July 1, 2020 - Clothing & Accessories

How to Look After Your Custom-Made Shirt

How to look after African print shirts care label

The main difference between regular off-the-peg shirts and unique custom-made shirts is their superior fit. A made to measure shirt is individually handmade, usually by an expert tailor, to fit the unique measurements of a customer. Whereas, factory garment workers usually make ready-to-wear shirts in standard sizes and large quantities.


Kitenge Store African menswear tailor cutting fabric to make custom-made shirts in Tanzania East Africa

Kitenge tailor, Tairo, cutting fabric by hand to make a made to measure shirt

Customers can choose their preferred high-quality fabric from a swatch library and may also have the option to customise certain design features when ordering their shirts online or at a tailoring store. Made to measure shirts will not only make you look more stylish and sharper but can also be tailored to suit your individual personality. Higher comfort levels will make you feel more confident and increase your self-esteem.

Custom-made shirts can be tailored to suit both casual and formal occasions including black tie events, weddings, and office attire. The shirts are also great to wear when working from home! Wearing unique men’s colourful shirts can boost your mood, productivity, and creativity and could also be a talking point at your next video conferencing call.


Kitenge Store models wearing plain coloured custom made shirts with optional African wax print fabric contrasts office

Plain coloured made to measure shirts with optional African print contrasts by Kitenge

Made to measure shirts are also popular because they are made to last, which could save you money in the long term. Due to their superior fit, you’re more likely to wear the shirt more often which is good value for money. It’s also more sustainable for the environment as the longevity of the product life cycle is increased.

The process of ordering a made to measure shirt is also more simple and relaxed. You don’t need to walk around the shops for hours to find an off-the-peg shirt that fits you ok in some places but not in the colour or design that you were looking for. It’s very frustrating when you see a shirt that you love but it’s not available in your size or when you get home and try it on it doesn’t fit well so you have to return it to the store.

The Importance of Caring for Your Custom-Made Shirt

Even though custom-made shirts are better quality than ready-to-wear shirts, it is still important to maintain and look after them correctly so that you can wear them for many years to come. Some custom-made shirts can be delicate due to the type of luxurious material used and therefore, require extra special attention compared to your average off-the-rack shirt. It’s good to remember that quality care means quality wear. Here’s how we recommend that you care for your one-of-a-kind, custom-made shirt.

How to Wash Your Custom-Made Shirt 

It’s really important that you wash your shirt correctly to make it last and look fresh and brand new for as long as possible. If you wash the shirt incorrectly then you could cause irreversible damage, which could be devastating if it’s your favourite and the most expensive shirt that you own. We recommend that you always check the care label inside your shirt before washing and follow the instructions carefully. If you are unsure of anything then you can always contact the retailer directly via their website or social media.

Find wash care advice for Kitenge’s African Print Clothing.

Dry Cleaning Your Shirt

Cleaning a shirt in a washing machine is usually the best option for removing stains, sweat, oils and dirt. However, it may be necessary to dry clean your shirt if the care label says ‘dry clean only’. This is because certain materials absorb water, which can destroy the fibres whereas the solvent used for dry cleaning does not.

Dry cleaning is a more gentle process and can make shirts stay cleaner for longer but if you dry clean them too often then it can reduce their life span. If you wash a ‘dry-clean only’ made to measure shirt by mistake then it could significantly shrink in size, which would ruin its perfect fit.

How to Iron Your Custom-Made Shirt

A crisp, perfect-fitting custom-made shirt is a great way to make a good first impression! Appearance is everything and it’s the small details that matter. People do notice that you have wrinkles in your shirt, which may give them a negative perception of who you really are as a person.

A neatly ironed shirt helps to give others the impression that you are organised, professional, serious and competent. It can also make you feel good about yourself and give you additional confidence. It’s worth investing in a good quality steam iron if you would like your custom-made shirts to look their best.

If your shirt material is cotton or linen then it will require high heat to re-shape after laundering. If a shirt contains polyester then it will be more fragile to heat. Check the care label to know which temperature setting to use for each shirt otherwise you could possibly destroy it. Using steam will help to iron out the most difficult wrinkles.


How to wash African print shirt care label


Tips: To achieve an even greater ‘crisp look’ you can iron the inside of the shirt before turning it out and ironing the outside of the shirt. If you are not sure what temperature to use start low and gradually increase the setting until the shirt is moist but not wet.

Start by ironing the collar on the inside and then outside. Open the button(s) on your cuffs and iron the inside flat before moving to the outside avoiding the buttons. Next iron the front of the shirt starting with the section with the buttons, which you should iron around. Always start ironing at the top of the shirt by the shoulder and work your way down to the hem. Carefully iron over any pockets and the front placket (if the shirt has one), inside and out for best results. Finally, iron the sleeves at the end making sure the fabric is flat and smooth.

