Returning to the topic of bio-based chemistry, is this a better choice?

In the crowded field of alternative dry cleaning solvents, the answer is yes with an understanding that moving from compounds derived from petroleum to compounds derived from corn is one small step in a sustainable and safer industry.  The process for converting corn to SOLVONK4 [the solvent at the heart of the SYSTEMK4 dry cleaning system] is clean, low energy, and safe. Much of the corn waste is returned to the fields and farms as compost and feed and the final product is as pure and stable as it was when we first introduced SYSTEMK4 nearly ten years ago. By making this change with our bio-based formula, we’ve lowered the carbon footprint for SOLVONK4, reduced the dependency on petroleum-derived feedstocks without changing any of the attributes of the final product. We won’t stop here on our quest to create more sustainable, useful products for our clients but we’re proud of where we’re heading.

Some additional resources:

What are Bio-Based Solvents?

What is Siloxane?

What is the USDA Bio-Preferred program

Learn about Man-Made Deforestation and it’s effects on the planet

local upscale boutiques where they refer their customers for alterations.”

Work with a tailor you trust

“The first step to finding a good tailor is to ask around. Ask other well-dressed men and women. If they look that good, they are probably getting their things tailored. Ask local upscale boutiques where they refer their customers for alterations.”

Expect a conversation

“You should expect to try on the garment for the tailor so they can examine the fit for themselves. Be sure you are able to communicate exactly what you want the finished garment to look like. The tailor should be able to discuss the fit with you, explain how an alteration will get you the look you want and whether they can do it successfully. Expect them to pin and mark the necessary adjustments.”

Find your fit

“Ignore the size! Look for something that fits your widest body part, and then tailor everything else down.
“All women, especially those with a large bust line, should avoid sizing down into too-small shirts to get a snug fit at the waistline. You almost always want a garment to contour your waistline, but achieve it through tailoring.
“For the most flattering skirt or cropped pant length, whether a mini, knee, midi, or ankle length, always hem to the point on your leg that begins a taper.
“Pants should fit nicely through the hips, not too baggy and not skintight. They should be hemmed specific to the shoe height you will be wearing. Hem pants so there is a slight break in the front and no more than 1/2 inch from the floor in the back. This will create the illusion of lean

How to Choice Wash or Dry Cleaning Dress Shirt

Method 1: “Wash and press” at the cleaners

Wash and press is the “normal” way to clean dress shirts when you take them to the cleaners. (Don’t be too confused by this.  Even though you take your shirt to the “dry-cleaners”, they are most likely doing wash and press unless you are expressly asking them to dry clean ). This is our first choice. At around $1.50/shirt, this cleaning method is relatively cheap and easy and it keeps the shirts looking great.  At most cleaners, here’s what the process involves:

Shirts are made to be worn, not worshiped. This means they get dirty. However, with proper care, a high quality dress shirt can last for several years and continue to look great. In this post, we’re going to break down three of the most popular washing methods and detail how you can keep your dress shirts looking great for years to come. We’ll also outline how to deal with special emergencies as well as provide some other cleaning tips.

  1. They wash your shirt in a normal washing machine using water and detergent.
  2. They remove most of the water from the shirt with the spin cycle in the washing machine.
  3. They pull the damp shirt onto an industrial shirt press that closes over the shirt and simultaneously irons the garment while removing all of the moisture.

Pros: Convenient, (relatively) inexpensive.

Cons: Some cleaners will be too hard on the shirts.  The slamming of the press over the front of the shirt can cause  buttons to chip or shatter. If the shirt torso or sleeve is stretched over the press when it is steamed dry it can cause this part of the shirt to become wider in these areas.  Finally, in the process of bringing the shirts from the cleaners to your closet collars will often be smashed in some way, requiring additional ironing for optimal appearance.

