Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Works-for-me-Wednesday: Drycleaning Caution

I've always thought that no-iron dress shirts sounded too good to be true...now I have proof!

My husband wears dress shirts almost every day to work. Because I loathe ironing the shirts, we have them laundered and pressed every week at the drycleaners. Well, here's a caution about sending all-cotton, iron-free shirts out to the cleaners.

I recently had a 100% cotton, iron-free dress shirt come back from the cleaners with a stain all along the arm seams of the shirt. When I brought it to the cleaner's attention, she told me that to eliminate ironing the manufacturers use a fusible tape stitched between the layers of fabric. After stitching, the seams are subjected to heat and pressure, therefore fusing the seams together. When a shirt like this is then pressed on commercial shirt equipment, sometimes the adhesive softens and leaches to the surface of the fabric, causing stains at the seams. It can also show up on the collar and cuffs.

Unfortunately, once the shirt is stained there is no way to fix the shirt. You also can't detect whether a shirt contains the type of seam adhesive that could stain and there is no way to prevent the staining. Only the shirt manufacturer can prevent the problem by changing the way they construct the shirt.

So what's a consumer to do? Well, my drycleaner recommended that if you have any all-cotton, no iron shirts, launder and press them yourself. It's only commercial equipment that causes the reaction with the adhesive.

However, if you do take your shirt to the cleaners and it ends up stained then you should take it back to the store where the stained shirt was purchased. Many stores are giving refunds or replacements shirts and sending the defective shirt back to the manufacturer.

And that works for me!! For more tips and ideas, visit Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer.

2 comments:

Barbara H. said...

I never knew that! We have some no-iron ones that do great if I take them out of the dryer right away, and others that still wrinkle anyway.

I'd definitely take damaged ones back not only to get the money back but so that the manufacturer knows this is a problem and people aren't happy with it.

2 Boys' Mom said...

Thanks for the tip. I had never heard of that!