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Linen Jacket - Dry Clean before Tailoring

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I picked up a new Purple Label linen jacket for summer. Took it to a tailor to have the sleeves shortened and the jacket tapered a bit.

 

He gave me the recommendation that I get it dry cleaned first and then bring it back for tailoring because dry cleaning will shrink the jacket a small amount (due to it being 100% linen). Is this always the case or he just assuming I use a lousy dry cleaner because I'm in my early 20's?

 

Thanks for the help.

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLeg View Post

he just assuming I use a lousy dry cleaner because I'm in my early 20's?
Most dry cleaners aren't particularly good. Your age has little to do with it.

They're not particularly good because when it comes to dry cleaning, the vast majority of customers are primarily concerned with the lowest possible price (with quick turn-around time being the secondary consideration). Imagine two cleaners - right next door to each other. The first one does a fantastic job. Chemicals are well monitored and frequently refreshed, pressing is done expertly, a knowledgeable staff that is fluent in the primary language of the majority of its customers, and it's an all 'round class act.

The second one does a terrible job. Contaminated chemicals, pressing disasters, poor communication between customer and staff, etc.

If the second place is 25 cents per item cheaper than the first place, I will practically guarantee that it will thrive (and probably eventually put the first store out of business).

BTW, this explains the success of Zips. At least the Zips in Timonium, MD. (Just up York Rd. from J&J, which is an excellent cleaner. But J&J costs a little more, and doesn't offer same day service.)

Anyway, some materials can shrink a little, even with "dry" cleaning. If you trust your tailor enough to let him cut on your new Purple Line linen jacket, maybe you should trust him enough to believe him when he tells you that it'd be a good idea to get the jacket dry cleaned before tailoring.

Besides, how much extra is it going to cost you? Zips will dry clean and press any garment for just $1.99. And same day service is standard.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12345Michael54321 View Post


Most dry cleaners aren't particularly good. Your age has little to do with it.

They're not particularly good because when it comes to dry cleaning, the vast majority of customers are primarily concerned with the lowest possible price (with quick turn-around time being the secondary consideration). Imagine two cleaners - right next door to each other. The first one does a fantastic job. Chemicals are well monitored and frequently refreshed, pressing is done expertly, a knowledgeable staff that is fluent in the primary language of the majority of its customers, and it's an all 'round class act.

The second one does a terrible job. Contaminated chemicals, pressing disasters, poor communication between customer and staff, etc.

If the second place is 25 cents per item cheaper than the first place, I will practically guarantee that it will thrive (and probably eventually put the first store out of business).

BTW, this explains the success of Zips. At least the Zips in Timonium, MD. (Just up York Rd. from J&J, which is an excellent cleaner. But J&J costs a little more, and doesn't offer same day service.)

Anyway, some materials can shrink a little, even with "dry" cleaning. If you trust your tailor enough to let him cut on your new Purple Line linen jacket, maybe you should trust him enough to believe him when he tells you that it'd be a good idea to get the jacket dry cleaned before tailoring.

Besides, how much extra is it going to cost you? Zips will dry clean and press any garment for just $1.99. And same day service is standard.

Points well taken.

 

Would you say that (per your example) J&J would shrink the jacket? To clarify, I was wondering if linen jackets will always shrink at the dry cleaner, or just if taken to a Zips type establishment.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedLeg View Post

Would you say that (per your example) J&J would shrink the jacket?
I don't know. Although it occurs to me that if a garment is prone to shrinkage when being cleaned, it might well shrink regardless of the quality of the dry cleaner. But admittedly, I'm no expert in such matters.

I do know that if a tailor whom I trusted to perform alterations on my jacket suggested that the jacket could shrink slightly upon being cleaned, I'd probably trust him to know what he was talking about. I mean, this is the sort of stuff you'd expect a skilled tailor to know.

FWIW, I do own a wool/silk/linen blazer. It's been dry cleaned. I didn't notice any shrinkage. 'Course, it's only 33% linen. Still, you'd think that if linen were prone to shrinkage, it presumably wouldn't shrink to precise the same degree as would the wool and the silk. And that these differential rates of shrinkage would lead to one truly messed up jacket, right?

I'm going to follow this thread. There's potential for some education here, for sure.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12345Michael54321 View Post


I don't know. Although it occurs to me that if a garment is prone to shrinkage when being cleaned, it might well shrink regardless of the quality of the dry cleaner. But admittedly, I'm no expert in such matters.

I do know that if a tailor whom I trusted to perform alterations on my jacket suggested that the jacket could shrink slightly upon being cleaned, I'd probably trust him to know what he was talking about. I mean, this is the sort of stuff you'd expect a skilled tailor to know.

FWIW, I do own a wool/silk/linen blazer. It's been dry cleaned. I didn't notice any shrinkage. 'Course, it's only 33% linen. Still, you'd think that if linen were prone to shrinkage, it presumably wouldn't shrink to precise the same degree as would the wool and the silk. And that these differential rates of shrinkage would lead to one truly messed up jacket, right?

I'm going to follow this thread. There's potential for some education here, for sure.

Agreed. Will be getting it dry cleaned first. Just a curious issue I never really thought about.

 

Also a little impatient because I really want it back for 4th of July weekend tongue.gif

post #6 of 6
I have my tailor soak my linen in hot water for a couple of days before making them up. Linen shrinks, so what he says makes perfect sense.

Don't forget that linen is prone to rumpling so if your sleeve is altered to show just the right amount of cuff, chances are you'll show more over time.
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