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New shirt rituals

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by wja, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. wja

    wja Well-Known Member

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    Some shirts from my last T&A order arrived yesterday.  In the past I would just send them out to the laundry and wear them.  Since joining this forum, however, I have learned that everything I thought I knew about clothing is/was wrong.  Shall I just press them up or are there new shirt rituals to be observed?  I've heard of sizing...do I have that?

    Alex, I'm sure that your advice will be to cut the damned things up into gun-cleaning patches and buy some decent shirts from you.  Can anyone else assist me?  Thank you.
     
  2. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Warm wash, drip dry, iron slightly damp, wear, repeat.
     
  3. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    Actually: Post photo of shirts on StyleForum, warm wash, drip dry, iron slightly damp, wear, repeat.
     
  4. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    I always wash cold, delicate cycle.
     
  5. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Ah yes, sorry. Forgot the most important step.
     
  6. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Sh** no. I wouldn't do any such terrible thing to either my Beretta or my Glock. Maybe Damien's Daisy BB gun, though. On a less entertaining note, 'sizing' is a chemical used in the finishing of the fabric which has nothing to do with post-production consumer actions. You do seriously want to wash the shirts before wearing unless they come with an Oku-Tex 100 tag. There are chemicals used in shirt fabric finishing processes - including formaldehyde - which you really don't want to wear. (the Oko-Tex 100 standard, developed during the last decade, is a method of organic, or 'biologique', shirt finishing which uses processes friendly to the environment and to human skin). Basically, you've got it right. Wash 'em up with Tide, press 'em up, and either wear them or send them to me for burning. [​IMG]
     
  7. dietcookie

    dietcookie Senior member

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    Hmm, I've always washed my T&A shirts on hot like the tag says.
     
  8. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    re: sizing

    I always thought it was like starch. I thought it was used for detachable collars and the like. I thought wrong.
     
  9. uppercase

    uppercase Senior member

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    Alex, is sizing applied by both bespoke shirtmaker or on RTW shirts? At what point in the manufacturing process? On the finished shirt or on the uncut material?

    And what is the purpose of the added chemicals?

    I didn't know chemicals were added (sprayed on?) by the shirtmakers; in fact I thought, in bespoke at least, that the shirt material is first washed before it is cut and sewn and never heard about added chemicals of any sort ?

    So I always thought that I was getting an already washed and ready to go shirt....I've always worn my shirts straight out of the box.
     
  10. wja

    wja Well-Known Member

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    Upon opening the box I discovered that it contained only 1 shirt. Â There had been some trouble with the order and I presume that Simon put this one through as a sample. Â I hope that you will see a picture of it here: [​IMG] While in the shirt photography mode I took this: [​IMG] Recently, people were talking about voile (perhaps it was on Andy). Â I believe that I am answering a question when I show this picture; it is meant to show how sheer the fabric is in a medium color. Â FWIW, this shirt is about 13 years old. Â The new order contains one just like it since it has become my favorite. Â All of the buttons are still secure. Â It has been a good friend. Thanks to Alex for explaining about toxic chemicals used in shirtmaking. Â If these pictures are less than great then please offer suggestions. Â Regards, Bill
     
  11. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Not to sound harsh, but I must say, how hard could it be for them to match that pattern on the sleeve placket? I mean, really. This is one of the top bespoke shirtmakers in the world we're talking about.

    End of rant.
     
  12. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    If Alex Kabbaz is to be believed (and I'm not sure that he is, given that picture of him that Chuck posted yesterday [​IMG]), it's not hard at all. It's dismaying that just about nobody makes the effort anymore.
     
  13. tdial

    tdial Senior member

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    I was thinking the same exact thing before I clicked on over to page 2 here, Manton.

    Again, not to bash the purchase, because the shirt is gorgeous, but at $400/shirt, or whatever T&A bespoke is charging these days, they could have matched that.
     
  14. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The chemicals are added by the mill in finishing.

    The reason is to soften up the fabric as well as control shrinkage.

    Very few shirtmakers deliver a shirt that is ready to be worn.
    Some pre wash fabrics before cutting. Others wash the finished shirts. pre shrinking fabric can be a nightmare for a very large operation.

    In the old days Woolens and worsted were sent to a sponger for Shirnking. Today suit fabric is sponged in the finishing process and is ready for the needle.
    I prewash only a few fabrics before cutting. Those that Shrinkage may be more then expected. Linen, voiles, and cotton/wool blends.

