I am embarrassed to admit this but I have melted a hole in a sweater before. That’s what happens when you fail to consult the care label. If I had been smart enough to do so, I would have noticed that it said “cool iron”. I don’t remember what the exact fabric ratios were, but I remember that there was a fairly high percentage of polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fabric that has lots of great properties – it’s durable, easily dyed, light weight – but it is also easily damaged by excessive heat, hence the “cool iron”. Unfortunately if you melt synthetic fibers, there’s really nothing that can be done. My sweater ended up in Matt’s rag collection.
I recently asked David Jones, Owner of the A Cleaner World located on Lawndale Avenue in Greensboro why, with as many synthetic garments that we clean, does that not happen at our stores. Here’s why – most home irons are electric and reach 500 degrees when set on high. A Cleaner World uses steam irons, which are regulated by the boiler and will only reach a maximum of 285 degrees. The temperature, along with the proper amount of steam and pressure coming from the press head and buck (the bottom of our press that looks and acts like your home ironing board and is covered in thick heat and steam conducting padding) allows for a damage-free professional finish.
You can certainly press polyester and polyester blends at home but here are a couple of suggestions from our resident expert, Mike Feudale:
• Always consult the care label first.
• Use a cool iron.
• Place either a damp pressing cloth (or you can also spritz a dry cloth with water) over the garment to create steam.
• Place the iron on the cloth instead of placing it directly on the garment.
• Avoid using the steam feature on your iron directly on the garment. Use direct iron steam sparingly over the top of the damp press cloth. Most fabrics need a little moisture (steam) to relax the fibers and remove wrinkles. Allow the fabric to dry or become cool to the touch before moving. This will set the finish, resulting in flat, smooth garments. Once cool, move onto the next area being sure to overlap finished areas.
As always, if you have questions about caring for your polyester garments, or any garment for that matter, contact any one of our locations. We are glad to help.