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shirt laundry

ymc226

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I just got custom made shirts for the first time and want them to last as long as possible. I have them laundered. Does starch reduce the longevity of the shirts?
 

The_Foxx

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A good rule of thumb I read once was "using starch on fine shirting is like using ketchup on a great steak." Starch degrades the fibers of the cotton quickly, as I understand it.

Myself, I've moved from professional laundering to washing and ironing my shirts at home (except for my tux shirt), and have been very pleased with the results and the savings. Pretreat shirt collars with stain remver, cold delicate cycle in the washer, hang dry, iron with our Rowenta Autosteam iron.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by The_Foxx
Myself, I've moved from professional laundering to washing and ironing my shirts at home (except for my tux shirt), and have been very pleased with the results and the savings. Pretreat shirt collars with stain remver, cold delicate cycle in the washer, hang dry, iron with our Rowenta Autosteam iron.

I made the switch to self-laundering about a year ago and couldn't be happier. My shirts look significantly better and I don't have the problems of excessive shrinkage, missing or broken buttons, etc. An added benefit was the significant cost savings as I used to spend over $60.00 a month to have shirts professionally laundered.
 

element02

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I agree with Foxx.

I also made the switch from professional to self-laudering several years ago and have been happier ever since. No more broken or missing buttons (especially when they replace it with a mis-matched one) and starched shirts when specifically instructed not to. And there is a definite cost savings.
 

tlmusic

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NO STARCH

This might be good for you to read:

http://www.customshirt1.com/ASK/laund01.html

I'm constantly on top of my dry cleaners/laundry in hopes they will not destroy my nice shirts.

Important tips--

Don't let the laundry wash the shirts in boiling hot water. It's likely to shrink the shirts.

Consider asking the laundry service for hand washing. It's expensive, but it's less likely they will destroy the shirt.

By all means do NOT let them use the pressing machine on your fine shirts---to me, this reduces their life expectancy more than any one thing. This is the machine that will destroy your buttons and shrink your collars and cuffs.
(If you want to check out one of those machines in action, ask the laundry service to show you how it works, most have been glad to give me the tour.) After seeing how the machine violently smashes the shirt flat as a pancake, I knew to always ask for HAND PRESS.

Take the collar stays out. I had a Turnbull and Asser shirt ruined when I forgot to do this.
 

CHITON

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Originally Posted by The_Foxx
Starch degrades the fibers of the cotton quickly, as I understand it.

Absolutely true!
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by tlmusic
NO STARCH

This might be good for you to read:

http://www.customshirt1.com/ASK/laund01.html

I'm constantly on top of my dry cleaners/laundry in hopes they will not destroy my nice shirts.

Important tips--

Don't let the laundry wash the shirts in boiling hot water. It's likely to shrink the shirts.

Consider asking the laundry service for hand washing. It's expensive, but it's less likely they will destroy the shirt.

By all means do NOT let them use the pressing machine on your fine shirts---to me, this reduces their life expectancy more than any one thing. This is the machine that will destroy your buttons and shrink your collars and cuffs.
(If you want to check out one of those machines in action, ask the laundry service to show you how it works, most have been glad to give me the tour.) After seeing how the machine violently smashes the shirt flat as a pancake, I knew to always ask for HAND PRESS.

Take the collar stays out. I had a Turnbull and Asser shirt ruined when I forgot to do this.

Great post!

All the points you make are why I started doing my own shirts. Ironically, I really like the folks at the local dry cleaners but I couldn't stand to have the life of my shirts shortened due to their launder process.

It's been almost a year since I've been doing my own shirts. I'm now used to it and don't see it as a bother. The difference in the appearance of the shirts is amazing. I no longer have set in stains in the collars, my buttons are in great shape, and the shirts have not shrunk excessively. I won't claim they are pressed as nicely because they aren't; however, I have no creases in the sleeves. I hate sleeve creases. Overall, I'm very happy about doing them myself.
 

Dewey

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Unless you have a top-of-the-line professional laundry, your shirts are likely not washed where you drop them off, but shipped away to be washed elsewhere in bulk. You pay $2 per shirt and your laundry service pays someone else $1. The idea that your special instructions will be followed, if you paying less than $8+ per shirt for premium service, should be reconsidered.

In most cases, I learned, the shirts and mixed up with other men's shirts and washed in very large batches. This is why they will sometimes write your name on the bottom of the shirt - to distinguish it from another shirt that's going in the same wash. Certainly this was the case with my shirts when I dropped them off at a small dry cleaners. It took a few years for me to figure out they were not dry cleaning but laundering them, and then a few more years to realize there was no way they were laundering them on-site.

Also, they starch the shirts not so much to improve the finished product but to better zip them through the automatic pressing machine. Unless you are paying for premium service, your shirts will be ironed by machine. Starch works like a little lube - it keeps the shirt from catching, it keeps the machine running, it keeps the bulk laundry service on schedule. So there is a good chance they are going to starch your shirt, even if you ask for no starch or light starch. Or, even if they don't starch your particular shirt, it is going to be pressed with starch since they are feeding most of the other shirts into the machine with starch.

Home laundry is the way to go if you want your shirts to last.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by Dewey
So there is a good chance they are going to starch your shirt, even if you ask for no starch or light starch. Or, even if they don't starch your particular shirt, it is going to be pressed with starch since they are feeding most of the other shirts into the machine with starch.


I discovered this, too. I always requested no starch but noticed that the ticket would indicate light starch. I asked about this and was told that although light starch was automatically printed with a no starch request, that there really wouldn't be any starch used. Yeah, right. As mentioned earlier, I now do my own shirts and became even more motivated to do so after this discovery.
 

tlmusic

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Originally Posted by Dewey
Also, they starch the shirts not so much to improve the finished product but to better zip them through the automatic pressing machine. Unless you are paying for premium service, your shirts will be ironed by machine. Starch works like a little lube - it keeps the shirt from catching, it keeps the machine running, it keeps the bulk laundry service on schedule. So there is a good chance they are going to starch your shirt, even if you ask for no starch or light starch. Or, even if they don't starch your particular shirt, it is going to be pressed with starch since they are feeding most of the other shirts into the machine with starch.

I hadn't thought about how the pressing machine was going to give you starch whether you want it or not. ...another reason to avoid it.
 

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