How to Wash a Dress Shirt

Method 2: Wash the shirt yourself at home

If you don’t trust your dry cleaner, or if you’d just like a little more control over how your shirts are washed, you may want to wash your dress shirts at home.  We really like this option, but to do so properly requires a bit of time and care on your part. Follow these steps for optimal results:

  1. Start by preparing the dress shirt.  Unbutton all of the buttons, including cuff buttons and any collar buttons.  Remove any collar stays if it has them and put them in a safe place.
  2. Pre-treat any stains by carefully working a little detergent into them, or better yet spot-cleaning them with a stain remover pen.
  3. Set up your washing machine: To minimize wear on a fine or lightweight dress shirt, use the Delicate cycle.  If the shirt is made from a heavier duty fabric, or is particularly dirty you may opt for the Normal cycle.  Whites and light colors can use hot water.  Dark colored shirts that you don’t want to fade should be washed with cold water. Take care not to include other laundry items with bold colors that may bleed into your shirts.
  4. Use a high quality detergent, like Woolite Complete, that is appropriate to the color of the shirt.  Be sure not to use any detergents or cleaners that are chlorine based as these will cause discoloration to many shirt fabrics.
  5. Wash the shirts in the washing machine, and then let the spin cycle wring most of the water out of the garment.
  6. The shirts will be tightly crumpled in the washing machine so you’ll want to remove them promptly before these intense wrinkles will dry into the shirt. Hang the shirts up or lay them out so that they can air dry.  Be careful about hanging the shirts on a sharp hanger or with tight clothespins as this can distort the fabric or leave a mark on the shirt.
  7. Next you’ll want to iron the shirts.  You don’t need to wait for the shirts to be completely dry to begin this step, but they should be mostly dry.

Pros: Gives you the most control to treat stains, protect buttons, and iron collars carefully.

Cons: Takes time and attention.

How to dry cleaning a Dress Shirt

Method 3: “Dry clean” at the cleaners

While we don’t really recommend dry cleaning cotton dress shirts, some folks like to take their shirts to the cleaners and have them dry cleaned. While this cleaning method will certainly not damage the shirt and minimize shrinkage, it does have some downsides. The first is that it can be expensive – usually over $5/shirt. Another is that water soluble stains such as perspiration are not removed. Dry cleaning solvents contain very little to no water so perspiration based dirt can be left untouched.  Washing dress shirts in water is better for removing water soluble dirt and stains from sweat.  That said, if your dress shirt has an oil based stain on it you may have better luck getting it cleaned by a dry cleaner than in a washing machine.

Pros: Convenient.  Minimizes wear of the shirts.  Removes oil-based stains.

Cons: Won’t always remove water soluble dirt or stains. Expensive. Your shirts are at the mercy of a potentially abusive shirt cleaner.

Question: Is it ok to dry shirts in the dryer?

We recommend avoiding the dryer and letting the shirt air dry on a hanger, although (depending on the size of your house) this is not always practical. If you must put the shirt in a dryer, avoid high heat or over-drying the shirt. Use the dryer to get most of the moisture out of the shirt, and then iron the shirt immediately to remove the rest of the moisture and any wrinkles at the same time.  If you dry your shirts completely in the dryer you’ll find the shirt a bit harder to iron perfectly, and they will likely shrink beyond Proper Cloth’s calculated shrinkage allowances.

Question: How to remove a stain from a white shirt?

In the unfortunate event that you get spill some wine or spaghetti sauce on your shirt, some quick action could minimize any stains that result.

  1. With a brush or comb, carefully swipe or lift away any large pieces such that you don’t smear them worse into the garment. 
  2. Immediately treat the stain with water or stain remover solvent.  The sooner the better.  If you can’t get your hands on a stain remover pen, we recommend a Tide Pen, try dishwashing detergent, lemon juice, vinegar, or seltzer water. 
  3. Dab solvents on the stain with a light touch. Pressure can force the stain deeper into the fibers of the garment. 
  4. Rinse and repeat. 

Question: Should I use starch when the shirt is pressed?

While many people do like to have their shirts starched, our suggestion is to avoid starch completely.  While starch can help a broadcloth or oxford shirt appear more crisp it can also cause shirts to wear out prematurely.  When the starch material gets embedded in the shirt fibers it acts like a million little knives that break down the fibers over time.

