RAVE FabriCARE: Position Papers

Our brief discussion of various issues related to
fine garments, household textiles and accessories

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Why wools, silks, cottons & linens feel stiff and crusty after dry cleaning

 

Why wools, silks, cottons & linens feel stiff and crusty after dry cleaning

By: Stu Bloom

New clients often ask us why their wools, silks, cottons and linens feel stiff and crusty when they’re returned by a cleaner.

Our answer is quite simple: Your wools, silks, cottons and linens feel stiff and crusty because of sizing.

Why dry cleaners love sizing

 

Sizing is to dry cleaning what starch is to shirt laundry.

You see, ordinary cleaners love sizing. So they add or inject sizing into their dry cleaning machines during the dry cleaning “wash” cycle. In much the same way that you add detergent or softener to your home washer.

Their stated reason?

According to one Phoenix cleaner’s literature, to “keep each garment feeling new and crisp” and to “retain your garment’s original shape, weight and feel” (we couldn’t make up this last statement if we tried!).

And the true reason?

The more sizing they add, the quicker and easier it is for their employees to bang out your garments on a press.

This is particularly true in those cases where

  • a dry cleaner heat seals or glues bar codes onto all your garments and household textiles, 
  • a dry cleaner pays his pressers by the piece and
  • the pressers must produce a certain minimum number of pieces per hour. 

What gets sized?

 

Everything in the dry cleaning load. Cottons. Linens. Silks. Rayons. Wools such as alpaca, angora, camelhair, cashmere, escorial, marino, mohair and vicuna. Super 100s, 120s, 150s and 160s.

Is it any wonder your fine wools, silks, cottons and linens feel and drape like cardboard when you get them back from an ordinary cleaner?

What to do?

 

Ask your cleaner whether he adds sizing to his dry cleaning solvent or fluid, whether he heat seals or glues bar codes onto all your garments and household textiles, whether he pays his pressers by the piece, and whether his pressers are required to meet specific production quotas.

If they heat seal or glue bar codes onto all your garments and household textiles, if they pay their pressers by the piece and if their pressers are required to meet specific production quotas, then, in all probability, they add sizing to their dry cleaning solvent or fluid. 

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Filed Under:

Dry Cleaning,Position Paper

Author

Stu Bloom

Stu Bloom is Founder and President of RAVE FabriCARE. RAVE FabriCARE, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, cares for fine garments, household textiles and accessories and serves clients throughout the USA and Canada. Stu is the author of various ebooks on these subjects, all of which are available from www.ravefabricare.com/freestuff. He is an evangelist for true quality cleaning and is a contributor to and editor of True Quality Cleaning, RAVE FabriCARE’s blog. You can find Stu on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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