Fine Dress Shirt Care
While others may consider shirts the simplest and most basic garment that a cleaner cares for, we know that’s not necessarily true.
Alumo, Albini, Thomas Mason, David & John Anderson, Monti, S.I.C. Tess, Ermenegildo Zegna, Loro Piana… if you enjoy and luxuriate in superior shirt fabrics, you’ll be pleased to know that we know all about fine fabrics, fine patterns, fine construction and fine shirts. We can recognize at a glance the difference between mother of pearl and plastic and we know at a touch the weave, its characteristics and the best process (dry clean, wet clean, launder, machine press, air blown, hand press, hand touch up) to ensure a shirt’s long life and good looks.
And to answer the question you’re anxious to ask, “YES”, – we do charge different prices for different shirts, but NO our prices have nothing to do with the gender or age of the wearer, and everything to do with the shirt and the pre-treatment, cleaning and finishing processes it demands. The least costly, most automated of all the processes at our disposal is launder and machine press, no touch up. Unfortunately, due to machinery design and the anatomical differences between men and women and men and boys, this highly automated level of service is often not an option for many women’s, boys’ and big and tall men’s shirts. The shirts simply won’t fit (too small or too big) on the automated pressing equipment, and /or the fabrics or trim won’t withstand the computerized commercial laundering programs.
To help you make wise choices the next time you shop for a shirt, and to demonstrate to you that we’ve done our homework, here is some insider information on the characteristics of cotton’s various weaves and construction:
Poplin: Very cool and crisp to the touch. Makes a great shirt for late spring and summer. Starch not necessary.
Broadcloth: Lightweight and finely woven with no visible surface texture. Also great in summer heat or simply as a year-round dress shirt. A longtime favorite for most. Starch is not needed for performance throughout the day.
Oxford: Traditional weave that many think is ‘sturdy’ due to its look and feel, but because it is often subjected to heavy starch ( it looks great starched), oxford doesn’t provide as long service as one might expect. A classic as a button-down collared shirt.
Pinpoint: A stable cloth, with a softer hand more luster than the Oxford. It looks good throughout the day with or without starch, though frequent use of heavy starch will take its toll on pinpoint oxford.
Twill: A fabric that shows a distinct, but fine diagonal wale on the face. It has a soft feel and a lovely luster. Suitable for light starch. It offers a slightly dressier look than other weaves, but for true elegance King Twill offers a truly clear visual texture.
Sea Island: Extremely fine, long staple cotton that over the years has become synonymous with superb quality. Laundered shirts acquire an incredibly silky feel. Starching will reduce the tactile sense of this wonderful cloth. It is prized for its affinity to take dyes and produce vibrant colors.
I. Thread-Count – Thread-count tells you how many threads were used to produce the fabric. The higher the thread-count, the finer the fabric will feel. For example, a 100's pinpoint is of higher quality and will feel finer than a 40's pinpoint.
II. Plying – The ply of a fabric expresses how many threads were twisted together before weaving them into the finished fabric. For example, a two-ply 100's pinpoint takes two strands of the 100's thread and twists them together before weaving the cloth. A two-ply fabric is more durable than a single ply fabric.
III. Staple Length - The third factor in the quality and luxuriousness of a shirt is the raw cotton from which the yarns are spun. Longer staple fibers such as Sea Island are those from which the finest cotton goods are made, because their fineness permits them to be spun into exceptionally tight yarns. This allows for very fine multi-ply yarns and high thread count finished goods - the ultimate in cotton!