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joonian

Garment maintenance

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I spend a fair amount of time in places where clothes are made and I must admit I've never seen a steamer in use. Doesn't mean I think it has no use, just an observation. However, I've seen it being used at a dry cleaner's. Shopping malls use these on new clothes that have gotten wrinkled after customers try them on.

 

I get the feeling they work great on non-iron clothes. But none of the cloths used for bespoke shirts are non-iron so the iron it has to be.

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Let me tell you of a tool every tailor has but which is never seen in homes. Its use gives you razor sharp creases on trousers and very flat seams everywhere else.

 

After this whisky.

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So... see... fibers become malleable under elevated temperatures and moisture. That's what a steam iron does. It provides moisture and high temperatures. But tailors have one extra thing households don't.

 

It' s called a clapper. Oftentimes made of wood, but aluminum works just as well. You use it immediately after the steam iron. You would press a part -- say a seam -- then immediately after lifting the iron you place the clapper on it. What the clapper does is it allows the hot and moist part of the cloth to cool down and dry up while in a flat position. It "sets" the cloth. Every tailor uses his clapper dozens of times a day. Every tailpor has one. Every tailor uses it after pressing a seam.

 

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It becomes clear why steaming a suit is such a bad idea. It relaxes the cloth, and this relaxed cloth then cools down and dries up. The jacket loses it's crispness this way. A tailor uses a wooden clapper so that the cloth sets while it is under pressure, thus making seams very flat and pleats razor sharp.

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My apologies for digressing --how often do you dryclean your suit trousers, or any other pairs of pure wool trousers?

 

In fact, does anyone here wash them in water?

 

The latter is strongly discouraged by the good folks at Iris.

 

p.s. I have also witnessed discolouration of the metal side tabs as a result of washing.

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Neither do I, but that's just me being a cheapskate. :P

 

Is the felting due to the washing machine or the water? I've read somewhere that handwashing in cold water isn't so bad, but...

 

Maybe it's time to try wool-polyester ble --okay no, let's try not to go down that path.

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The felting is due to the scales and kinks on the individual wool fibers. Agitating wool in water causes the fibers to catch and bind to each other, making the garment shrink.

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My home's old hand iron which served us for 3 year blew a fuse yesterday, being a necessity in a family where 3 people wear shirts to work it fell upon me to head out to buy a new one. *Weird that we had to buy 2 laundry appliance in 1 week*

 

I ended up staring at a rack of different Hand iron in Jusco trying to process all the marketing term's they seem to be trying to push to the consumers, for what i know as long as its hot and does not explode it should work. Finally opt to spend abit more on a proper Steam iron a "Tefal Aquaspeed 5330 Steam Iron" which set me back about 200+bucks, The box read features such as Auto off, no drip, etc etc .

 

But when it got down to it this machine Ironed like a dream, hard creases gone in 1 pass after a good steam press.The proficiency of this Iron blew me away, i was blowing through shirts in 3-4 mins each, i generally enjoy ironing my shirts watching them return to their original state gave me a certain satisfaction, the Tefal just made it so much easier.

 

Sometimes it really is worth forking out a bit for the good stuff.

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I could never understand how you guys iron your shirts quickly.I need 30 minuters per shirt.

 

3 minutes is too quick for me...but 30? You either are: a) extremely meticulous or B) have a not-so-good iron. Must be (a), since you're the capitalist. :)

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I just sent my suit for dry-cleaning at Jeeves but to my disappointment, they pressed my lapels flat eventhough I gave them specific instructions not to!

 

Argh. I feel so annoyed right now.

 

 

Edit: Well, it isn't the end of the world, but goddammit.

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FF: Is this the AL suit you're talking about? I don't think it's due for cleaning yet.

 

Yeah, it's the AL suit. Actually it was AL himself who told me to send it for dry-cleaning to get it cleaned at least once and pressed. IIRC, I'm not supposed to clean it very often right? What about the pants?

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I once accompanied someone to AL. He complained to AL about overtight pants, and AL told him to soak the trousers in water to loosen them up. (For the newbies: This is ridiculous advice.)

 

The jacket was pressed by a coatmaker when it was delievered to you. Now, some of the finishing on the cloth has been stripped off and it has been pressed by a Bangla who makes RM500 a month and who just 2 months ago was working in the F&B industry.

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I once accompanied someone to AL. He complained to AL about overtight pants, and AL told him to soak the trousers in water to loosen them up. (For the newbies: This is ridiculous advice.)

 

The jacket was pressed by a coatmaker when it was delievered to you. Now, some of the finishing on the cloth has been stripped off and it has been pressed by a Bangla who makes RM500 a month and who just 2 months ago was working in the F&B industry.

 

I have a feeling that sometimes AL gives off these kind of ridiculous advice just to humour himself. LOL. I actually did complaint to him about the pants before (though not with you, kotmj) and he told me pretty much the same thing. Haha...

 

So now that my jacket has been Bangla-ed, guess nothing I can really do about it other than to press it myself? Good god.

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Oh hey, guess what? Jeff Walmsley (owner of Jeeves in Malaysia) actually called me on my cellphone to rectify my complaints regarding the pressing of my lapels on my suit. He said that Jeeves in Malaysia have a practice of NOT creasing the lapels and he asked me to send it back for them to re-do it and he will rectify the situation himself.

 

Good service!

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FF: How much is the dry cleaning cost at Jeeves?

 

Mine was RM43 for 1 coat & 1 pair of pants, IIRC. And they come back with their own wide hangers, and suit hung very nicey wrapped with a piece of paper. Quite reasonable, unless you dry-clean your suits all the time (which you shouldn't)

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