Fact: Down jackets are definitely not the most stylish item of clothing you could own, but if you've ever lived a winter on the East Coast or Midwest, they will quickly become your favorite. In addition to keeping you warm in a way that wool just cannot, they also withstand the elements, and endure some serious battle scars along the way (a result of high winds, rain, snow, etc.). You definitely want to make sure you know how to care for down jackets because trust me — once you own one, you do not want to have to pay the price tag to replace it.
Down jackets definitely take more of a beating than your other outerwear might, because let's be honest — they aren't made for walking down a runway. They are practical, not exactly cute, and are likely your go-to when it's freezing, pouring rain, heavily snowing, or just generally disgusting outside. While you will be nice and protected, your down jacket will get the brunt of all that ugliness. Not to worry, though, because as long as you take proper care of it, it can last you years and years.
Here are some no-fail tips that'll ensure your down jackets will last for winters to come.
Even though down can be folded up pretty nicely (or stuffed in the corner), do not fold or roll up your jackets. For it to hold its shape and keep its warm, puffiness that you love, you need to preserve the fluff. Hanging them is the best option, even if it takes up more closet space. In the off-season when you aren't using them, hang them inside a garment pack to protect against dust.
It's actually totally OK to wash your down jacket, just make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions on the tag or on the brand's website. But usually, you want to hand wash with a mild soap.
It's fine to toss your jacket in the dryer, but use the lowest heat setting. Fact: Down takes a long time to dry, so don't worry if it's not drying quickly. Once it's dry (which could take a couple hours), hang it immediately to re-fluff it.
If your jacket gets torn, you don't need to run out and buy a new one. Instead, just make sure you patch the hole immediately. Get some nylon fabric repair tape or fabric glue and glue/tape the hole. This actually works better than sewing, which just pokes even more holes into the jacket.
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