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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Laundering a Men’s Dress Shirt

Have you ever wondered, even when no starch is used, how a man’s dress shirt comes back from A Cleaner World smooth and taut, but not stiff?  Here’s how it all works.

When a man’s dress shirt comes in, we examine it for stains, broken buttons, check the pocket, scrub the collar, and place it in the appropriate load for the requested starch level.  Then it is laundered.

Once the cycle is completed, the load is removed and then ‘shaken out’.

Here’s the most fascinating part – the shirts are pressed while still wet.  “That’s because we place them on a stainless-steel press,” said Steve Plantone, Manager of the A Cleaner World in Hickory.  “The heat and pressure from the press causes the shirt to dry and leaves the shirt with a smooth, satin-like finish, almost like there’s starch.”  Of course, if you like your shirts to stand on their own, like my husband, purchase a 100% heavyweight cotton shirt and ask for heavy starch.  The thickness and weight of the fabric determines how much starch the shirt will hold, and heavyweight 100% cotton shirts are the only shirts that can be heavily starched.  Either way, starch or no starch, your shirts will still come out incredibly smooth.
Laundering and finishing a man’s dress shirt this way leaves you with that smooth, taut finish we mentioned earlier, without any wrinkles or puckering at the sleeves or collar area, and with rounded or barreled sleeves – which is the industry standard.

Once the shirt is pressed to perfection, it heads to the inspection area where it is checked for pressing quality, broken or missing buttons, and collar stay and collar support insertion.  If all is well, it is bagged and sent to the line to wait for pick up.


On a side note I’m sure you are wondering ‘Why aren’t women’s dress shirts done this way?’  There are two reasons really.  First, it comes down to fabric.  Most men’s dress shirts are made of cotton or a cotton/polyester blend, while women’s blouses are made of less durable fabrics like silk or often have a small percentage of spandex in them.  Putting a garment with that type of fabric on such a hot press would damage the fabric.  Second, men’s dress shirts have varied little in style for many years.  This has allowed equipment manufacturers to design and build automated shirt presses that will fit most men’s dress shirts. Operating these automated shirt presses takes a whole lot less time and labor to properly finish a man’s dress shirt.  But if a man’s dress shirt comes in with silk or another more delicate fabric, we would clean and finish it as we do most women’s blouses.

With our almost 50 years in the business, state-of-the-art equipment, and attention to detail, A Cleaner World provides not only the best quality for men’s dress shirts but for all your garment care needs.  Stop by one of our locations to see what I’m talking about.

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