Due to poor make up and/or incorrect thread tension in manufacture, during cleaning puckering in the seam area joining the sleeve to the body can develop. Pre-finishing the garment on a tensioning former may help correct the fault, but in most cases the finisher will need to focus on the area.

1. If your ironing table has a well padded sleeve arm with vacuum, pull the sleeve over the arm well into the shoulder, then stretch and tension the area (you may need help with this) while steam ironing without vacuum. Then, vacuuml the area before removing the sleeve.

2. In the absence of a sleeve arm, suspend the jacket on a coat hanger and using a thick wad of fabric such as a small Terry towel press the fabric firmly into the shoulder/sleeve area, and iron using steam. Then, allow to cool fully (blow on the area to increase cooling), before removing the fabric. This can take some time. When finishing in this way it is a good idea to wear a protective glove to avoid the risk of scalding.

Both these techniques may take some practice to achieve the best results.

Fusible faults

Faults with fusible interlinings can be initiated by the cleaner, the customer or the manufacturer. Shrinkage faults are frequently caused by the application of general pre-spotting or water based kit chemicals to areas such as the shoulders and front facings; or customers force drying a damp or wet jacket. The manufactures bonding process is critical in terms of time, temperature and pressure, to the stability of the interlining during both wear and cleaning; for example, manufacturers have been known to reduce timings on bonding machines to meet production commitments resulting in bubbling due to localised bond breakdown,

1. Rippling faults. Fully heat the area using bottom steam or heat with steam from the iron – keep the iron close above the fabric and do not apply vacuum. Then, immediately stretch the hot fabric at right angles to the ripples and hold under as much tension as you can exert while cooling with the vacuum. This can require a lot of effort. Finally, if appropriate for the fabric, steam iron firmly while applying vacuum and fully cool before moving. The same technique can be used to correct faults in the upper seam area of pocket flaps.

2. Bubbling faults. These can often be corrected by firmly pressing or ironing the affected area followed by a light application of a good quality hairspray. In some cases,the application of industrial methylated spirit followed by pressing or ironing will actually recreate the bond. Bear in mind this is frequently a manufacturing fault and this is a very risky procedure that can damage acetate fabrics in particular. There is also a risk that colour may be affected.

All take time, patience and practice.

  • Next month I will be looking at women’s garments.