    I always have my customers launder their sample shirts the way thay have been laundering their shirts for years.
    No reason to change your life. it is just a shirt.

    I always love when customers decide to speed up the shrinking process by washing their shirts at home and then throwing them into a very hot dryer. Then they wonder why the shirts don't fit.

    Carl


    www,cego.com
     
  15. wja

    wja Well-Known Member

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    Let's just go and get this over with: [​IMG] I can see exactly what you mean. Â This is the first patterned shirt I've had from them, so it has never come up before. Â I could wish that we were talking about someone else's shirt but I think I'll get over this. Will you tell me what thread it was which featured Alex's picture? Â I'll be meeting him before long and might as well get my first look while I'm still fairly heavily medicated.
     
  16. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    wja, great shirts, but a wire hanger? Tsk, tsk... [​IMG]
     
  17. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    End of yours, maybe. Beginning of mine. The sleeve plackets are not acceptable. From what I have been told, Simon, in the NY T&A shop, is a courteous fellow. I believe that if you shot him an e with the photos attached, he would want the shirt returned. Shirtmaven pretty much explained the chemical thing ... shirt fabrics have quite a number of processes performed upon them prior to reaching the shirtmaker. One minor addition: Most mills (weavers) do not 'finish' their own cloth. There are usually three firms required for making cloth: 1] The Spinner - who converts the raw cotton into yarn; 2] The Weaver (mill) which weaves the yarn into unfinished fabric; and 3] The Dyer and/or Finisher who: A] in the case of yarn-dyed fabrics (those which the weaver makes with colored yarns) - the finisher Sanforizes, pre-shrinks, and readies for shipping OR B] in the case of 'griege (grey) goods' the Finisher/Dyer dyes them to the final color before Sanforizing and finishing. This may be easier to understand: [​IMG] As for the washing thing, it goes as follows with ONLY the better small shirtmakers: Fact 1] Each shirtmaker allows for a certain shrinkage percentage. Let us theorize this to be 1%. Each client's pattern is therefore made 1% larger. Fact 2] Shirtmakers, either by trial-and-error or through judicious testing, know the shrinkage percentages of each of the fabrics with which they work. Example 1] Let us first propose that the shirtmaker is using a fabric which shrinks 1%. Having already allowed for this in the creation of the pattern, washing prior to cutting is unnecessary. The majority of higher quality European broadcloths fall into this 1% category. Example 2] In this example, the fabric selected is one which shrinks 3%. Through various methods of controlled washing and drying, the shirtmaker will remove 2% of the shrinkage leaving 1% shrinkage for after making. Most higher quality European voiles fall into this category. Example 3] In the final example, the shirtmaker is using a silk, linen, or wool fabric. Subsequent to washing and drying a number of times, the shirtmaker makes an appointment with his priest, rabbi, mullah ... or his wife. At the appointed time, he offers the necessary prayers to whichever deity he believes controls his destiny, bows humbly toward Mecca, and then proceeds to make the shirt in normal fashion. Hopefully, after delivery, he won't receive a call from the client thanking him for the beautiful shirt he made for the client's 12 year old son. For those who believe that the shirts they are receiving from their shirtmaker are laundered prior to shipping, my only advice would be to ask. If the answer is yes, be skeptical. Look for wrinkles in areas which are difficult to iron when your shirts arrive. If there aren't any ... your shirt wasn't washed. Why? Ironing a non-laundered shirt can be accomplished in roughly 4 minutes. Wash it and that time increases to about one-half hour. At today's average labor costs, that will add thirty-fifty bucks to the retail price of the shirt. jcusey
    Aside from Humpf and certain four letter retorts I'll save for a PM, if I have said that I was either in error ... or following the bourbon advice in the Black Suit thread. The plaid shirt in the photos is one of the more difficult fabrics to match when making sleeve plackets. Not something I would want my six-year old son to try. Conrad would probably be able to do it, though. He's older. He's eight.
     
  18. hopkins_student

    hopkins_student Senior member

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    Alex,

    One day, after I've graduated from medical school, I'm going to buy at least one of your shirts (or I suppose whatever the minimum order number is).  You consistently have one of the best senses of humor on this forum.
     
  19. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    Hopkins Student
    Thank you, but I dunno about that. That's not quite the sentiment expressed by my deity the last time she was in labor. [​IMG]
     

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