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Texture of Shirts Changing After Initial Wash

jays978

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Ahh, the buttery texture of a brand new quality dress shirt, so soft/luxurious to the touch and indicative of the price you paid for them. But after the first wash, it seems to me that all of that goes away. Does anyone feel the same way? Can it be the detergent I use? The water temp? The frequency of washes? Or is this just inevitable? I'm not talking about wear over time - I'm talking about right after the first wear/wash/dry.
 

westinghouse

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A hot steam iron brings them back to life.
 

Douglas

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my experience tends to be the opposite. I far prefer my shirts after a few washes have broken them in.
 

upnorth

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It could be alot of factors. It might be your washing method or the fabric itself. It is hard to give a definite answer with the information you have given.

There are many branded shirts that charges alot but use cheap cloth. Expensive is not indicative of quality.

Also, some unscrupulous shirtmakers use shirtings from mills that "surface" finish the cloth so that it looks luxurious to both the eyes and touch but that don't last after a wash or two. Usually the cotton used is regular or short staple cotton in single ply that tend to pill more. The main culprit is usually cloths from China, Turkey and India, but that is not to say they don't also produce good quality ones that are great value. Comparing their daily output with European counterparts, you can see why their quality is inconsistent at best.

You would be better off looking at shirting fabrics from the more established mills (Swiss, Italian)using long staple cotton if you are concerned about deterioration in quality after the first wash
 

Dewey

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A finish is common on mass-produced shirts and polos. It can be tough to know what you will have after a few washes.
 

BlackShoes

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Do you use a tumble dryer? If I dry my clothes on the line, they come out much softer.
 

jays978

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Originally Posted by crinklecut
Do you have hard water where you live?
No, pretty soft to the best of my knowledge

Originally Posted by BlackShoes
Do you use a tumble dryer? If I dry my clothes on the line, they come out much softer.

Hmm..my clothes tend to come out straight up crusty if I dry them in the hot sun.

For my Brooks Brothers Non Irons, I am continuing to wash with warm water on the delicate cycle and tumble dry on low. They come out fine and starchy. I think it's necessary to tumble dry them if you want to maintain that non iron aspect anyway right?

My concern is for more of the normal dress shirts. I am big ralph lauren fan. I remember the first time wearing BL and PL shirts for the first time is always the best. After washing them (same method as BB) they are never the same. I actually just tried a member's method today, wash with cold water on delicate and hang drying. I guess we'll see how that turns out.
 

Ataturk

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I know Kabbaz says not to use fabric softener on his 240s swiss shirtings, or whatever, but try it. Regular liquid fabric softener. I can say from experience that it won't hurt your shirts. Hang dry the shirts, then dampen them with a spray bottle (just a little) and put them in the dryer on the "no heat" tumble setting, for 20-30 minutes. Remove and iron promptly.

Try it.
 

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