or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Dry Cleaners/Shirt Launderers
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dry Cleaners/Shirt Launderers

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Been lurking for awhile. This is my first post. Occasionally, my shirts come back from the cleaner/launderer with slightly damaged or replaced buttons. Is this acceptable/common, or is it the mark of an unprofessional cleaner? Do I need to find a new one?
post #2 of 11
No, It's normal. Good cleaners who you use weekly will repair for free.
post #3 of 11
A good laundry may 1) charge a little more for a "full service" which will include a visual inspection of the shirt and careful replacement of any broken buttons, or even relaundering the shirt, if required. 2) budget laundries often do not inspect or replace broken buttons. I have gotten so that I now inspect my shirts when I pick them up and request repair or re-do to pick up later. 3) the buttons on high quality shirts will last longer. I had a couple of shirts I picked up somewhere--Meronas--upon which I eventually probably had to replace every button, sooner or later. Not worth the trouble. I think virtually all laundries break buttons. It is how they manage this fact that seperates the good ones from the poor ones. Markus
post #4 of 11
Markus
Quote:
I think virtually all laundries break buttons. It is how they manage this fact that seperates the good ones from the poor ones.
Dammit, man, stand up for your rights. We should all stick our collective heads out the windows and shout, "I've had enough and I'm not going to take it anymore.". Simply and calmly: Laundries should NOT normally break buttons. I own one very small laundry. We do not break buttons on a regular basis. And if we do it is our responsibility to: Sew on a matching button with exactly the same stitch as was used in the first place. In other words, the client should never know that we broke one.
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Alexander Kabbaz Posted on Jan. 15 2005,224 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dammit, man, stand up for your rights. We should all stick our collective heads out the windows and shout, "I've had enough and I'm not going to take it anymore.". Simply and calmly: Laundries should NOT normally break buttons. I own one very small laundry. We do not break buttons on a regular basis. And if we do it is our responsibility to: Sew on a matching button with exactly the same stitch as was used in the first place. In other words, the client should never know that we broke one.
I have an annoying problem with almost every laundry I have used. Most of them replace missing or broken buttons but I find that they usually replace them with mismatched buttons and threads. It drives me crazy, especially when they are shirts that happen to have the replacement buttons sewn onto the bottom of the placket. I mean how hard is it to get the button right from there? I have gone through 3 dry cleaners in town already that have disappointed me. Thankfully there are about a dozen more that I cankeep trying. One of them has to do a decent job on shirts.
post #6 of 11
I used to think it was normal for the laundry/dry cleaners to break buttons occasionally too. (I recall one cleaner that would break/crack 2-3+ buttons each week, back when nearly all my dress shirts were Brooks Brothers.) Then, I started using my current cleaners, where I've been going for about 3 years now. In all that time, I think they've broken perhaps 2 buttons and each time they have sewn on a new one for no charge. Perhaps MOP buttons are more durable than plastic ones? Who knows, but I definitely will never again think that all cleaners are alike. Forget about praising the ones that sew on new one -- find one that doesn't break buttons to begin with.
post #7 of 11
Do your own shirts and I assure you that your botton breaking problems will end. Most commercial launderers high heat wash and high heat dry for health code reasons. This process is sucking the ever loving life out of the buttons and eventually they will dry out, become brittle and then crack under the force of the pressing machine. If your issues about doing your own shirts is the pressing issue, simply delicate wash in cold water, hang to dry on plastic hangers ( wire will rust and leave its mark) and bring them to your cleaner for press only I have never had a button break on any of my shirts both expensive and cheap quality. Good Luck.
post #8 of 11
Joseph's Cleaners, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan charged a bit more than anyone else, but their policy was that if you received a shirt with a broken button, your cleaning was free for the remainder of the month.. never had a problem with them.. Green Cleaners, on 22nd off of Park, and to whom I've recently switched, recently replaced all the brittle buttons on one of my shirts, even putting two replacement buttons on the bottom of the shirt, without charge or mentioning what had happened..
post #9 of 11
I've been having this problem recently too. Just got an Ascot Chang shirt washed at my local cleaner and button broke after the first wash.

Does this happen because of the washing or pressing of the shirt? My friend suggested that I ask for hand pressing and that should help. He said that what causes the button to break is when they use a pressing machine and the force applied breaks them.

