About dry cleaning

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Zarium, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Zarium

    Zarium Senior member

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    Earlier today I accidentally spilled some ice cream on my suit trousers. It's nothing major, fortunately - only about three streaks of stains.

    I resolved to get it dry cleaned as quickly as possible so as to not have the risk of the stain setting in permanently, so I dropped by a nearby dry cleaner that I've used before. I was told to bring it in tomorrow morning and it would be ready in the afternoon.

    My only concern is about color fade. I asked the person if dry cleaning would fade the color of my trousers, to which she replied that it was advisable to send both pieces of my suit in.

    Now, I don't really want to do this - since my jacket isn't stained and I don't want to risk having the lapels being pressed too hard till they lose their roll. But I don't want the trousers looking different from the jacket either.

    My suit is blue - not a dark, navy blue but rather a brighter blue color. It's made from a S130s wool fabric. This picture depicts the color the best: http://cdn.styleforum.net/3/3f/1000x500px-LL-3fa16e83_4291176227_47bf77df47_o.jpeg


    My question is, does dry cleaning just once fade the color of suits? I've never had this suit dry cleaned before - it's relatively new. I believe their method to be the conventional "perc" method, not some of the "greener" methods I've read about before. A Google search yields mixed results - some say that they do cause color to fade, some say that they can, but usually don't, and some say they don't. Do you think I should have both pieces dry cleaned instead of just the trousers?
     


  2. jamesny

    jamesny Senior member

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    In my experience, they do tend to fade a little bit - I had both the jacket and trousers cleaned.
     


  3. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Unless you're unlucky, a single dry-clean shouldn't cause too much fading, though obviously it depends on whether it's been dry-cleaned before, the exact material, the dye, the processing, and probably a myriad other factors (not least, including how much you notice these things!). I'm no expert, but while it's generally advised to always dry clean a suit as a pair of garments, I've occasionally had either a jacket or trousers cleaned separately with no issues. *shrug* maybe I've just been a bit lucky, or maybe I'm less observant, or maybe it's just because whenever I've done that, it's been with lighter colour garments anyway.

    There are however few cast-iron guarantees in life, and this post certainly should not be construed as one, so the final choice will always be yours. If you're worried, just clean the whole suit and be clear about what you want done re: the pressing afterwards. You can always get things re-pressed if they don't work out right first time. If you're exceptionally worried about these isses, Stu Bloom by all accounts runs a very high quality (with commensurate cost) mail order dry cleaning business that includes an equally high quality pressing. I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head, but he's on this board under that username and you'd probably also be able to google up his business site. Someone else will probably come along and post the name anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012


  4. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    It is always preferable for all parts of a garment to be cleaned/washed. Fading may be minimal but doing them all avoids any problems.

    If you are worried about pressing give separate instructions - probably to be ignored, but you will feel better.
     


  5. buzzron

    buzzron Well-Known Member

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    I always take them together at thecleaner's though I read somewhere that you shouldn't have them dry cleaned all the time to reduce color fading.
     


  6. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    They do fade but the "clean items together" is for subtler reasons:

    1. Many people would clean trousers every week and a jacket every 6 months because that's how they feel the dirt builds up. Naturally cleaning Trousers 24 times for ever 1 that the jacket is cleaned will lead to visible colour difference. By keeping the whole lot together you avoid this.

    2. The Trousers and Jacket touch. This means that any difference in colour (like 1% fade) is very very obvious. You get away with polishing your shoes differently because they are just near each other, but the Jkt/Trs are too damn close for people not to notice.

    Ultimately you shouldn't be able to see a difference when your suit comes back, but rest assured, if they'd had different treatments to each other, you'd see it.
     


  7. guymac12

    guymac12 Senior member

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    you don't have to take them to the dry cleaners all the time - you'd end up damaging the suit
     


  8. stylemeup

    stylemeup Senior member

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    But by drycleaning the jacket too, isn't he just swapping one problem for others?

