What is "finishing," and what does it mean in regard to shirts?

In the dry cleaning industry, "finishing" is the term for what happens after an item is cleaned to get it ready to present back to a customer. That includes ironing or pressing an item, perhaps folding it a certain way, and packaging it. For the most part, we at Battiston's like to keep things pretty simple in regard to packaging and presentation - we want to use as few materials as possible, both for time reasons and more importantly for ecological ones. We've seen other cleaners who will put tissue paper in finished shirts, or place a paper covering over the shoulders of a shirt. And we've even tried doing things like that in the past, but we've ultimately found them unnecessary and a waste of paper.

Still, there are lots of ways in which you can get special finishing on your shirts. The most common special request is for us to have your shirts folded and "boxed." This way, instead of having your shirts come back pressed and on a hanger, your shirts will be folded in much the same way you'd buy them new from a store. Usually, people request this when they know they're going to be traveling - it's the most convenient way of packing your shirts in a suitcase. But lots of people request folded shirts even if they're not going anywhere. Maybe you have more dresser space at home than you have closet space, and a folded shirt is the best fit for the space you have.

Or maybe (!) you actually enjoy ironing. In which case, have you thought about applying for a job at Battiston's?

No Clamp MarksThe other fairly common finishing request we get is when people request to have the clamp mark at the bottom of a shirt pressed out. As we noted in an earlier section, our machine presses enable us to get shirts done quickly. But the one cosmetic issue that some people don't like is the clamp mark that is found at the bottom. It's a mark that lies below the belt line, so if you wear your shirts tucked in like most people, it'll never be seen. But some people wear their shirts untucked. Nothing wrong with that. At that point, people are going to ask to have us iron out that clamp mark so that the bottom of the shirt is just as flat as the rest. And that's absolutely OK.

And then there's the issue of creased sleeves. The standard appearance of a shirt after being done on a press is to have no creases down the sleeves. Around here, people generally consider that normal and don't even think about whether or not their sleeves should be creased. The exceptions are generally current or former members of the military, where sharp lines on a uniform are drilled into people from the beginning. So we rarely hear anybody request creased sleeves unless it's on a military shirt, a police or firefighter uniform shirt, or a military man's street clothes. But then, that could all be an issue of geography - if we were downstate in the Groton-New London area, the whole culture might be different and many more people would wear creases in the shirts they wear to the office. It's a cultural matter. And like we said, few people in our area request it. But whether you're a transplant from outside the area, or you just like the way it looks, we can put creases down the center of your sleeves. All you have to do is ask.

  1. Why are shirts laundered rather than dry cleaned?
  2. What shirts can be laundered, and what must be dry cleaned?
  3. Why do women’s shirts sometimes cost more than men’s?
  4. What’s the value in putting a bar code on your shirts?
  5. What is starch, and should I get it on my shirts?
  6. How do we remove those nasty collar stains from your shirts?
  7. What machinery is used in cleaning and pressing your shirts?
  8. What kind of quality control measures are in place for shirts?
  9. What is 'finishing,' and what does it mean in regard to shirts?
  10. What's the expected lifespan of a shirt, and how can I prolong it?