Dry clean cotton flannel shirts?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JLibourel, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    Aug 7, 2004
    I noticed my last laundry bill was higher than I thought it should be. I believe this is because they are dry cleaning my cotton flannel shirts. I believe this is unnecessary and that such shirts can be laundered in the ordinary fashion. Is the laundry right, or am I? Obviously, wool flannel shirts like Pendeltons would need dry cleaning or cold washing, but cotton?

  2. gsugsu

    gsugsu Senior member

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    May 9, 2008
    As far as my experience goes, have always laundered cotton flannel (home and professional cleaners) without any detrimental outcomes. When i launder shirts professionally i am always charged the same amount unless they are wool. Have you checked with your laundry/dry cleaner as to what they are doing? Maybe the are assuming they are wool flannel and haven't bothered to check the care instruction tag. That seems unlikely though, no?

  3. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    Jun 18, 2010
    When it comes to cotton flannel shirts, the choice of dry clean vs. launder comes down to a question of personal preference.....an ultra soft feel or a slightly soft feel to the fabric. As a consumer, the choice is yours to make.

    Here's a brief guide to making the right choice for yourself:

    Cleaners, typically, handle cotton flannel shirts in one of two ways:

    1. Launder, toss in a dryer and press (hopefully by hand, not machine). Water based stains (perspiration, beer, coffee, juice, etc.) are removed but oil based stains (body oils, creams, lotions, salad dressing, etc.) will most likely remain. Result in feel or "hand": PASSABLE

    2. Rinse or wetclean (to remove water based stains), hang dry, dry clean (to remove oil based stains) and press (hopefully by hand, not machine). Result in feel or "hand": ULTRA SOFT.

    As regards point 2 above, I would prefer dry cleaning in siloxane (used by a about 5% of cleaners), not perc or synthetic petroleum (used by about 95% of cleaners).

    If that cotton flannel shirt was mine and I was given the choice of dry cleaning in perc or synthetic petroleum vs launder, I'd probably ask the cleaner to just dry clean (not press), return it to me and take it home to launder, toss in a dryer on low and hand iron myself. If I was given the choice of wetclean, hang dry, dry clean in siloxane and hand iron, I'd choose the latter.

    As I said before, it's a matter of personal preference. And the answer is a little more complicated than what you might have previously surmised.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012

  4. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    Mar 12, 2003
    The People's Republic of Galveston

    For the record, Pendletons do not need dry cleaning. Cold machine washing on a short cycle will do just fine.

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