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Would this be an odd request to a tailor?

Bob01

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Hey All,

I'm beginning to realize now, I should've been a bit more liberal on the fit of the clothes (ie, Shirts, Chinos, Corduroys, etc) I had made while in China...they are beginning to shorten/shrink a lot more than expected - then again I'm back home (in the States) with clothes dryers easily available ;-) (yeah I know...optimally I should dry my shirts on a line....)

If I go again or have stuff later made here - Would it be within reason to ask the tailor to sell me the fabric first, then over a few days go crazy trying to shrink the fabric (ie hot washes & dryer time), iron it, then give it back to the tailor to make whatever? (this of course would not apply to Wools/ Cashmere, just to cotton/cotton blends)

If no issues with this - cotton/cotton blends don't usually present any odd stretching/wearing issues afterwards?

Thanks,

Bob
 

jefferyd

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Woolens DO shrink, but only about 3%. Most good factories and makers have their cloth "sponged" first by a specialist- they will pre-shrink the fabric, even though most mills claim their goods are "needle-ready".

Cottons, on the other hand, often shrink as much as 10% and can definitely be pre-shrunk, but you could also ask your tailor to do a shrinkage test and adjust his cutting accordingly.

Pre-shrinking at home can involve washing and drying cotton for a few cycles (one is never enough). For wool, I remember my mother wrapping a length in with a damp sheet and putting it in the freezer overnight.
 

a tailor

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my dad and i never trusted "needleready". we sponged all wool before cutting.
never had a problem.
you can do this yourself.
soak a sheet in cold water, then wring it out as much as possible.
lay the wool down then the sheet on top of it. fold over the two together about ten or twelve inches, the again and again. do this till the wool is covered entirely. use a second sheet if the first is not long enough.
for 8-10 oz tropicals let the cloth wet for about 15 or 20 minutes. suitings,depending on weight 30 to 45 minutes. unwrap the cloth. with a person at each end stretch and shake out the wrinkles. lay the cloth on a flat surface, and allow it to dry overnight.
it is now sponged.
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by a tailor
my dad and i never trusted "needleready". we sponged all wool before cutting.
never had a problem.
you can do this yourself.
soak a sheet in cold water, then wring it out as much as possible.
lay the wool down then the sheet on top of it. fold over the two together about ten or twelve inches, the again and again. do this till the wool is covered entirely. use a second sheet if the first is not long enough.
for 8-10 oz tropicals let the cloth wet for about 15 or 20 minutes. suitings,depending on weight 30 to 45 minutes. unwrap the cloth. with a person at each end stretch and shake out the wrinkles. lay the cloth on a flat surface, and allow it to dry overnight.
it is now sponged.


I've always wondered if there's a quicker way of doing it eg spraying with a mist of water then drying with a steaming device. Books from the 1920's describe your method but they didn't have home steaming devices back then.
 

Sator

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Here is what one 1920's text has to say: SHRINKING, OR SPONGING, WOOLEN MATERIALS 18. Before woolen cloth is made up, it should be thoroughly shrunk, or sponged, so that the seams of a garment will not shrink unevenly in the process of making nor spot or shrink from dampness when being worn. Of course, all woolen materials are shrunk, or sponged, in the process of manufacture; nevertheless, in spite of the fact that merchants in some cases claim that certain materials do not have to be treated in this manner, it is advisable to do so, because materials that are kept in stock become relaxed. In the large cities, it is possible to have the cloth shrunk by the merchant from whom it is purchased, usually at an additional cost of 5 cents a yard; but in the smaller cities and towns, the stores, as a rule, are not equipped to carry on such work, and it must of necessity be done at home. The method of shrinking heavy materials without a glossy finish differs from that employed in shrinking materials with a glossy finish; therefore, it is well to understand both, so as not to encounter difficulties when confronted with such work. Before shrinking, however, whether the material has a gloss or not, the selvages of the material should be clipped not farther than 1 to 1 1/4 in. apart or cut off entirely, in order to prevent it from drawing. 19. Shrinking Material Without a Glossy Finish.—In order to shrink heavy tailoring materials that do not have a glossy finish, both a board covered with muslin and a piece of unbleached muslin are required. The board should be thin, about 10 in. wide, and of a length equal to the width of the cloth, provided it is single-width, or to the width of the folded cloth, provided it is double-width. The muslin must be about 1 yd. longer than the cloth and a little wider than single-width cloth, or just a little greater in width than the distance from the fold to the selvage of double-width material. Both single- and double-width materials are treated in the same manner, the double-width goods being left folded lengthwise through the center, just as it is when purchased. The procedure is as follows: Wet the muslin thoroughly and then wring it almost dry, being very careful to distribute the moisture evenly. An even distribution of moisture is very important in such work, for if the muslin is too wet in some places it will cause the formation of spots that are difficult to remove. Next, spread the cloth that is to be shrunk across the top of a large table and place the wet muslin over it, smoothing out the wrinkles of each very carefully. Wrinkles must not be allowed to form in shrinking, because it is almost impossible to obliterate them. With the materials thus laid out, put the board on top of one end of the muslin, pin or hold the cloth and the muslin together along one side of the board, and be sure to have the weave in the cloth straight with the board. Then begin to roll them on the board, but not too tight, being sure to smooth out the wrinkles ahead of each turn, to keep the materials straight on the board, and to adjust the muslin at the ends so that it will come well over the cloth. After the material is thus rolled, allow it to remain on the board for 4 to 6 hours. Then unroll it, remove the muslin, and spread the cloth out so that it may dry thoroughly. For drying, the cloth may be spread on a large table, but if such a table is not available it may be hung over the top of a door. If a door must be used for this purpose, several thicknesses of newspaper should be put across its top before hanging up the cloth, so as to cover the sharp corners. If they are not covered in this way, the corners will cause water marks to form on the cloth, and such marks are almost impossible to remove. It is also well to put paper on each side of the door, so as to prevent the cloth from touching it. 20. Shrinking Material Having a Glossy Finish.—For shrinking material having a glossy finish, such as broadcloth, an ironing board, a hot iron, and about 2 yd. of unbleached muslin should be on hand. The work is done in the following manner: Place the material, right side down, across the ironing board; lay over it the muslin, which should first be dipped in water and then wrung out well; and then run a hot iron over the muslin several times. Remove the muslin from the cloth next, and press the material until it is almost dry. Only a small part of the goods is shrunk at one time, the muslin and the goods being moved on the board until the full length has been sponged and pressed. When the shrinking, or sponging, has been completed, all the material should be gone over carefully with an iron to make sure that there are no wrinkles. 21. Care in Shrinking Light-Weight Woolens.—It is very necessary to be careful in sponging and pressing light-weight woolen materials so as not to stretch either side; the edges should be kept straight both in width and in length. If too hot an iron or too much water is used on very light woolens, such as challis or nun's veiling, the cloth will show a decided tendency to pucker; puckering must be avoided, because a smooth cloth is absolutely necessary in cutting. 1923—Woolen Materials and Tailored Plackets Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences, by Mary Brooks Picken http://vintagesewing.info/1920s/23-w...02.html#shrink
 

