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Laundered Shirts Birmingham AL

Here at Dry Clean City of Vestavia Hills in Birmingham Alabama, we post information that may help our customers care for their wardrobes.



Common Problems with Men’s Dress Shirts

 You hope your favorite button down dress shirt will last forever. Unfortunately, they are typically made of cotton or cotton blends, so they do wear out and break down over time. Some of the problems you commonly encounter can be fixed while other symptoms indicate it’s time to retire the shirt and purchase a new one. The International Fabricare Institute expressed that cotton button-down shirts are designed to withstand 52 wearings and cleanings. That’s only once per week for a year. If you’ve had your favorite shirt for 5 years and you’ve worn it every other week, it’s living on borrowed time so treat it kindly. Below are some of the more common problems with laundered shirts.

Collar and Cuff Edges Wear Out

The edges and tips of a collar are wearing out. What causes this? It’s normal wear and tear caused by wearing and cleaning the shirt. Also, tips can wear faster than the rest of the shirt if it’s a straight tip collar (vs. a button down collar). A typical dress shirt is made to withstand 52 wearings (and subsequent cleanings). If you notice any of these things before that time, talk to the manufacturer or cleaner of your shirts.

Torn Sleeve

A torn sleeve on a men’s dress shirt just above the sleeve placket. Closer inspection shows the area that isn’t torn but rather is worn; it’s a yarn failure caused by rubbing or chafing from the elbow of the wearer. Don’t believe me? While wearing a button down shirt, bend your arm and look where your elbow is – it’s right above the sleeve placket.

Fading Stripes on Striped Shirts

Yarn Failure is most common on striped shirts; you’ll see one of the colors in the stripe give out while the other holds strong (it sometimes looks like fading stripes).

Glue on Collar Tips

The shiny tips of a dress shirt are caused by the construction of the shirt. When shirt collars are made, they are glued together, then sewn. When washed, the glue is not supposed to be visible. With many shirts, this isn’t always the case and can even be a problem on higher priced brands. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done and the glue stains are permanent.

Front Shrinkage

The front of the shirt can shrink along the buttons, button holes, or both – it looks like it’s all bunched up. The cause is either not using material that was pre-shrunk from the factory or using the wrong kind of thread to make the shirt (the thread shrinks, but not the body of the shirt).


White shirts turn grey over time because they weren’t actually white to begin with, they’re a greyish color masked by optical brighteners. As you wear and wash the shirt, the optical brighteners are washed out with the dirt and stains leaving the shirt looking dull and grey.

Yellow Spots

Most times a yellow spot is an oil or grease spot that’s been ironed or pressed. The oil can be from food or salad dressing.. Typically the oil is clear until heat is applied, then it turns yellow. It’s tough to get these spots out, and many times dry cleaning may help.

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