If you wear dress shirts and have them dry cleaned on a regular basis, here are four things you need to understand about how your shirts are made and how long they are going to last.
#1 Shirts Are Not Made To Last Forever
One of the first thing that you need to realize is that even if you wash your shirts perfectly every time according to the directions on the tag, your shirts are not going to last forever. Depending on how you take care of your dress shirts, they should last on average around 35 to 50 washings. Anything beyond that is just extra wear that you are getting out of your shirt. Even if you take your shirt to the dry cleaner, over time it will start to show signs of wear because that is how modern dress shirts are designed.
You can stretch out the life of your dress shirts by wearing undershirts with them and by being careful not to soil or stain them.
#2 Shirts Bleed When The Dyes Are Not Colorfast
Second, it is important to understand that if the color runs or bleeds in a shirt the first time it is washed, it is not the dry cleaner's fault. According to manufacturing rules, all clothes should be able to withstand the cleaning process that is recommended on the tag of the shirt. That means that the dyes in the fabric should be colorfast. If any of the dyes in the shirt are not colorfast, they will bleed the first time they are washed and they may continue to bleed for future washes as well.
If one of your shirts bleeds the first time it is washed, you should return it. Bleeding when washed is a sign that poor manufacturing procedures were used on the shirt and it should be returned.
#3 Shrinkage Is Related To Manufacturing
Often times, clothing manufacturer allow a little extra cloth in a dress shirt to take into account shrinkage. Most clothes may shrink a tiny bit when washed, but it should be minimal and should not affect the wear of your shirt. If you take a shirt to the dry cleaner, or you wash a shirt on your own, and follow the directions on the tag, the shirt should not shrink significantly. If it does, this is a sign that the manufacture did not allow for slight shrinkage or used fabrics that were not very stable. If your clothes shrink significantly so that it alters the wear after the first time they are washed, you should return them.
If you are careful with your dress shirts and get them washed right away, you should be able to extend the life of your dress shirts. If you ever purchase a dress shirt that bleeds or shrinks significantly after the first wash, that is a manufacturing issue and not a washing issue. Any dress shirts that do this should be returned.
For more information about caring for your shirts, contact a company like ShirtWorks.