Dress shirt sleeves tearing!

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by vancity2010, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. vancity2010

    vancity2010 Member

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    I washed two dress shirts today and when I went to iron them I noticed one sleeve of each shirt was torn. Can anyone offer an explanation for the tears? I wash them on delicate cycle and air dry them.... I have attached a photo of the rips and this is the third shirt this has happened to. The shirts are cotton and are not cheap in quality.

    I am not sure if I am doing something wrong....

    [​IMG]
     
  2. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    From that picture I'd bet that the tear is right at the elbow.

    During the normal course of wearing (bending your arms, rubbing your elbows on a desk, etc.), you're stressing the fibers in that area. Then the mechanical action or tumbling of the washing process (even on delicate) adds stress to those already weakened fibers and, voila, you end up with a "tear".

    Examine some of your other but older shirts and I'd bet you'll find similar weakening of the fibers.

    Every shirt -- no matter how well constructed and no matter how good the quality of the fabric -- has a life cycle. Those shirts may just have reached the end of their useful lives.
     
  3. Pawz

    Pawz Senior member

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    *taps your shoulder*
    Clothes wear out (ah, but you've an excuse to buy new ones! *rejoices with you*). On a happier note, if the collars are good, you can wear the shirts under any sweaters you may have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  4. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    How ancient are these? Is there something in your day to day activities which could cause this?

    I can happily say that I have never had a shirt wear out in this way - the odd one whose cuffs are starting to wear but nothing more.
     
  5. viator

    viator Senior member

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    I've heard this referred to as "broker's elbow" from propping your elbow on your desk while talking on the phone (and just generally working at a desk as well, of course). I have a friend who says he blows through the elbows on this shirts in 6 months.
     
  6. WBuffettJr

    WBuffettJr Active Member

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    Are they all on the same sleeve (ie the left sleeve)? If so, I think that's the answer to your problem. I get a hole in the elbow of all my left sleeves, and it is from working at my desk on the computer. I'll use my right arm for the mouse and then lean on my elbow with my face against my left hand while reading something. Doing that over and over again, combined with resting my left arm up on the car door while I'm driving, is what wears out the elbow. I think if I lowered my desk to a more ergonomic position where I couldn't lean so easily and quit resting my arm while driving I'd solve the problem.
     
  7. md2010

    md2010 Senior member

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    See this all the time. Its when you are bending your arm on the desk you put too much stress on the fabric. I always pull my sleeves a bit off my wrist when sitting on my desk. It gives a bit more room on the elbow. Alternatively rollup your sleeves or get elbow patches !
     
  8. Don Richmond

    Don Richmond New Member

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    my wife always washed the shirts. i had to do a load last week. I noticed that the arm of the shirt was twisted very tight and had a hole in it. i realized that the spin cycle twisted the fabric so tight that it ripped with only three wearings. Suggestion: enclose the shirt in a lightweight laundry bag in the wash so the arms don't twist. Hope this helps
     

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