remove Any Spills Or Dirt

Eventually your winter coat will need some kind of wash, and it can be a rather laborious task. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to extend the time between washes and maintain the integrity of your garment for longer.

Generally, you should:
- Treat your coat with a lint or suede brush regularly.
- Attend stains promptly by blotting, not rubbing, with cold water.
- Apply things like sunscreen, hair spray, cologne or perfume before you put on your coat, as the chemicals can stain on contact.

Taking simple steps such as these can really extend the product life of your clothing. By dealing with problems immediately as they crop up, as opposed to leaving things to build up, fester and set more deeply into the fabric, you can keep your winter coat as good as new for longer.

Thankfully, at Schöffel Country, we’re always thinking ahead. Coats like our Lilymere Jacket incorporate a Teflon finish that is moisture and stain resistant so you can easily clean any particles, splodges and specks you pick up while on the go.

4: Follow Care Label Instructions

The materials products are made from vary, so it’s important that you follow the care label to make sure that you’re caring for and storing your winter coats in the best possible way.

Often the care label will tell you (among other things) whether to wash by machine or hand, what the ideal water temperature and cycle is, and what type of cleaner to use. It will also tell you to ensure the coat isn’t damp when you store it during the summer months, as this can cause mould and mildew.

5: Allow Adequate Drying Time

If washing at home, you need to take into consideration the best way to dry your winter coat. Air-drying is often the best policy when it comes to tweed and wool coats, as tumble dryers can damage fibres with their rough tumbling treatment. However, you have to be patient when it comes to air-drying, especially with heavy garments.

It’s normally best to wait 24 hours until wearing your coat again, by which time any wrinkles will have disappeared and the integrity and elasticity of the fabric will have bounced back.

Consider The Fabric Of Your Coat

The tips above are just a general guide for coat care and may change depending on the make-up of your winter coat. For example, cashmere and lambswool should never be tumble-dried and a heavy material like tweed should never be hung up when wet.

The material is always an important factor to consider when choosing how to take care of your coat. As detailed below, different materials require different approaches.

How To Clean Your Tweed Coat

Many Schöffel tweed coats, like our 100% British-milled lambswool Ptarmigan Tweed Classic Coat, are machine washable. Generally, though, when washing a tweed coat, the best policy is to do so by hand. This is because washing machines can be a little too intense with tweed, causing damage over time due to fibre mixing and pulling, as well as fading and shrinkage.

When hand washing, you should:

- Ensure the wash basin or sink you are using is thoroughly clean, with no food debris or leftover harsh chemicals.
- Use lukewarm water and mild non-biological detergent or specialised shampoo. Ensure the cleaning agent dissolves first.
- Let the garment soak for 10 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.
- Gently squeeze the garment to get rid of excess water and lay it flat on a towel to dry.

You should also never hang up wet tweed with pegs, as the heavier, saturated material can cause stretch damage at fibre level, spoiling the coat’s shape.

How To Clean Your Wax Jacket

When it comes to wax jackets like our sleek Preston options, you should never machine wash them. Machine washing a wax jacket can cause the wax to come off permanently, damaging the sheen and stripping away at the moisture- and stain-repellent coating.

Instead, you should wash your wax jackets by hand. When hand washing a wax jacket, you should:

- Clean with cold water and use a sponge to wipe down the outside of the jacket. Do not use soap or detergent. - Never use hot water or bleach.
- Hose down and leave extra muddy items for a few hours before washing and sponging.
- When drying, leave your wax jacket to air-dry in a temperate, non-damp and well-ventilated area. Do not tumble-dry, as this can damage the wax.

Additionally, it’s recommended that you re-wax such jackets once a year to maintain their integrity and waterproofing benefits.

How To Clean Your Down Jacket

Down options like our Exton Jacket are machine washable, although they still deserve a little care so not to damage the insulating duck down and feathers that offer you such excellent, robust warmth on a cold day. When it comes to how to wash a down jacket, there are a few things to consider.

- When washing down coats, remember:

Brush them down before washing, removing surface dirt and particles.
- Machine wash on a delicate or wool cycle at a temperature of 30°C, ideally selecting the ‘extra rinse’ option if available.
- Always use a non-biological down-specific soap or detergent. Never use powder detergents, as these are abrasive.
- While some recommend multiple spin cycles or tumble drying to remove excess water, it’s better for your down jacket to be hung and allowed to drip dry.
- Don’t air-dry, as down coat feathers can clump.

Another important thing to remember about washing your down coat is that you should really wash it at home instead of at a laundrette. Top-grade washing machines at laundrettes can damage a down coat.

After a few washes, it’s recommended to reproof the DWR of the coat with down-proof detergent.