The National : APRIL MAY JUNE 2016
I was at a car dealer the other day. The busi- ness manager sat at his desk while he duti- fully went about his job. All that I could see was his shirt. It was awful. It is virtually impossible to be kinder than that. It was a (supposedly) white shirt with French cuffs. He wore cuff links. There were at least three major pressing errors and the shirt was dingy and many shades away from white. The French cuffs weren’t folded at the proper place and the cuffs themselves were hardly “off-white”, they were gray. It was hard to believe that anyone would put that shirt on and wear it. I can’t believe that I was such a geek to be paying that much attention. But it really isn’t because I am in the garment care industry. The shirt looked awful. It was hard not to notice. It was even a bit too small for him and that was most noticeable at the cuffs. I hate to mock this guy, but he probably felt like a pseudo big shot because he sent his shirts out to the cleaners. His cleaner did him no favors. I wanted to snap a picture, but I don’t think that the shirt would have looked as bad in print as it did in person. So I will swap out the picture in exchange for the thousand words. I was tempted to say, “Who does your shirts?” But if I had asked him, chances are high that I would have heard of the cleaner (this occurred about 30 miles from my home) and I cannot imagine what my rebuttal to his answer could have been. “Oh yeah, I know the guy. He does a terrible shirt and you should be embarrassed.” I was certain that whoever his cleaner is, he is definitely not a client because the shirt was pressed on an old-fashioned 3 piece unit and I don’t have any clients around here that still use a sleever, so I took some comfort in that. Some of what was wrong with this shirt cannot be blamed on the cleaner. It was old and spent. I figure the shirt was 10-12 years old. The lack of a good fit can only be attributed to the wearer. So what were the defects? There were numerous sharp, pressed-in wrinkles at the top of the sleeves, right below the seam. This happens at the sleever press. When the airbag inflates, the top of the sleeve (the part of the sleeve that is somewhat hidden from the presser’s view) rides up and bunches up. On some cuts of shirts, this is very difficult to prevent. Back in the old days, when you did not have two-handed controls on your sleever, you could press the actuator button with your right thumb and hold down the back of the shirt to stretch the sleeves until the heads closed. Watch your fingers!! I figure that this shirt was pressed on an Ajax CBS sleever. It is notorious for this defect. The measuring device on the sleever was either broken, mal-adjusted, or the presser did not use it. The sleever pressed the sleeve plus 2 inches beyond that and thereby left numerous sharp, pressed-in wrinkles radiating from the sleeve seam towards the chest area of the shirt. I had to turn away. It was awful. And the cuff clamp was ineffective, broken or ignored too. The sleeve gusset area was a mess. (If you do shirts in Rhode Island, have the aforementioned sleeve press and wish to defend yourself, please call me. Really.) 20 THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER APRIL MAY JUNE 2016 AN EMBARRASSINGLY BAD SHIRT EXPERIENCE PODCAST! HERE’S A BREAKING NEWS MOMENT!
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