Three tips to maximize dress shirt life

  1. Don’t leave dirty white shirts in the hamper for too long before washing. This can lead to premature yellowing of the collar band as any sweat and oils will have more time to set into the fabric of the shirt.
  2. Always remove the collar stays from the collar before washing and ironing.  If you don’t they will become warped causing the dress shirt collar points to curve awkwardly.
  3. Don’t count on your cleaner to find and remove stains. If you know there’s a spot on your placket or sleeve, point it out so that they know to spot clean it.

Tailor Sewing Tips – When you step into your favorite jeans, there are a lot of things you might consider

How comfy they are, how great they look, and what shoes you’ll pair with them, to name a few.

But unless you’re a hardcore denimhead, there are likely a few important components of your favorite pair that you don’t always think about.

Below, we list the often forgotten parts of the pant that make your Levi’s® special.

Rivets
In 1871, Latvian immigrant Jacob Davis pioneered rivets while working as a tailor in Reno, Nev. Davis had originally used rivets on horse blankets, and he found they worked well for re-enforcing the stress point in men’s work trousers—particularly the corners of the back pockets and the crotch, which often tore apart when exposed to heavy duty wear and tear.

Rivet

The rivet

Since Davis did not have the money required to patent the technique of using rivets, he reached out to Levi Strauss to see if he was interested in applying with him. In 1873, the pair received a patent for “improvement in fastening pocket-openings.” This was the birth of what we now know as the blue jean. Today, rivets continue to strengthen and reinforce the most vulnerable parts of our jeans.

It’s worth noting that Levi Strauss & Co. was the first company to make riveted pants, creating a new category of workwear.

Crotch Seam
In pattern making, sewing and fitting, the crotch seam is said to be the most challenging construction element of a pair of pants.

Crotch Seam

The crotch seam

Pattern makers use two important measurements to draft the curves that compose the crotch seam: crotch length and crotch depth. Crotch depth is determined by having a fit model sit in a chair, and then measuring the distance from their waistline to the seat. Crotch length is the distance from the top center front of the pants around to the top center back of the pants.

There’s a large amount of room for variation in the resulting curves with lots of potential for error, yet the shapes are essential components in obtaining the perfect fit.

Selvedge
If you’re a denimhead, surely you know all about the selvedge.  For everyone else, what’s all the hype about?

The word selvedge refers to the tightly finished edge of any fabric when it comes off of the loom. Looms in the 1800s produced strips of denim that were long and narrow. To use the entire width of the fabric, the fabric’s edge, or “self-edge” was used as the side seam of the pant.  This was efficient, and it also made the side seam inherently immune to fraying and unraveling.

Selvage

Selvedge

Today, the vintage looms and narrow fabric widths required for production make selvedge jeans rarer and more expensive than jeans that finish with an overlock stitch at the side seams.

The Watch Pocket
The first blue jeans had four pockets—only one in back and, in the front, two plus the small, watch pocket. Originally included as protection for pocket watches, thus the name, this extra pouch has served many functions, evident in its many titles: frontier pocket, condom pocket, coin pocket, match pocket and ticket pocket, to name a few.

Watch Pocket

Watch pocket

Not only is the pocket extremely useful for holding tiny trinkets, it is also is loved by denimheads for the faded and worn nature it takes on over time.

Twill
Why is the inside of your jeans white and the outside blue? That’s due to the twill weave of your jeans.

Technically, a twill weave occurs when filling or “weft” threads (often white) are woven over and then under two or more “warp” yarns (often blue). This produces a subtle diagonal pattern across the weave and makes the warp yarns predominate on the face of the fabric and the weft yarns show more on the back.

Twill

Twill

In “right hand twill” the diagonal lines of the twill run from the lower left corner of the fabric to the upper right corner. Made from yarn that is spun counterclockwise, right hand twill is known for creating crisper and more defined fades than other versions, such as left hand twill and broken twill. Right hand twill was also the first weave purchased by Levi Strauss to make the original pair of Levi’s.

Stitches
Bartack is a stitch that you might not have noticed on your denim. It looks like a line of short and close together stitches, used to reinforce jeans in places where they are most stressed during wear. Bartacks are usually seen around flies, crotch seams and pocket openings.  These strong stiches are essentially a series of small zigzag stitches. In production, there is a special machine that makes this durable stitch.

