Sunday, June 14, 2009

Workshop Visit - The Drycleaner

A quality, professional drycleaner is a must-have for those who care about their clothes. Not only can drycleaners ensure your shirts are fresh and crisp for the upcoming week, they can also salvage a cherished piece stained through ill fortune.

Here is a look at what goes on at a local drycleaner after clothes get dropped off by a customer.

A Tour

From the front counter, customers can watch the staff go about their work in the back room.

After garements are droped off they are inspected for stains and damage which were not specified by the customer. Loose buttons, seams and hems are repaired at this time.


are pre-treated...

with a myriad of products depending on the nature of the stain. A professional drycleaner will use their knowledge and experience to determine the best treatment for the type of stain and textile under consideration.

Garments are sorted into loads, and undergo drycleaning, or wetcleaning for items that may not withstand a drycleaning process or that have soils that would be better removed in water. The wash cycle used on the cleaning machines is tailored to each load.

Items are inspected after cleaning, to check that soils have been removed, and then pressed. Here, a pair of pants first undergo a non-contact steam process...

and then waist, hems and legs are finished on a press table.

Other equipment and processes are used for other types of garments. For example, suit coats undergo a steaming process similar to that for pants.

Garments are inspected one last time and readied for pick-up.

Other Tidbits

* The shop sees 40 customers on an average day.

* Garments are ready for pick-up in two working days, and in that time undergo about two hours of cleaning and handling.

* Metal hangers and plastic bags can be returned to the drycleaner for reuse. Alternatively, a reusable garment bag can be dropped-off and picked-up with items.

* Consumer choice awards, certificates - a Masters Certificate in Dry Cleaning, the highest trade certification in Germany - and association memberships are proudly displayed in the shop.

My thanks goes out to Elisabeth and her staff at Wagner's European Fabricare for sharing their expertise in drycleaning, and Pat at the BC Fabricare Association.

No comments: