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Poor pressing can permanently damage your fine garments
By: Stu Bloom
Value cleaners, ordinary cleaners and even many wannabe cleaners love their presses.
Because pressing is where cleaners can achieve the greatest productivity, i.e., where they can move garments through their system with maximum speed.
This is particularly the case at value cleaners (discount cleaners) and ordinary cleaners (middle market cleaners).
And, counterintuitively, it’s also the case at wannabe cleaners that offer a three tier quality/pricing structure – sometimes called their “everyday”, “expert” and “couture” service” Or their diamond, platinum and gold service, or their classic, deluxe and signature service, or basic, classic and artisan service.
Pressing is where your garments are banged out on a press at a furious rate. Typically, 30 to 40 pants per hour per presser; 20 to 30 non-pant garments per hour per presser; and 40 to 50 laundered shirts per hour on a “single buck” shirt pressing machine (80 to 100 per hour on a “double buck” shirt pressing machine).
That’s 1 or 2 minutes per laundered shirt and 2 to 3 minutes per garment for garments other than laundered shirts!
Here’s the problem: “pressing” is also the area of operations where a cleaner can also inflict the greatest damage to a garment.
“Pressing” is where your garments can be subjected to way too much pressure, with too much steam, at way too high a temperature, for way too long. Especially when it comes to wools, silks, rayons, knits, and other non-cotton and non-linen fabrics.
Poor pressing results in shine; seam, flap and button impressions; moire-like press pad impressions; double creases; wrinkled seams and linings; puckered seams; wrinkled collars, cuffs, underarms, sleeve pleats, sleeve plackets and front plackets; wrinkled cuff/sleeve and sleeve/body joins; and other “crimes of fashion”.
By contrast, a true quality cleaner will hand iron your fine garments. A hand iron in the hands of a skilled finisher will produce an infinitely superior garment than a press in the hands of a machine operator.
We can all understand the need for machine pressing at a value cleaner.
But, at the very least, someone ought to introduce ordinary cleaners and wannabe cleaners to the hand iron.
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