    Instead of of having the fading problem, won't he (potentially) have problems of the drycleaning weakening the jacket material, and deteriorating the fusibles in it (if there are any)?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012


  9. Zarium

    Zarium Senior member

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    I shouldn't be dry cleaning the suit all that often - I have other suits that I rotate around so I don't put any particular one suit through too much wear.

    I guess I'll send just the trousers alone. I only hope that a single dry cleaning won't cause it to fade too noticeably, or if at all.
     


  10. atlrus

    atlrus Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry, dry cleaning your suit once would not make the color fade, unless you have an idiot dry cleaner or a really awful suit.

    Suits, just like any other garment, must be cleaned, albeit not as often. In my opinion, all this premature fading of suits people talk about is because of the dry cleaning company, not the process per se. In the future, find a small dry cleaner where you can talk to the owner and make sure your 150s won't get cleaned alongside polyester suits. Your relationship with the dry cleaner is just as important (if not more) as with your tailor. Which reminds me, see if your tailor offers dry cleaning or if they could recommend you a good place to clean your suits.
     


  11. theyare

    theyare Senior member

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    How about - take the pants in to be cleaned as planned. If they come back faded compared to the jacked and your concerned about it, then take the jacket for a cleaning?
     


  12. viator

    viator Senior member

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    I'm having a hard time believing that a single cleaning can really alter the color of the pants a noticeable amount. If that were true, what kind of lifespan would the suit have?
     


  13. Zarium

    Zarium Senior member

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    I'll try that - it's actually a small dry cleaner by a corner, but I don't think they do it themselves, rather outsource the drycleaning. I won't be able to go back to the tailor since I didn't get the suit made in Australia, and I don't think it's a good idea to wait till I get back home to get the suit dry cleaned.




    I was considering that possibility too.

    Also, normal (i.e not the more esteemed ones) dry cleaners don't usually correct small things like loose threads on buttons (if any) prior/after dry cleaning, do they?
     


  14. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    There are 3 general points to consider...

    1. Find a true quality cleaner in your area. My best advise is to call the manager of the very best independent men's store in your area and ask where they would send a soiled item of INVENTORY so that it can be resold at full retail price after cleaning and pressing. This rules out, by definition, any cleaner that offers same day, two day or three day service as a matter of routine as well as any cleaner that doesn't do all their work on premises.

    Blog post: The 10 deadly sins of ordinary dry cleaners

    Link: www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2011/1/11/the-10-deadly-sins-of-ordinary-dry-cleaners.aspx

    Blog post: You have dry cleaning rights. Exercise those rights.

    Link: www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2011/1/12/you-have-dry-cleaning-rights-exercise-those-rights.aspx

    2. Select a cleaner that cleans in a gentle, non-dye stripping dry cleaning fluid such as siloxane instead of perc or synthetic petroleum.

    Blog post: A brief guide to understanding dry cleaning solvents and fluids

    Link: www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/5/26/a-brief-guide-to-understanding-drycleaning-solvents-and-fluids.aspx

    Blog post: Why your dark colored garments look dull and faded

    Link: www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2010/9/9/why-your-dark-colored-garments-look-dull-and-faded.aspx

    3. Poor cleaning can, for the most part, be corrected. Poor pressing -- defined as machine pressing instead of hand pressing -- can destroy a fine garment on the first pressing.

    Blog post: Meet the press

    Link: www.ravefabricare.com/true-quality-cleaning/2011/1/31/meet-the-press.aspx

    If you carefully read the above mentioned posts, you'll realize that the notion of needing to "clean and press" both pieces at the same time so that they will both achieve the same degree of fading or dinginess is pure bunkum.

    Now, specific to your navy wool suit...

    That ice cream contains milk, a protein stain. Protein stains don't dissolve, by themselves, in any dry cleaning solvent or fluid. The stain must be removed by a skilled dry cleaner BEFORE it ever enters a dry cleaning machine. Your cleaner could toss that garment into a machine and dry clean it 10 times if they so wished and the stain will remain.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012


  15. hymo

    hymo Senior member

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    In other words, Zarium should try spot cleaning with water and soap?
     


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