It’s an interesting, yet much overlooked statistic, that our clothes spend roughly 80% of their life on a clothes hanger, making it rather important to choose the right hangers for the job. Clothing hangers come in numerous different shapes and sizes, as well as being made of anything from plastic, to maple or mahogany, bamboo or natural cedar to keep the moths at bay.
Clothes hangers have a very important role to play in maintaining the appearance of our clothing. On the face off it job of the clothes hanger seems to be unimportant, but if you choose a hanger that is too big for your clothes it can cause them to become misshaped, or if you use a coat hanger that it is too weak to support the weight of your clothes, such as a wire hanger or a disposable dry cleaning hanger, this can weaken the hanger and make it bend out of shape. Not good news for the bargain jacket you got in the sales or worse still the wardrobe classic centrepiece the style magazines said you should make an investment in, (and boy did you!) as the hanger quickly stops doing its job of maintaining your garment’s original shape and keep it free from damage or wrinkles. So by choosing the right type of hanger for your clothing, you can actually increase its lifespan.
Having established we need to give a little more thought than perhaps we currently do to the humble coat hanger, making the decision of which hanger to buy for your wardrobe becomes a little more difficult, and you may be asking yourself how you know which hanger is right for my clothes? Worry not, we can help…Clearly it all depends on the item of clothing that the hanger will be supporting. If most of your items of clothing are light t-shirts, then the likelihood is that it isn’t worth investing in robust, and rather tactile it has to be said, wooden hangers because simple plastic or even wire ones will suffice. However, if you have just bought an expensive new suit then a wooden hanger with it’s wider ‘shoulder flair’ would be better suited to help maintain the shape of the garment (particularly the shoulders) so it continues to fit you. Make the right choice of hanger from the outset and your clothes will last you for years.
Here is a quick guide that will detail each hanger and show the way different types are used.
You can split plastic hangers in to two different types. You get cheap lightweight hangers that are perfect for light articles of clothing such as t-shirts; or plastic hangers can be sturdier, well-shaped hangers that are designed to hold suits and coats, the latter are generally designed with wide-rounded shoulders in order to prevent them from leaving hanger marks on the clothing. There are some styles of plastic hanger that have bars on them in order to hang up a pair of trousers, or clips to hang up skirts.
Padded hangers have a smooth fabric outer layer in order to prevent the articles of clothing from snagging on the hanger. Satin is a common fabric that is used on padded hangers. Fabric padded hangers are made for lightweight clothing such as t-shirts or even lingerie. They aren’t made to carry heavier items of clothing such as coats and using them for heavier items will cause the dreaded shoulder bumps. A lot of padded hangers also have buttons sewn on to them in order to prevent straps from sliding off the hanger. Padded hangers rarely have any bars or clips for skirts and trousers and are mostly used for delicate tops or for retail display.
Wooden hangers are sturdy and are well suited to coping with heavier items of clothing, such as suits or coats. Because of their higher strength levels, it makes it easier to hang bulkier clothing on them and will help them to keep their shape. Wooden hangers provide a lot more protection for the clothing items that are hung on them because their is more space between the garments so they have a higher amount of air flow and the garments don’t rub together as much, which helps the clothes stay in tip-top condition for longer. There are numerous different styles that wooden hangers can come in, such as non-slip hangers, hangers with or without clips and or grips, and also with or without a bar to hang trousers on. If you have a moth problem then hangers made from cedar wood are ideal for preventing moth larvae and eggs being laid whilst leaving a pleasant natural cedar wood scent in you wardrobe.
Flocked hangers have a velvet covering on them which provides better grip on your clothes so they are less likely to slip off. They can brighten up your wardrobe as they come in dozens of colours and patterns. In addition the ultra slim design saves you lots of space in your wardrobe, whilst still keeping everything crease free. Flocked hangers are also ideal for lighter items of clothing such as t-shirts.
Metal and Wire hangers are cheap and ideal for lighter items of clothing. They have a range of different styles and shapes though they are not recommended for holding heavier items of clothing because it can bend the hangers out of shape. Also, metal and wire hangers are not recommended for long term use as naturally occurring moisture in the air will eventually corrode them causing them to mark garments. Plastic or wooden hangers would be a better option for long term use. As they are relatively cheap and lightweight wire hangers are often used by companies who specialise in dealing with clothing care, such as dry cleaners, laundrettes, and ironing companies. They are also quite useful for impromptu DIY jobs, iconic replacement car aerials and if you have locked your keys in your car (older models only).
Non-slip hangers are, as the name suggests, great for keeping clothes where they belong, on the hangers and reduce the risk of the garments falling off the hangers and getting wrinkled and dusty. The non-slip finish is introduced into the plastic during manufacturing and gives the hanger a silky rubbery surface. They are an alternative product for people who like to keep their wardrobe organised but don’t need the space saving qualities of a flocked hanger. Non-slip hangers come in a variety of different styles and sizes. There is a non-slip hanger to match every style of garment.
Points to remember.
- Wire hangers should only be used for light items of clothing, such as shirts. Heavier items can cause them to lose their shape.
- If you button up your shirts before you hang them up it helps them keep their shape and reduces the amount of crease.
- If you are hanging up black items of clothing, turn the garment inside out. By doing this it will reduce the amount of different coloured fluff that the garment will pick up from other items of clothing around it.
- Straighten out your shirt or jacket to ensure that the highest section of the shoulder will rest at the crest of the hanger.
So, there you have it. That’s the low down on as it turns out the not so humble clothes hanger. Why not share these tips with your friends to help them choose the right hanger for all their clothing requirements. Remember with the correct hanger you are not just keeping your clothes tidy, you are extending their life span – and saving you money!