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Dry Cleaning and Laundry Shirt Facts

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  What is Dry Cleaning?
Dry cleaning is very similar to regular home laundering, but a liquid solvent is used to clean your clothes instead of water. The solvent contains little or no water, hence the term "dry cleaning".
At Xpress Dry Cleaners, your clothes do get wet, but the liquid solvent we use evaporates much more quickly than water.
Since solvent is used instead of water, it is not drained and disposed of as a washing machine does with soiled water. The solvent is recirculated through charcoal/paper filters throughout the entire cleaning cycle to remove impurities loosened during the cleaning process. At Xpress Dry Cleaners, we distill the solvent after each load to further purify it before it is used again.

Drycleaning has two distinct advantages over cleaning with water or "wet" cleaning:
Water swells the fibers. It is this swelling action which causes shrinkage and dye fading in many garments.
Drycleaning solvents are superior to water in the removal of oily or greasy residues which are the base component of many stains.
Of course, a dry cleaning machine is only as good as the person running it. At Xpress Dry Cleaners, we inspect your clothes for spots and treat them before we put them into the dry cleaning machine. We  separate the clothing according to colorfastness, delicacy, types of fabrics, hard/soft finishes. These loads are run on specifically programmed cycles and temperatures to match the type of clothes in the load.

Spots are one of the most important reasons that you can rely on us to keep your clothes looking their best. In order to successfully remove a spots we have made the investment in:
proper equipment
effective and safe spot removal chemicals
training about fabrics
You can help us keep your clothes in top condition by identifying the location and nature of stains when you drop off your garments. Some stains are very small or even invisible (like white wine or fruit juices) and can be easily overlooked. Some invisible stains become very visible later in the dry cleaning process and sometimes set after cleaning.

After your clothes have been properly cleaned, we "finish" (press) your garments using specialized finishing equipment. This produces crisp, smooth results difficult to duplicate at home with a hand iron. After your garments have been pressed, they are inspected one last time and bagged to await your arrival.

Xpress Dry Cleaners has highly trained, experienced specialists to serve you and tend to your dry cleaning needs. This allows us to proudly say, "your satisfaction is guaranteed."

Charles Dunworth /Devin Dunworth 's Dad (Gaetana)

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Getting the Most From Your Clothing Purchase

While fashion and style considerations are certainly important to you in selecting your clothing, a purchase decision should also be based on fit, color, design, and cost. Performance and serviceability are also important considerations as they will determine the life of your garment. A number of characteristics determine the performance and serviceability of your clothes. Also, you can do a number of things at home to prolong their good looks.

  • When buying clothes, look for the "Care Label" which tells you what cleaning method is recommended by the manufacturer for the garment
  • Try on garments before buying. Various manufacturers and designers use different body standards. So while a size 12 made by one manufacturer may fit you quite well, a size 12 from another manufacturer may not.
  • Also, when trying on the garment, check buttons, buttonholes, zippers, linings, and hems to be sure they are properly sewn. Check loose threads and give them a pull to see if the
    chain stitch is about to fall out. Puckering across shoulders, near armholes or in the hip line indicate improper fit. Linings should be tacked to the outer fabric in key areas such as the
    shoulder, armhole, and sleeve hem. A jacket lining should also have a center pleat at the top of the back and a tuck along the bottom hem so there's no interference with the jacket's outer shell drape.
  • Check plackets, pockets, and facings to be sure they lie flat and do not pull open when the garment is worn. Make sure that reinforcing stitches are used at corners, pockets, and other points of strain.
  • Component parts such as trims, belts, buckles, and buttons should be able to withstand the same cleaning procedures for the garment itself. Glued-on glitter and other decorative trims usually have little serviceability. Sewn-on rather than glued-on will generally
    give better service.
  • When buying a pleated garment, keep in mind that no garment is "permanently pleated". Some pleats have greater permanency than others.
  • Elastic is used both for waistbands and for decorative trim. Some "dry cleanable" items contain a rubberized trim that is truly not dry cleanable. The responsibility for this rests with the garment manufacturer.

Expensive doesn't mean better. Store brands can be as good as National brands, and often are less expensive, better constructed, and have added features. Check the November 1998 issue of "Consumer Reports" magazine for their comparisons between National and Store brand labels.

Once you have the garment in your home, remove the plastic bag and leave space between hangers so it can breathe while in your closet. Also, unbutton jackets and let them hang on shaped hangers. This will allow wrinkles developed during wear to fall out.