Bartack

Bartack

Hems can be sewn with both a chain stitch and a lock stitch. Chain stitches allow the hem to twist and roll in a particular way after washing. This is called “roping.”

Chain Stitch

Chain stitch

However, the lock stitch has advantages of being stronger and less prone to unraveling.

Lock Stitch

Lock stitch

Thread
And what about thread color? The orange thread used on the original Levi’s has now become an industry standard. Legend has it that Jacob Davis originally insisted that the thread be orange to match the jean’s copper rivets. But we don’t know that to be fact. Many Levi Strauss & Co. records were lost in the 1906 earthquake and fire, so, as a result, we really don’t know why orange thread was chosen.

Thread on Arcuate

Thread color, as seen on a Levi’s® arcuate.

The more there is to know about your jeans, the more there is to love about them. Next time you step into your favorite pair of Levi’s, take extra notice of these special details.

From – http://www.levistrauss.com/unzipped-blog/2014/04/17/those-oft-forgotten-pant-parts/

Returning to the topic of bio-based chemistry, is this a better choice?

 In the crowded field of alternative dry cleaning solvents, the answer is yes with an understanding that moving from compounds derived from petroleum to compounds derived from corn is one small step in a sustainable and safer industry.  The process for converting corn to SOLVONK4 [the solvent at the heart of the SYSTEMK4 dry cleaning system] is clean, low energy, and safe. Much of the corn waste is returned to the fields and farms as compost and feed and the final product is as pure and stable as it was when we first introduced SYSTEMK4 nearly ten years ago. By making this change with our bio-based formula, we’ve lowered the carbon footprint for SOLVONK4, reduced the dependency on petroleum-derived feedstocks without changing any of the attributes of the final product. We won’t stop here on our quest to create more sustainable, useful products for our clients but we’re proud of where we’re heading.

Some additional resources:

What are Bio-Based Solvents?

What is Siloxane?

What is the USDA Bio-Preferred program

Learn about Man-Made Deforestation and it’s effects on the planet

What Are Biobased Solvents?

Common uses for solvents in the cleaning industry are spot removers and detergents. Biobased solvents contain derivatives including methyl soyate, or soybeans; ethyl lactate (formed from lactic acid and ethanol, made from processing corn); and D-Limonene (citrus rind oil). Products containing these solvents perform quite well compared to their traditional counterparts, and D-Limonene is particularly effective on tough degreasing jobs. 

Biobased products — those that are derived from plant or animal feedstock — include cleaners, degreasers and solvents. A solvent is defined as a solid, liquid or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid or gas, resulting in a substance that is able to be dissolved. 

Reduced toxicity, biodegradability, low volatile organic compounds (VOC), worker safety and environmental friendliness are among the advantages of using biobased solvents.

Why Use a Bio-Based Solvent?

K4 Dry cleaning System

Interest in bio-based products is growing in some industries and home markets but are bio-based products always the best choice? The answer is sometimes.  

Bio-based doesn’t automatically mean eco-friendly. A product containing plant-based or derived material is no guarantee it is safe or eco-friendly. Let’s look at palm oil for example; it was found that palm oil can replace trans fats in many snack foods to produce “healthier” junk food, but palm oil production is responsible for massive amounts of deforestation in some of the most fragile ecosystems in the world. Palm plantations and the oil harvesting is directly linked to the declining wild populations of Orangutans and has been connected with forced child labor and slavery. All that for a bag of potato chips? Perhaps a locally-grown apple is a better choice.

Bio-based chemistry is quickly growing; much of it appropriately and safely. Simply finding a way to replace a petroleum-derived chemical with one sourced from biomaterial isn’t enough, you need to consider the total impact for each. Everything has a cost, but in some cases, costs are deferred or ignored because they don’t affect the immediate product production, for example, the cost of water contamination and CO2 emissions is widely ignored in the beef industry.   

