The Life of a Dress Shirt Posted on March 9, 2010 under Cleaning Tips, Garment Care. | no comments.
Cleaning Men's Shirts Dress shirts are an important component to our wardrobe and we hate it when something happens to them.  Here is a list of the most common problems you can experience.

Disappearing Pinstripes

A first we think the color loss is due to bleaching however upon closure examination we find that the colored yarns are missing, leaving a white skeleton behind. This is caused because the dyes used in many of the bright colored striped shirts are primarily fiber reactive dyes and don’t typically stand up to repeated washing.

Discoloring of Armhole seams
Some manufactures use adhesives or other material in the armholes seams on men’s wrinkle-free cotton/polyester dress shirts. This material was designed to prevent puckering of the armhole seams. Heat from laundering can cause staining and stiffness in that area.  On whites we see a yellow cast and on colored shirts we can see a darkening or shading in that area.

Perspiration & Antiperspirant Damage

Perspiration can damage shirts by staining or weakening the fabric if it is allowed to stay in too long. Controlled use of antiperspirants and washing after use can minimize this type of damage.

Interfacing Defects
Ever wonder why, after time, that some of our shirt collars do not lie correctly.  That’s because after laundering there can be some shrinkage of the interfacing in the collar. The manufacture needs to use a fabric that is compatible with the shirt fabric in order to prevent this from happening. Also some interfacing can be adversely affected by chlorine bleach so remember to read the care labels.


It is almost impossible to shrink a dress shirt the manufacture has taken that into consideration and has allowed for the normal 2% shrinkage requirements. Beyond this, it is usually due to poorly stabilized material

Wear Life Expectancy

What is the life expediency of our dress shirts, well that is a little difficult to measure, due to the variances in frequency of usage. But on the average shirts you have two years wear life expectancy.  The number of laundering however is a better measurement method.   Based on that we can figure a 35 to 50 washing life expectancy and remember when in doubt always ask your dry cleaner.

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