Discoloured collars

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by water, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. water

    water Senior member

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    I am not sure if this has been covered here before...

    I am having a problem with a number of my shirts. The collars, mostly at the point where they fold down, seem to be discoloured. I have no idea why this is happening. I always wash them in cold water on an easy cycle, iron them when they are still damp, and always make sure the iron is not too hot (in fact I rarely iron the collar in fear that it may cause the discolouring).

    Any thoughts as to what is going on?
     


  2. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    That's interesting. Are they from a particular manufacturer? The only case of collar discoloration I experienced was on a Lands' End shirt - promptly returned for a refund. I'm interested to find out why this happens and how to prevent it as well.
     


  3. water

    water Senior member

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    It has happened to a number of my shirts all of which, up to now, were small name cheaper brands. Then this morning I noticed it happening on one of my Jantzen shirts (Cotton Twill #29 - Silver/Grey). It was the first one I ordered from them about five months ago.

    I am wondering if I washed it in hot water...
     


  4. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    I'm wondering if it could just be the sweat from the neck?
    Or if it can be prevented by unfolding the collar before tossing it into the washing machine?
     


  5. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    It's probably the skin cells of your neck rubbing off and into the fabric, causing the discoloration.

    I handle this by taking an old toothbrush and a bar of laundry soap and scrub the affected area. This happens on contrast cuffs, too, so I scrub those also.
     


  6. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I'll tell you this: I often times used to not wash my dress shirts after wearing them if (1) I was wearing an undershirt and (2) didn't sweat much. BUT, I have found that if they are a color that will show dirt (i.e. white, some light blues, greys, etc.) you better wash those suckers within 5 days of wearing them or eventually you will get that yellowing. It is indeed a combination of skin, oil, and sweat.
     


  7. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Try Oxy-clean or similar in-wash stain removers. They really do a good job.
     


  8. water

    water Senior member

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    Thanks everyone. I was going to mention that it happened to the cuffs of one of my french cuff shirts as well.

    I think part of the problem is that I do not wash my shirts fast enough, often letting them sit days after wearing before washing.

    Spinning around the Internet last night I found a site that recommended brushing some shampoo into the discoloured area and letting it sit for about ten minutes before washing. I think I will give it a try or have a look for some Oxy-clean prompt like.
     


  9. water

    water Senior member

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    Well, I bought some Oxy-Clean but unfortunately it made no difference.

    After that, I brought the shirt to a professional cleaner who told me that it is not a stain, but the shirt losing its colour. She told me that I should return it. Unfortunately, that is potentially a little more difficult with it being a Jantzen shirt.

    Does anyone know how easy it is to return faulty items to Ricky? I guess I could just ask him to replace it...
     


  10. BGW

    BGW Senior member

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    It couldn't hurt to email Ricky...

    What fabric # was it? I'd like to stay away if possible.
     


  11. water

    water Senior member

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    It was Cotton Twill #29 - Silver/Grey. I just wrote Ricky to see if I can return it for a replacement.

    Unfortunately I really like the fabric but now have a big hesitation about ordering it again.
     


  12. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    VersaceMan posted a routine he uses to get out almost any stain. You might search for that and try it. I also recently heard of something called "the soak" which involves very hot water, dishwashing detergent and something else. I'll try to get the recipe and post it.
     


  13. shoreman80

    shoreman80 Well-Known Member

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    It seems you've been exhaustive in your efforts, and I am not a professional cleaner, but if it's just collars and cuffs I would figure it would be wear/stain rather than the fabric "losing its color," especially if it's on various brands. As j mentioned, there have been good threads on properly washing shirts posted, both here and on AskAndy's forum.

    I find that the toothbrush method works well for me. All my french cuff shirts, particularly white and sea island, are susceptible to stains on the folds of the cuffs and collar (My barrel cuffs from brooks/polo just get tossed in with the regular cycle). I wash within a few days of wear, and before handwashing I flatten out the collar and cuffs, put a little detergent or woolite on the toothbrush and scrub the offending area down. Usually works.

    Just make sure you keep shirt-scrubbin and tooth-scrubbin brushes distinct.

    Of course, you may have already reached the end of your patience for this stuff, and if it is a fabric problem, the maker should honor your request for replacing the shirt.
     


  14. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    Uh, yeah, that is most like a bunch of b.s. The shirt is "losing its color" because of the dirt and oil that it getting into its fabrics. I guarantee you that the back of your shirt isn't "losing color" like the "ring around the collar" (and you think that detergent commercial didn't know what they were talking about?) -- and the back of your shirt is rubbing against your chair all day.

    Cleaners love to say that things aren't stains, because then they share no blame when they can't remove it.
     


  15. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    The only other way that this could be non-dirt related discoloration is because the detergent when you launder it may "stick" or something to the folds of the collars and cuffs. But I doubt this heavily, because it just doesn't make a lot of analytical sense.
     


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