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professional steamer

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by markr, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. markr

    markr Senior member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    A while back there was a thread singing the praises of professional steamers.  One poster claimed to be able to steam a handful of shirts in a couple of minutes.  Tired of ironing my shirts or sending them to the cleaners, this claim caught my attention.  I mentioned it to my wife, and she ordered me a "Fast Steam" professional steamer for xmas.  Yesterday, I tried steaming some shirts and was disappointed with the results.  Granted, the shirts were quite wrinkled to begin with and the steamer did get the wrinkles out, but the shirts didn't look freshly ironed or pressed.  Instead, they looked the way a shirt does if you take it out of the dryer just as it finishes drying -- ready to iron, but not ready to wear.  The steamer seems to be very good quality, so I don't think it's an issue with the steamer itself.  Were my expectations for the steamer unrealistic, or am I using incorrectly?
     
  2. markr

    markr Senior member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    By the way, I would also like to revisit the issue of shirt care.  The consensus on the Forum seems to be that you should wash your shirts after every wearing.  When I was home for Thanksgiving, I got into a debate about this with my mother.  She said that washing clothes wears them out and that shirts will last longer if you send them out to be professionally cleaned and pressed and then wear them a couple of times between cleanings.  I have to say that her position is appealling -- not only because it is logical but also because it would save me a lot of time ironing.
     
  3. TomW

    TomW Senior member

    Messages:
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    Jul 2, 2004
    Location:
    the wastes of the Northern Nevada desert
    Washing clothes does cause some wear, however it is far less damaging that the buildup of body oils and dirt. Professional laundering is also much more abusive than home laundering - higher temperatures, harsher chemicals and careless pressing.

    You need not wash every shirt after every wearing - provided you wear a proper undershirt, don't perspire much and don't have an oily neck...
     
  4. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

    Messages:
    4,603
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    Dec 6, 2003
    Washing is good for the cotton fibers in your shirt. It's the drying that causes wear. I launder my own shirts, never dry them, and they last quite a while despite frequent use.

    Steamers steam. They don't press. You need an iron or a steam press for that. If your steamer is decent (I've never heard of Fast Steam), you'll find that it works great for removing the wrinkles and creases from wool trousers and jackets or the occasional silk tie. Just make sure that it doesn't spit any water droplets on the silk tie.

    Regards,

    dan
     
  5. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

    Messages:
    1,674
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    Apr 22, 2004
    For cotton dress shirts I would iron.
    For un-ironable fabrics I would use steamer. I personally use steamer for wool suits and dress pants. Steamer works wonders for wool fabrics.
     
  6. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Reagan Country (Massachusetts)
    For worsted wool, cashmere, silk, etc., use the steamer. The steamer is also good for removing wrinkles from shirts, especially herringbone or twill, but it is not a substitute for pressing.

    Brushing, airing, and (from time to time) steaming your suits almost completely eliminates the need for abusive and harsh dry cleaning.

    As for shirts:

    1) Wash every one or two wears (assuming you are wearing an undershirt) -- use your discretion.
    2) Wash on the gently cycle with a mild detergent.
    3) Remove wet from washer and hang.
    4) When the shirts have air dried a bit (but are still somewhat damp), warm iron, starting with the sleeves, then the back, front, and ending with the collar.

    Regards,
    Montecristo
     
  7. arvi

    arvi Senior member

    Messages:
    235
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    i find steamer to very helpful for reomoving creases on shirts (especially linen) that have been wrinkled from hanging in closet..also jackets after a day's wearing..if you roll your ties tightly after wearing normal wrinkles should go away;then hang them up..by the way hand steamer is useful when travelling..however, only professional steamers like those used by tailors and launderers will really do a proper job
     

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