Sator

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Here is another text book:

Lesson 4"”Sponging and Shrinking

Any material which is to be pressed, using water and a hot iron, must be sponged and shrunk before it is made up. Practically all woolen, linen, and cotton materials should be carefully shrunk before they are used. A few open-meshed materials can not be sponged at home on account of the shrinkage. Voiles and many dainty fabrics can be machine sponged and shrunk. To a certain degree sponging and shrinking prevent spotting from rain, yet it is wise to try shrinking a small piece of any material before shrinking or sponging the entire quantity. Fine mulls, flowered organdies, swisses, silks, satins, velvets, etc., should not be shrunk, and water should not at any time be applied in pressing them. All materials with selvedge must either have the selvedge cut off or clipped at frequent intervals, otherwise the material, when it is sponged or pressed, is liable to draw and get very much out of shape.
Articles Required

The articles usually found necessary for sponging, shrinking, and pressing are:

1. A Table or Ironing-board over which has been stretched a padded ironing-sheet.
2. Illustration II-11 A padded Sleeve-board. (Illustration 11-11.)
3. Illustration II-12Two Sleeve-cushions, one for pressing the top of the sleeve, made with a cap as illustrated so that it can be slipped over the narrow end of the sleeve-board (Illustration II-12, A), and one for pressing the bottom of the sleeve (Illustration II-12, B).
4. Illustration II-13 A Tailors' Cushion to use in pressing tailored garments and curved seams. (Illustration 11-13.)
5. An Ironing-sheet about a yard wide and 1 1/8 yard long.
6. Pressing-cloths. One is needed for seams. It should be about 1 1/8 yard long and 5 inches wide. Another one for small pressing, about 12 by 12 inches, will be found useful.
7. A Sponge to dampen the cloths in pressing.
8. Two Flat-irons. Have one as large as can be handled, and the other a medium or small size. The larger one will be used for tailoring and all heavy work, and the lighter one for ordinary work.

To Shrink Woolens

1. Lay the material right side down, open out the folds so that one thickness is pressed at a time.
2. Wring out the ironing-sheet from cold water and lay it over the woolen material.
3. Press with a hot iron, being careful that sufficient heat is applied to bring out all of the moisture from the material. Because of the amount of labor involved in shrinking woolen materials, have them shrunk at a tailors if possible.

To Shrink Cotton or Linen Materials

1. If the material is colored, the color should be set before shrinking.

Blue can be set by using one-half cupful of vinegar and one tablespoonful of alum to a pail of water.

Reds, Pinks, and Black can be set by using two cupfuls of salt to a pail of water.

Browns and Lavenders can be set with one tablespoonful of sugar of lead to a pail of water.

Greens and Yellows can be set with two cupfuls of salt, or one tablespoonful of alum to a pail of water.

The materials must remain for several hours in the solution.

Cotton or linen materials which have no color should be left in a tub of cold water from twenty minutes to one hour.
2. Fold evenly and hang over a line to drip.
3. As soon as the material has dried sufficiently to allow it to be handled, lay it right side down on the ironing-board, and press on the wrong side. This process should be repeated three times, otherwise the goods will shrink when laundered.

To Shrink Canvas

1. Dip the canvas in hot water to dissolve any glue which the material may contain.
2. Then proceed exactly as directed for shrinking cotton and linen materials.

1917"”American Dressmaking Step by Step
by Mme. Lydia Trattles Coates
http://vintagesewing.info/1910s/17-a...2.html#lesson4
 

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