I don't like the way my dry-cleaned shirts feel
January 12, 2008 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Will my cotton shirts ever feel soft again?

I have a few jcrew shirts like this. They're easily the best shirts I've ever owned, in part because of how soft they feel... or used to feel.

I took them to the dry cleaners yesterday (because I don't like ironing button-down shirts), and when I got them back they felt somehow less soft. Almost like they had been sprayed with teflon or had a coat of wax applied to them. "Slippery", I guess, is how it feels. It's subtle, but it's noticeable.

What could have caused this? I assume it's one of the chemicals they used. Did it permanently damage the shirt, or will it wear off and return the shirt to its original softness?

posted by mpls2 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It might be starch. Take the shirts back and ask.
posted by Carol Anne at 9:59 AM on January 12, 2008

If it's due to starch, then it will wash out. Next time, ask them not to use starch.
posted by amro at 10:00 AM on January 12, 2008

Did you have them dry cleaned, or washed and pressed? If they were dry cleaned, next time have them washed and pressed instead. Dry cleaning isn't necessary for cotton shirts, and uses chemicals that might affect the feel of the fabric.
posted by Koko at 11:54 AM on January 12, 2008

Yes, no starch, and wash, not dry-cleaned. Their shirts should stay soft forever (I have dozens of them)!

But one problem: JCrew's shirt buttons fall off alarmingly fast, so be SURE you save any extras that came with!
posted by Quisp Lover at 12:19 PM on January 12, 2008

I have these, too.

These are not supposed to be worn as dress shirts. They're also not to be worn crisp and perfectly-ironed, either. You wear them with jeans, etc.

Never take them to the dry cleaners and get them starched. Ask for wash & fold (or fluff & fold). Or wash them yourself.

For what it's worth, I never get starch on my proper dress shirts, either. It feels disgusting and ruins the cotton. I can tolerate a few wrinkles if it makes my shirts last longer... especially at $80 - $145 dollars a pop.
posted by wfc123 at 1:00 PM on January 12, 2008

High heat irons can also effect fabrics. They can take on a weird shiny stiffness.
posted by lannanh at 3:16 PM on January 12, 2008

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