Don't store your clothes in a damp basement or a hot attic. Garment should be stored in a cool, dry place without constant contact with light. Constant exposure to light will fade many colors, especially the blues and greens.

Always have your clothes cleaned before storage. Insects are attracted to soil, especially food, beverages, and perspiration.

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All about laundry shirts

There just isn't anyway at home, that you can make a dress shirt look as nice as a freshly commercially laundered shirt. There is, however, a down side to having your dress shirts
commercially laundered - they wear out slightly faster. Commercial shirt laundries uses a strong alkali detergent in hot water. The alkalinity has to be neutralized with a mild acid solution. The shirt is then pressed while still damp with a very hot chromed press which literally bakes in the smooth crisp finish which makes commercial shirt laundry so desirable. This process can be hard on the fabric.

These types of problems are beyond the control of the commercial shirt laundry:

  • Disappearing pinstripes. Close examination of damaged pinstripes will show the colored yarns are actually missing, leaving a skeletal framework of white yarns. Most manufacturers are now using dyes that are not affected as much by the acid neutralizing solutions, and most dry cleaners are now using a "pH controlled" or "buffered" acid
    solution.
  • Puckering around the collar or cuffs. It is usually caused by shrinkage of the interfacing within the collar or cuffs. This is a manufacturer's defect, and if it can not be corrected by your cleaner, the shirt should be returned to the store from which you purchased it.
  • Mottled gray or shiny look to collar or cuffs. The problem occurs when excess adhesive is used to fuse the collar or cuff fabric to the interfacing. When pressed, this excess adhesive softens and penetrates the outer fabric. This is a manufacturer's defect.
  • Yellowing of collars or cuffs. Some interfacings react adversely with chlorine. If your cleaner used chlorine bleach, this type of problem may occur. Most dry cleaners use oxygen-type bleaches which do not react with chorine retentive resins.
  • Fugitive Dyes. The care label rule states that the color in a garment must withstand the recommended care procedure. If the dyes in a multicolored shirt are not colorfast to water, bleeding will occur. The dye will migrate into adjacent areas during the washing process. Some dyes dissolve in water and are partially removed during laundering. After the first laundering, the lightening of color may be apparent, or it may be progressive and only noticeable after several laundering procedures.
  • Consumer Spillage. Household products like medicinal agents, strong acids, the acid residue of some foodstuffs and beverages, or liquid chlorine bleach can easily damage a shirt. Spillage of a strong household product causes localized fabric weakness or color loss in the area of contact with the fabric. This type of damage may not show up until after washing. This type of staining is not unique to shirts.

Wear Life Expectancy:
Determining how long a shirt should last is difficult due to the variances in frequency of wear. However, industry experience show that, on the average, shirts have about a two year wear
life expectancy. The number of launderings is a better measuring method. The average shirt should have a wear life of 35 to 50 washings. This will fluctuate depending on the amount of abrasion and strain placed on the shirt during wear, the fiber content, the type of fabric,
and the laundering procedures.

There is nothing like a fresh, crisp, commercially laundered dress shirt to help you feel good about yourself.  Carol Dunworth, Try it!!

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With clothing, expensive doesn't always mean better:

"Who is Valerie Stevens? No, not a soap-opera star. "She" is a line of private-label women's clothing carried by stores in the May Department Store family. Retailers look to private-label clothing to distinguish themselves and to improve profit margins. The label may be the store's
own name which is what Brooks Brothers, Talbots, and other specialty chains use. Or it may be a fanciful name such as Alfani....carried by stores in the Federated Department Store group."

Store brands (private-label) can be a good deal, as reported in the November 1998 issue of Consumer Reports. "Some store brands are copies of national brands. For some lines, the stores copy the best designs in the trendiest colors and offer them at a compelling price. In other
lines, they do basics - traditional items like a classic blazer - and offer them at very favorable prices compared with national brands. Private label can be an especially good value during sales, since retailers usually have more room for markdowns that they do in national brands."

In some cases, the private-label may even be constructed better, the differences being in the details such as reinforced stitching or extra features. The dry cleaning industry has also noted that some brand name articles do not withstand wear and commercial cleaning as well as cheaper store brands. And when there is a manufacturer's problem, it may be easier to obtain satisfaction on store brands.

 
 

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