Historically dry cleaning solvents had one source: petroleum. This includes the source material for the manufacturing of Perc. The petroleum industry is the fountainhead for organic chemistry and the products made from or originating from petrochemistry is astounding. The impact from this, both positive and negative are also staggering.  

Twenty years ago siloxanes were introduced to the dry cleaning industry breaking away from petroleum-based solvents. Kreussler was the first to publish the use of siloxanes in the dry cleaning industry in Germany with our patent application 373911. It should be noted that Siloxanes are derived from silicon which is made from silicon dioxide or silica. The process involves the mining of quartz which is broken into gravel size chunks and fed into an electric arc furnace with coke (coal) and heated to over 4000 degrees. The final product is the element silicon which is then synthesized through several steps to form the siloxane. This manufacturing is energy intensive with a significant environmental impact.

The idea of moving away from halogenated solvents to one based on inorganic chemistry originally promised a safer and healthier solution but unfortunately what we ended up with a chemical that is persistent in the environment and thus prone to bioaccumulation. We now find Siloxanes permeating ecosystems all over the world and in food chains all the way up to species consumed by humans. The use of Siloxanes in Europe is now widely phased out with REACH classifying them as hazardous and with little future for the chemistry in domestic products.

The professional textile care industry has suffered from one promising but flawed innovation to the next and with a low barrier of entry for textile chemistry, the cleaner is generally the first and last beta tester for products being presented as safe and reliable. A perfect example for this, the recent introduction of modified alcohols blended with hydrocarbon were presented as stable mixtures by the machine manufacturers and chemical distributors promoting them. Those same machine manufacturers are now looking to introduce salinating water separators to limit the water solubility of the alcohol portion of the solvent.  This after realizing much of the alcohol portion of the solvent was leaving the machine in the contact water, proving the solvent was not stable, to begin with.

Returning to the topic of bio-based chemistry, is this a better choice?  In the crowded field of alternative dry cleaning solvents, the answer is yes with an understanding that moving from compounds derived from petroleum to compounds derived from corn is one small step in a sustainable and safer industry.  The process for converting corn to SOLVONK4 [the solvent at the heart of the SYSTEMK4 dry cleaning system] is clean, low energy, and safe. Much of the corn waste is returned to the fields and farms as compost and feed and the final product is as pure and stable as it was when we first introduced SYSTEMK4 nearly ten years ago. By making this change with our bio-based formula, we’ve lowered the carbon footprint for SOLVONK4, reduced the dependency on petroleum-derived feedstocks without changing any of the attributes of the final product. We won’t stop here on our quest to create more sustainable, useful products for our clients but we’re proud of where we’re heading.

Some additional resources:

What are Bio-Based Solvents?

What is Siloxane?

What is the USDA Bio-Preferred program

Learn about Man-Made Deforestation and it’s effects on the planet

Alterations & Clothing Repair at Westbury Cleaners

Denim-Jeans-Fix-Joe’s-Cleaners
Denim-Jeans-Ham-Joe’s-Cleaners

Types of alteration services

The most common reason to visit an alteration shop is to have hems and sleeves adjusted on skirts, dresses, jeans, slacks, shirts, bouses and blazers.

Other popular services include mending and resizing garments. Mending services include repairing holes and tears and replacing broken zippers. Size changes can be achieved through adjusting or adding darts to blouses, dresses and blazers. Seams can be taken in or let out to improve fit. The waistlines of pants, skirts and dresses can also be adjusted.

Best fit for pants, dresses and jackets

Here are best-fit guidelines for men and women:

Ideally, the pant leg falls to the top of the shoe and fabric does not touch the floor.

Jacket and blazer sleeves should fall to the bottom of the wrist bone on the thumb side when arms are resting at both sides. For men, shirt cuffs ideally fall one-fourth to one-half of an inch lower than the blazer sleeve to show a show minimal cuff.

An empire waist flatters women with fuller hips and a smaller torso by bringing attention to the waist. An empire waist also flatters straight female silhouettes by creating the impression of a curvy figure.

Custom, or bespoke, tailoring

Custom tailoring is the process of making clothing to fit an individual, and differs considerably from alterations made to a ready-made piece of clothing.

