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Legal Gown and Legal Wigs Cleaning Guide

by Martin Lewis
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Legal gowns and wigs are both iconic and historic pieces of attire, so they’re both worthy of respect and a bit of TLC from time to time. And while there’s a perception that legal wigs that look aged or discoloured represent a long, distinguished career — if you’re spending hundreds of pounds on something, it’s always smart to look after it. However, neither gowns or wigs are everyday items most people will know how to clean, so we thought we’d offer a bit of insight.

In this post, we’ll discuss legal gown and legal wigs cleaning in this quick and easy guide!

Cleaning Legal Gowns

The black robes worn for legal proceedings symbolise dignity, honour, wisdom, and justice — values that every lawyer or judge has to keep up with. So, it makes no sense to compromise the respect or authority of legal robes by neglecting to keep them clean and in good condition.

Our recommendation is to hand wash our legal robes. To do so, you can remove stains with a small amount of a little bit of bio laundry gel and use a soft nail brush to ease the stain out of the robe, then rinse in a clean sink, washing up bowl, bath, etc. We don’t advise using washing machines for cleaning our robes as it can cause the colour to run and stains to remain. Also, washing machines can cause damage to stitching.

Legal Wigs Cleaning

Although legal wigs are less common in courtrooms than in the past, there are still many scenarios, especially criminal proceedings, in which barrister’s wear wigs. When legal professionals wear wigs and gowns, it’s not just about tradition. Legal attire allows barristers to present themselves in a smart, authoritative manner while gaining the confidence needed to address the court and deliver statements effectively. Essentially, when barristers put on their legal attire, it allows them to get into character and demand a certain level of respect from everyone in the courtroom.

However, to benefit from the above, your attire needs to be clean and presentable, and that includes the condition and hygiene of your legal wig. But, what is the process for legal wigs cleaning?

Professional Court Wig Cleaning

wig stand

While it is most definitely a niche cleaning service, there are many companies that offer professional cleaning for legal wigs. This service consists of gentle yet thorough cleaning of the horsehair fibres to ensure any trace of dust, dirt, sweat and hair oils are removed. As we mentioned earlier, the aged colouration of legal wigs is something that legal professionals like, which is why professional cleaners will use a process that doesn’t affect the wig’s colour. If necessary, they’ll also trim loose hairs and reshape your wig to return it to perfect condition.

Regarding the frequency of legal wigs cleaning, there’s some debate around this. Of course, if your wig has received damage, stains, etc., you’ll want to get it cleaned as soon as possible. However, for routine cleaning, some sources claim it should be cleaned once every 25-30 years. In contrast, others state that once a year is sufficient. It really does come down to preference.

If you’re looking to extend the life of your legal wig, we would suggest getting it professionally cleaned every 1-3 years.

Cleaning Court Wigs at Home

Legal Wigs Cleaning

Professional cleaning is hugely beneficial for tackling more serious concerns such as stains or damage, but there are a few day-to-day things you can do to ensure your wig is fresh. Sweat and oil from your scalp can both prove to be troublesome over time, causing discolouration and bad smells.

A simple way to tackle this issue is to allow your legal wig to breathe rather than putting it in a case or tucked away in a cupboard. Doing so allows any sweat or other moisture to dry, preventing a musty scent. For minor stains, it’s often possible to get rid of them yourself by gently cleaning with a cloth and warm water. However, be careful not to scrub too hard and loosen/damage hairs.

Another great way to maintain your wig and ensure longevity is to store it on a wig stand when it’s not in use, and the rounded top on the wig stand helps to maintain the curved shape. The Tailor De Jure barrister wig stand is the ideal shape and size for displaying your wig, allowing it to get some fresh air to ensure it smells fresh and odour-free.

Are you looking to find out more about legal attire maintenance and related topics? Check out the other posts on our helpful, informative blog. Also, if you’re in the market for a new legal wig or legal gown, you’re in the right place!

 

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