Is that true or false? Would paying the extra amount for hand pressing alleviate the problem?
post #10 of 11
This thread addresses 2 separate but related shirt laundry issues: broken buttons and hand pressing. To understand why your buttons get chipped and broken, you need to know what happens to your laundered shirts even at the so-called "better" cleaners..... Your shirts are laundered using conventional washing techniques -- scrubbing; hot water; harsh, caustic, industrial grade detergents; and bleaches. Then they're pressed on a series of machines -- one for the body, one for the sleeves and one for the collar/cuffs. Typically, at the rate of 35 to 45 per hour or about 1.5 minutes per shirt. This is a "machine pressed laundered shirt" (that's sometimes deceptively passed off as a "hand-ironed laundered shirt"). Typically, you'd pay about $1 to $2 for this shirt. Now, if the dry cleaner is feeling particularly charitable, they'll "strategically touch up" your shirt with a hand iron. And then, typically, only on the sleeves and underarms. This "touching up" is often accomplished simply creasing the sleeves. Figure about 2 to 3 minutes per shirt. This is a "hand finished laundered shirt" (that's sometimes deceptively passed off as a "hand ironed laundered shirt"). Typically, you'd pay about $1.50 to $2.50 for this shirt. A hand ironed laundered shirt, on the other hand, is a completely different animal. To qualify as a hand ironed laundered shirt, the shirt must be PARTIALLY steamed by machine and then COMPLETELY pressed by hand. Not COMPLETELY pressed by machine and then PARTIALLY touched up by hand (if your'e lucky or if the cleaner deems it necessary). This will take about 10 to 12 minutes per shirt. For a hand ironed laundered shirt, you'd probably pay from $6.50 to $14.50. A hand ironed laundered shirt is NOT a machine pressed laundered shirt NOR is it a hand finished laundered shirt. A hand ironed laundered shirt will not exhibit any of the following telltale characteristics of a "machine pressed laundered shirt" or a "hand finished laundered shirt": puckered seams; wrinkled collars, cuffs, underarms, sleeve pleats, sleeve plackets and front plackets; wrinkled cuff/sleeve and sleeve/body joins; and small sharp creases (about 1/4 inch in length) that were pressed into the shirt by a shirt pressing machine. With that background information, let's get back to the issue of cracked or chipped buttons. The reason that buttons break is that the shirt has been pressed by machine. While there are many different manufacturers of shirt pressing machines, the common thread amongst all machines is that they're all fitted with pressing pads. The heat generated by these shirt pressing machines breaks down the materials used in these pads and the pads degrade from relatively soft to extremely hard. When the pads start to degrade the dry cleaner has 2 options: change them immediately or continue to use the pads for as long as possible. Given that even the cheap pressing pads are relatively expensive most cleaners elect to use their pads for much, much longer than they should (particularly in the current economic environment). The result of this decision is broken buttons. Some ordinary cleaners offer an "intact button guarantee" that goes something like this: if we neglect to replace a missing or cracked button, we'll clean x number of shirts for free. At ordinary cleaners an "intact button guarantee" (even if the buttons are mismatched) is a competitive advantage. At a true quality cleaner, a complete set of matching buttons is just one standard amongst many shirt laundry quality standards. So what's the answer to the problem of broken buttons? Change cleaners? You'll probably end up with exactly the same problem elsewhere. Ask for a hand ironed laundered shirt? You'll probably end up with a "hand finished shirt" that they'll pass off as a hand ironed laundered shirt. Or you can look for a true quality cleaner. Warning: there are 26,000 cleaners in the USA and very few would qualify as true quality cleaners. For further information on this subject.... Blog post: Your shirt laundry bill of rights http://ravefabricare.com/true-qualit...of-rights.aspx Website: www.ravefabricare.com Daily blog: www.truequalitycleaning.com
post #11 of 11
I had an excellent laundry/dry cleaning service locally. Excellent service and pleasant people. They were bought by another company and the first thing that happened was the people were replaced. Next, prices were increased. Finally, the quality went in the basement. Yesterday was the final straw, when I picked up clothing, shirts that were to have laundered and ironed came back wrinkled. I had two pair of jeans to be hemmed. Hemming was uneven with thread colors badly mismatched. I had several buttons cracked in half, but not replaced.

Unfortunately, there is no other local service, however, there is one about 20 miles away to try.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Dry Cleaners/Shirt Launderers