Distortion ruins the hangFault: The customer complained that this smart coat, with smooth fronts and straight pockets, looked “like a limp dishcloth” after it had been cleaned.

Cause: These skins have relaxed in cleaning and resumed the size and shape they had when they were part of the original animal.

When the tanner flattened the three-dimensional barrel-shaped hide, the process involved differential stretching to create a flat garment leather for cutting out. Further distortion has set in during normal wear.

Responsibility: The presser needed to do a much better job.

It is often not possible to reverse relaxation completely, but it should be possible to get a better result than this, using steam and vacuum panel-by-panel.

Rectification: A skilled leather presser would work through the standard lays, softening each panel with steam and then pulling it to size

to remove the seam puckering and flatten out the wrinkles. They would then set with vacuum for double the normal length of time before the tension is finally released.Cleaning removed the oilsFault: The handle and drape of this garment were found to have changed completely after cleaning.

Cause: Cleaning removes the oils put into the skins by the tanner, some of which could be designed to make the skins much stiffer. The cleaner replaces these with standard cleaning oil, which can change the handle and drape. This cannot be avoided, unless the garment maker uses oils that will withstand cleaning. These do exist for use in garment ranges where this is important.

Responsibility: British Standards make reference to standard leather oil which proprietary cleaning oils replicate. There is no mechanism for the garment maker to stipulate that different oil is required, nor for a cleaner to use this either. The responsibility lies with the garment maker. If retaining the original oil is essential to maintain garment properties, then non-removable oil should have been used.Rectification:Glue is sensitive to solventFault: Previously unstained seams and hems came out after cleaning with blotchy dark marking.

Causes: The glue used here to make the hems is slightly sensitive to drycleaning solvent and has softened and moved during the solvent wash. Some has come to the surface and made it tacky, attracting and retaining dark soiling from the cleaning fluid.

Responsibility: This lies with the garment maker. There are garment adhesives available which do not give this problem.

Rectification:Liquid marks are darkerFault: Rounded liquid marks became visible after cleaning, each with a dark rim to it.

Causes: Marking of this type is produced by drink spills, usually in use. The splash might dry without leaving a visible mark, but the sugars in the drink do not dissolve in drycleaning solvent and survive the solvent wash stage. These then darken in the tumble dry stage in warm air to produce a dark rimmed mark although nothing could be seen before cleaning.

Responsibility: The wearer is responsible. If the cleaner does not know the marks’ location and cause, correct pre-treatment is not possible.

Rectification: None. Post-treatment would risk making the mark larger.

POOR HANG: Can be improved by skilled pressing distortion (1776) LIMP HANDLE: Cleaning has removed the oils Limp handle (1920) STAINED HEMS: A cleaner cannot predict glue marks glue (01) DARK MARKS: Developed staining from the careless drinker drink stains