Folding Your Custom-Made Shirt

If you need to fold your custom-made shirt, perhaps when travelling for work or to a special event, then follow these simple step-by-step instructions to avoid wrinkles. You can also roll your shirts instead to save space in your suitcase.

Step 1) Do all the buttons up on the shirt and lay it flat on a surface (front side facing down). Smooth out the back of the shirt to remove any wrinkles.

how to fold a custom-made shirt step one

Step 2) Take one of the sleeves and fold it backwards at an angle towards the centre of the shirt. (The fold line should start at the centre of the shoulder). Then lay the sleeve backwards so that the cuff is laying flat side down near the bottom edge of the shirt. The side of the shirt, where the sleeve has been folded, should also be folded inwards so that the fold line starting from the shoulder runs all the way down to the bottom edge of the shirt.

how to fold a custom-made shirt step two

Step 3) Repeat the same step with the other sleeve, which should lay on top as demonstrated in the photo example below.

how to fold a custom-made shirt step three

Step 4) For long-length shirts, use both hands to hold the bottom of the shirt and fold it halfway. Then fold it again until it sits just below the collar. For shirts with a shorter length, use both hands to hold the bottom of the shirt and create one fold by resting the bottom edge just below the collar.

how to fold a custom-made shirt step fourhow to fold a custom-made shirt step five

Step 5) Place your folded shirt (front-facing) into your suitcase at the top. Remove your shirt and hang it as soon as you arrive at your destination.

how to fold a custom-made shirt step six

Storing Your Custom-Made Shirt

If you would like to save yourself time, then the best way to store your custom-made shirt is inside a cool/dry wardrobe on a hanger after it has been ironed. You can also fold your shirts and store them on a shelf inside a wardrobe but they will need to be ironed individually before being worn, which will take you more time.

To protect your custom-made shirts from pests creating holes in the fabric and to avoid musty smells make sure that your shirts are properly washed (or dry cleaned) before storing them inside your wardrobe. If dirty shirts are put back inside your wardrobe then they can create yellow stains and attract pests. If your shirt has been dry cleaned, make sure that you remove the plastic garment cover before putting inside your wardrobe as it can trap moisture, which can cause your shirt to smell musty if left for a while.

How to store your custom-made shirt

Similarly, make sure your shirt(s) are completely dry before storing them inside your wardrobe to avoid mildew and mould growth. For additional protection for your made to measure shirts, store them inside zipped fabric garment bags when hanging inside your wardrobe. This will prevent them from getting dusty and damaged by pests such as clothes moths. Avoid storing your made to measure shirts in direct sunlight, as it can cause colour damage, especially for your coloured shirts. It’s also best to use sturdy, wide, wooden hangers instead of flimsy wire or plastic ones. This will help to retain your shirt’s personalised shape.

Wearing Your Custom-Made Shirt 

Be proud to wear your custom-made shirt especially if you were involved in the creative design process. By wearing a personalised shirt you can stand out amongst the crowd! Be different to everyone else who purchases the same boring-looking shirts in high street shops. By caring for your exquisite and high-quality custom-made shirt, you will look more stylish and fresh than ever before! Your shirt will not wear away as quickly as an off-the-peg shirt so you can look forward to wearing it over and over again for many years to come.


It will become your staple, go-to shirt in your wardrobe that will never let you down. It’s certainly a good investment that you are unlikely to regret. For inspiration on where to wear your fashionable shirt read our blog, 6 Places to Wear Your Made to Measure Shirt!

Browse Kitenge’s Unique Range of Custom-Made Shirts

While you are here, why not browse Kitenge’s range of colourful and vibrant custom-made shirts? Enjoy taking control of the design process as you can customise the style of the collar, cuffs, placket and pockets. If you would like any help or advice when ordering or caring for your dream shirt please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help and provide excellent customer service.


Kitenge made to measure custom made shirt customer from Switzerland wearing his new red yellow blue short sleeve African print shirt Kitenge made to measure custom made shirt customer from Switzerland wearing his new brown floral long sleeve African print shirt

A happy Kitenge customer proudly wearing his made to measure shirts at home in Switzerland

We currently have an amazing special offer, which you won’t want to miss! When you purchase your first custom-made shirt you can get another one for free! Simply design two made to measure shirts (with the same sleeve length) and add them to your basket. They can be the same or two different African print fabrics; the choice is entirely up to you. Then use the code MTMFIRST on the basket page to receive 50% off your order!


Men's made to measure shirts special offer SHOP MEN’S MADE TO MEASURE SHIRTS
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