F.A.Q. : Fletchers Fabricare – Cleaners, Leather & Suede Cleaning, Laundry Services, Dry Cleaning Services, Wedding Dress Cleaning, Shirt Laundry – Vancouver, BC, Canada
C O V I D - 1 9    U P D A T E


Frequently Asked Questions

What is dry cleaning?

Dry cleaning is a method of cleaning fabric that uses little or no water, hence the name dry cleaning. Instead of water, the solvent works with the soap and sizing to clean and restore your clothes. At Fletchers, state of the art equipment is maintained to the highest standards. This ensures that garments are cleaned and dried in a safe and hygienic environment. The machines are computer controlled so that each load is treated according to the types of garments it contains.

What kind of solvent do you use?

We use a petroleum-based solvent called Eco-Sol. It is a synthetic hydrocarbon which is odorless and colourless. Eco-Sol has improved a great deal from the early petroleum solvents, such as Stoddard, which were often problematic because of their low flash points. Because Eco-Sol is not as aggressive as the most widely used dry cleaning solvent, perchlorethylene (perc), it is safe to use on most delicate fabrics and garments.

Why are you so expensive?

Our costs are based on what it costs us to provide you with the best quality service. This includes:

* Upgrading our equipment regularly and maintaining it properly,
* Hiring, training, and supporting skilled and knowledgeable staff,
* Using top quality products to care for your garments in the best way possible, and
* Staying up to date on all aspects of the industry so that we can upgrade our procedures and utilize technology to serve you better.
* We will do minor repairs at no charge on garments while they are in for cleaning (missing buttons, hems, seams etc.)
* We stand behind the work we do.

Why didn’t the stain come out?

There are many reasons that a stain may not come out of a garment.. Some of these are:

* The stain has set in the fabric over time (heat and time set stains)
* The stain has been worked on before coming to Fletchers, and the water or chemical used has set the stain in the fabric
* Some stains, such as some types of ink, are not easily removed from some types of fabric
* The best advice we can offer regarding stains is to blot, not rub the stain to remove as much of the stain as possible, while being careful not to re-deposit the stain onto the fabric. Do not apply water or any other solution to the stain, and bring the item in for professional cleaning as soon as possible. Fresh stains are generally much easier to remove. Note: you may also want to visit the International Fabricare Institute (IFI) website for additional information.

This stain was not here when I brought the garment in. Why is it here now? (Or, why did you put it there?)

The stain may not have been noticeable when you brought the garment in. Often the heat and chemicals used in the cleaning process cause the stain to react and oxidize, which makes the stain darker and more visible. Stains that are acidic or are sugar based are the most damaging to fabrics, especially to natural fibres. A study by the International Fabricare Institute found that fabric damage can occur within one week of exposure to a stain; the damage increased significantly after one month.

Why do I have to pay for this garment when the stain didn’t come out?

Your garment received more than the usual care and attention during the cleaning process, since our staff spent considerable time and effort on trying the remove the stains. Your garment has been through the pre-spotting and cleaning process more than once, and often several times, as we make every effort to remove stains before informing a customer that we cannot work on the stain further without damaging the fabric. Because of the time, effort and materials involved, it actually costs us more to work on a problem garment.

Why isn’t my order ready?

Most often an order isn’t ready because we need more time to work on your garment. Whenever possible, we try to contact you by phone to let you know that your order is not ready for pickup.

How do you press my shirt?

It depends on what type of shirt service you have requested. With our regular shirt service, shirts are washed and then pressed on a state of the art shirt unit. The collars and cuffs are finished first. Then the body is pressed and finished, using a combination of steam and pressure. All collars are cured on a heated collar cone, which finishes the inside of the collar so that it is comfortable for you to wear.

What chemicals do you use?

The chemicals we use for cleaning and spotting fabrics are manufactured for use specifically in the dry cleaning industry. Most of the chemicals we use are made by the German company Seitz and are of the highest quality available.

What is the difference between a pressed and a hand finished shirt?

Instead of being finished on the shirt unit, a hand finished shirt is pressed by one of our skilled pressers with a hand iron on a steam board. A hand finished shirt requires more time to press, hence the higher price.

Why is a dry cleaned shirt more expensive than a laundered shirt?

The solvent and chemicals used in the dry cleaning process are more expensive than the water and soaps used in the laundering process. Also, a dry cleaned shirt is hand finished, not finished on the shirt unit.

What kind of soap do you use for shirts? What kind of starch?

In the laundering process, we use liquid and powder detergents manufactured by Seitz of Germany.  Enzyme based degreasers, detergents and a buffered, citrus based neutralizing agent produce great results in both the cleaning and care of your garments.

Why do the buttons on my cuffs get broken?

Buttons can break for a variety of reasons. We try our best to check each button and replace it with a new one when necessary. Sometimes buttons are not able to withstand the cleaning process (either laundry or dry cleaning). The heat used in finishing shirts can sometimes weaken the button; often it may not actually break until it has cooled or when pressure is applied to fasten it. Also, if the pressure on the buttons is too great when the cuffs and collar are being pressed, buttons can break. Our equipment is checked regularly to ensure that it is adjusted correctly, so it should not be a cause of damaged buttons.

Why is there an upcharge for sweaters?

Some sweaters require special care in the cleaning process and therefore cost more to clean. Some sweaters require measuring before and after cleaning, some require additional drying time and special care after cleaning. Depending on the fiber content and nature of your sweater, the upcharges applied reflect the care that will be best to handle the garment.

Why do my shirts/collars/cuffs shrink?

The most common cause of shrinkage is relaxation shrinkage which occurs when the fabric is not adequately stabilized or preshrunk before the shirt is constructed. The agitation of laundering relaxes the fabric, causing dimensional change or shrinkage. Some shirts display progressive shrinkage which is caused by the space between the fibers getting smaller with each washing; this is usually a result of the gradual removal of finishing agents as the shirt is washed. Because some degree of shrinkage often occurs during laundering, customers are advised to purchase shirts at least ¼ inch larger than their actual size.

What is wet cleaning?

Wetcleaning is a process for cleaning sensitive textiles using water combined with specialized equipment, detergents and additives to minimize the potential for problems. Finishing techniques used for wetcleaning differ from those used for dry cleaning. Wetcleaning machines are different from your home washer as they have a variety of programs to handle all kinds of fabrics – the mechanical action is similar to hand washing with gentle agitation. Successful wetcleaning depends on the cleaner’s extensive knowledge of how different fibers, fabric construction, dyes and trims will respond to water and detergents.

Why do clothes shrink/stretch in the cleaning process?

Shrinkage or stretching can occur from improper stabilization of fabric before the garment was constructed or from improper cleaning procedures. The most common type of shrinkage is called relaxation shrinkage, which results from improper fabric stabilization, causing relaxation of the fabric and dimensional change or shrinkage.