Custom tailors, also known as bespoke, or made-to-order tailors or dressmakers, are highly knowledgeable about how to get a good fit, and about sewing and clothing construction methods. They often work in specialty clothing boutiques and family-owned businesses, or as independent tailors.

Costs depend on the type of item, type of fabric and embellishments, amount of detail requested and prices of the specific tailor. Shirts generally cost at least $100, pants cost at least $250 and jackets are at least $350.

Custom tailoring takes between one to six months, depending on amount of detail and garment type.

Tips for finding a tailor:

Research and get recommendations

In addition to consulting Angie’s List, ask friends and family for recommendations for dressmakers or tailors. Ask your favorite dry cleaners if they have an alternation or tailoring staff or could make recommendations, since they often work with expensive, custom-made clothing.

Seek specialties

Ask whether a sewing professional has experience creating the kind of garment you want. Ask to see photos or examples of the dressmaker’s or tailor’s work.

Ask for quotes

As noted above, custom-made clothing can be very expensive. However, the price depends on several things, including the type of garment you want, the complexity of the pattern, whether you need a pattern made for you, and the fabric used. If you have to undergo numerous fittings, that will increase the cost. Ask for an estimate before commissioning any work.

Expect fittings

You’ll be called in at least once or twice for fittings. Fittings take time, so you may want to look for a seamstress or tailor who works close to where you live or work.

Cost-saving tip: If you can’t afford custom-made clothing, having store bought-clothes professionally altered can be a good compromise. The secret of many well-dressed people is that they take their moderately priced clothing into a dry cleaner, seamstress or tailor for alterations for a close to custom fit.

Restyling services

Sewing experts can provide additional services, including restyling clothes and repairing fine leather. Restyling keeps clothes current. Sewing experts who provide this service can convert necklines to accent the chest or elongate the neck. They can turn a dress into a skirt or alter the style of the sleeves to create a fresh look.

Minor fine leather repairs involve carefully weaving new stitches to blend into the fabric. Extensive damage to a leather garment may require new material to replace the original leather.

Fur care

Work with a reputable fur salon before deciding to buy a fur coat. It’s best to hire a professional to repair, clean and store your precious fur.L

DIY tailoring

DIY tailoring is not as simple or easy as it sounds. Sewing a hem or stitching a seam is not tailoring. To get the fit and lay you want for your clothes to fit right usually requires a sewing machine, serger, seam breaker, sewing mannequin, irons and various other seamtress tools. Tailors even use specific type of sissors called shears.

For most consumers it’s not worth an investment in tools or material. Not the mention the damage that can be done by incorrectly cutting a piece of fabric or finished garment. If you’re not willing to learn or don’t have the patience to apart seam, leave it to the professionals.

Let our professional tailors help you achieve the perfect fit

Tailor- near me ladies-Clothing repair and ladies alterations.
Let our professional tailors help you achieve the perfect fit. From minor repairs to extensive tailoring and alterations, our professional tailors will help you look your best. They know the proper fit for garments and will guide you through the fitting process. Professional alterations can make a well fitting garment a great fitting one!

One system – multiple advantages! From Joe’s Cleaners

Cleaning results as with PERC but neither a dangerous material nor a hazardous substance in accordance with CLP! Professional and sustainable textile care without loss of quality, but yet efficient and economical!

SYSTEMK4  is an innovative, and highly efficient cleaning system for professional textile care. Absolutely the right solution for ALL!

Overview of the quality advantages:

  • Excellent cleaning power for water soluble and lipophilic stains.
  • Hardly any pre-spotting necessary.
  • Gentle cleaning of textiles, leather and furs.
  • Reduced finish-effort thanks to less creasing.
  • Very pleasant and smooth feel.
  • High wearing comfort.
  • Bright colors.
  • Increased protection against textiles turning grey.
  • The cleaned textiles have a fresh scent.

Quality that is obvious.

SYSTEMK4 features the same – for some textiles even better – cleaning properties as perchloroethylene.

Lipophilic and in particular water soluble soil is excellently removed. Even saline (salt based) soil is removed better with SYSTEMK4.