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Suit shedding after dry cleaning?

Steeze

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I have a RLBL suit that is 4% elastane and 96% wool. I just had it dry cleaned for the first time at a very good dry cleaner. There is a lint like substance on the inside of the lapels. After picking at it I realized that this is not lint but is actually strands of the suit fabric. It is not visible when wearing the suit but is this normal for wool/elastane mixes? Did the dry cleaner do something wrong?
 

stubloom

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The lint-like filaments you see is commonly referred to as "fuzzy spandex". What has happened is that the elastane component of the fabric has "broken out" of the fabric structure.

Whenever your'e faced with fuzzy spandex, assigning responsibility is often difficult. There are a number of reasons for this ambiguity:

1. This phenomenon could manifest itself after the first or second cleaning of a new garment. Or it could happen after multiple cleanings as the garment is reaching the end of it's life.

2. It could be a manufacturing defect (although I would doubt that given the Ralph Lauren label. RL is fanatical when it comes to testing the serviceability of their garments prior to manufacture). Or it could be as a result of mishandling by the dry cleaner (excessive tumbling in the dry cleaning machine, excessive moisture in the dry cleaning machine, extracting at too high an RPM, drying at too high a temperature, etc.).

3. The manufacturer has a responsibility to ensure that their garments are serviceable according to the care label instructions (which I'm sure in this case says "Dry Clean Only"). But the dry cleaner also has a responsibility (in my opinion) to use their very best judgment as to how the garment should be cleaned IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT IS STATED ON THE CARE LABEL. In other words, I don't think the dry cleaner can abdicate responsibility by merely saying that the care label says "Dry Clean Only" and I "dry cleaned it", so my responsibility is over. The dry cleaner SHOULD KNOW that it's wool/spandex, that excessive tumbling can impact the garment, that moisture must be minimized (and hopefully reduced to zero), that the dry temperature needs to be controlled, etc., etc.

In deciding on a course of action I would also set aside your belief that your cleaner is "a very good cleaner". That opinion is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Everyone believes that their cleaner is "very good" (even if they have no notion as to what constitutes true quality cleaning other than the belief that that cleaner is "better" than their previous cleaner). Every one of the 26,000 dry cleaners in the USA also believes that they're a "very good cleaner" (even if they have no notion as to what constitutes true quality cleaning other than the belief that they are "better" than the cleaner down the street).

What I would suggest is that you ask your dry cleaner send the garment to a reputable Textile Analysis Lab for analysis. The lab will ask the cleaner for quite a bit of information about the cleaning process used and use various tests in an attempt to determine the cause of the problem. Then they'll issue of report summarizing their findings.

Full disclosure: A number of Ralph Lauren retail stores in the Southwest are clients of mine.
 

Superfluous

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Originally Posted by stubloom
The lint-like filaments you see is commonly referred to as "fuzzy spandex". What has happened is that the elastane component of the fabric has "broken out" of the fabric structure.

Whenever your'e faced with fuzzy spandex, assigning responsibility is often difficult. There are a number of reasons for this ambiguity:

1. This phenomenon could manifest itself after the first second cleaning of a new garment. Or it could happen after multiple cleanings as the garment is reaching the end of it's life.

2. It could be a manufacturing defect (although I would doubt that given the Ralph Lauren label. RL is fanatical when it comes to testing the serviceability of their garments prior to manufacture). Or it could be as a result of mishandling by the dry cleaner (excessive tumbling in the dry cleaning machine, excessive moisture in the dry cleaning machine, extracting at too high an RPM, drying at too high a temperature, etc.).

3. The manufacturer has a responsibility to ensure that their garments are serviceable according to the care label instructions (which I'm sure in this case says "Dry Clean Only"). But the dry cleaner also has a responsibility (in my opinion) to use their very best judgment as to how the garment should be cleaned IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT IS STATED ON THE CARE LABEL. In other words, I don't think the dry cleaner can abdicate responsibility by merely saying that the care label says "Dry Clean Only" and I "dry cleaned it", so my responsibility is over. The dry cleaner SHOULD KNOW that it's wool/spandex, that excessive tumbling can impact the garment, that moisture must be minimized (and hopefully reduced to zero), that the dry temperature needs to be controlled, etc., etc.

In deciding on a course of action I would also set aside your belief that your cleaner "a very good cleaner". That opinion is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Everyone believes that their cleaner is "very good" and every one of the 26,000 dry cleaners in the USA believes that he is "very good".

What I would suggest is that you ask your dry cleaner send the garment to a reputable Textile Analysis Lab for analysis. The lab will ask the cleaner for quite a bit of information about the cleaning process used and use various tests in an attempt to determine the cause of the problem.

Full disclosure: A number of Ralph Lauren retail stores in the Southwest are clients of mine.


I bet you weren't expecting a response like that
 

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