The drycleaning and drying processes normally reduce the textile’s regain (standard moisture content) and, in some cases, it may be eliminated entirely.

Natural textiles in particular need to have recovered their normal moisture before they are finished and textiles in general respond better to finishing if they are allowed to recover their moisture.

In some cases, the difference in finish can be significant. Textiles containing either animal hair or wool are prime examples.

Hanging such garments for around 15/20 minutes before finishing will give them time to recover most of their natural moisture.

Note that steam finishing will not replace the lost moisture. If garments are finished before they have recovered their normal moisture content, then the finish may well relax as the garments absorb moisture from the atmosphere.

For example, wool typically holds around 14% of its weight as moisture content.

Textiles with very low regains, such as polyester and the acrylics, should be finished first as they are relatively unaffected.

Pure wool items and the cellulosics should be left to be finished last.