The Garment: Silk and silk/blend solid and print men’s sport shirts. Some fabrics are constructed with a plain weave, while others are a herringbone or jacquard design. We have also received garments made from knit fabrics. The solid colored shirts range from traditional red, black, and navy to popular colors such as coral, sky blue, bright yellow, and various shades of green. Most prints are tropical or island-inspired.
The Problem: When dry cleaned, the solid colors or printed designs may experience various degrees of color loss. This change in appearance may include a general lightening of color, a chalky or dull appearance, drastic fading of print, or a complete change in color. This damage may occur in the first dry cleaning or progress over several dry cleanings. Examples are shown on the back of this bulletin.
There are various care labels on these shirts, so it is important to read the care label before processing. Most care labels include written instructions and care symbols. Some labels indicate the garment may be washed or dry cleaned, some state dry clean only, while others say wash, do not dry clean. Some shirts have a secondary label that indicates the shirt is pigment dyed and the colors are meant to fade when washed, explicitly stating, FOLLOW CARE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. In some of the cases the International Textile Analysis Laboratory (ITAL) has seen, the dry cleaner did not follow the care instructions properly, while in other instances, a change in appearance occurred even when the shirts were cleaned as recommended.
Who’s Responsible? The manufacturer since damage occurred even though the care label was followed.
What To Do: The Consumer Concierge for Tommy Bahama may be reached at (800) 647-8688. The manufacturer states that its garments should not experience color loss if the care labels are followed, even on garments that have labels indicating they may be washed or dry cleaned. According to Tommy Bahama, it hasn’t had any problems with color loss; however, if color loss does occur when the garment is cleaned as recommended on the care label, the customer should return the garment to the retailer. Tommy Bahama will not accept returns directly from a dry cleaner or consumer, only from its retailers.
If you or your customer needs assistance in returning damaged garments, please refer to IFI’s damaged item return form found in Counter Sense No. 10 (March 2005). Consumers can access similar return letters for damaged items at http://consumeraction. gov/caw_problems_sample_complaint.shtml and http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/general/wrong.htm. Return forms are often more effective if submitted by the dry cleaner, along with the damaged garment and any written materials that explain the problem.