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Why Tin Foil On Buttons?

Interested in cleaning your wedding gown, but you’re concerned about its fine and delicate pearl buttons?  Read on.  Standard buttons on button up shirts should not have any issues with the dry cleaning process. But those that are made of natural materials may chip, crack or break. Some dry-cleaners often do not protect these buttons by removing them before dry cleaning, wrapping them in aluminum foil, or wrapping them in special velcro covers. If your buttons are breaking on a newer item, this is probably why.

At WaterStone, we remove any button prior to cleaning that we feel is irreplaceable or may be damaged during our cleaning process and re-attach them after cleaning. This is the only way to ensure that the entire look of the garment stays true to the way in which the designer intended. If you trust us with a unique, heirloom, or antique garment we’ll take extra care to protect and preserve it.

Top quality garments often use buttons made from natural materials such as shell or bone. These are naturally brittle and will chip or crack even during regular wear. About 60 minutes is the average time a garment spends in our dry-cleaning machines – which cleans it with special, odorless, environmentally safe liquids and then dries it at a very specific temperature. Buttons made of natural material would likely chip or break. These buttons are also expensive to replace. Some large shell or bone buttons can cost up to $10 each. Buttons of historical significance can cost hundreds of dollars or may be irreplaceable.

Before cleaning, a reputable dry-cleaning establishment will wrap these types of buttons in heavy aluminum foil, or protect them with specially designed covers.

Daily wear garments tend to stick with plastic buttons. They’re manufactured from a polyester resin that gives some extra strength. Multiple launderings – whether it’s dry cleaning or not – breaks down the structure of the resin and the buttons become brittle. The natural aging process causes most to break.

Don’t be shy about voicing a concern you have about buttons and other attachments on your favorite garments. A quality dry cleaner wants to keep you as a customer – which is more likely to happen if you’re not asking about what happened to your buttons. Just let us know and we’ll take the upmost care of cleaning your wedding gown, historical costume, or bespoke garment. On your bag, we have provided a “Special Request Card” for you to send us a note for the garments in bag. We will follow your instructions to the letter. If we have any questions, we will call you at the number you have provided. You can also text us your special requests with the provided link from your smart phone. It will post in your account. We will see it and handle it. Learn more about our free pick-up and delivery services.

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