Sunday, August 21, 2011
The Unfortunate Frustration of Collar Fraying - by Crawford
About eight months ago, I became increasingly frustrated with the several cleaners with whom I entrusted my shirts for cleaning and pressing. Time and again my shirts returned with buttons destroyed by the pressing process – which is a particular frustration when the buttons are of a nicer quality. I was particularly disheartened when I found that collars of some of my favorite shirts were beginning to fray prematurely. By prematurely, I mean that they were fraying after approximately two years of wear and laundering – that is entirely too soon, in my view!
I am particularly fond of Thomas Mason fabric. Whenever I select fabric for shirts, I am always drawn to the Thomas Mason swatches. Interestingly, when my wife selects fabric for shirts for me, she also steers towards Thomas Mason without my influence. Sadly, two of my shirts crafted of Thomas Mason fabric are among the shirts with the issue of untimely fraying (see the shirts above and immediately below this paragraph).
So, in my frustration, I decided this past winter to begin washing my shirts at home, hanging them up to dry, and ironing them (without starch) when they were still slightly damp – I read in a couple of books that this was the method by which the shirts would last the longest.
This afternoon after church, brunch and reading the Times, I set about the task of washing and ironing a group of my shirts. Thankfully, it was a Sunday afternoon, and I could enjoy the pleasure of listening to Jonathan Schwartz and his selection from the American Songbook on WNYC while I went about this time-consuming task.
I feel as though it is worth it, but is it? It takes a great deal of time. A friend suggested to me that another approach is to have the collars replaced with white collars or with material from the tail of your shirt after the collars fray – he suggested that Maldonado’s from San Antonio, Texas is the best at this aspect of tailoring.
But I don’t think I’m ready to give up on my shirts lasting a bit longer without frayed collars – so I guess the work is worth it – especially if Jonathan Schwartz is still around to make the task a bit less tedious!
Posted by Crawford at 11:50 PM