Most plant operators have some sort of an idea of the quality of the shirts that they produce. My experience has shown that they really are quite objective.  I don’t recall anyone proclaiming that their shirts are a “ten.”  Most say that their shirts are a “seven.”  They are about right.  The problem is that they all seem to be at a loss as to how to raise them to even an “eight”.  They’re stuck at the rating that they are at, with no clue and perhaps no inclination to raise it.  Customers seem ok with it too, so the plant staffers, as a whole, collectively, have bigger fish to fry and leave the shirt quality where it is at.  Is it “good enough”?  Evidently so.  Our final inspectors, the customers, aren’t particularly dissatisfied, so we move on to something else.  Complacency is the name of the game.


But, this month, I want to show you how easy it is to raise that level of quality without putting much effort into it.  And best of all, it’ll be a picture book!



Look at the circled “hole” in Figure 1.  This is a very common error and it contributes to all sorts of quality issues on every brand of shirt presses.  If blown air is allowed to escape through the hole pictured here:

  1. The sleeve can be dried in a distorted fashion
  2. The fabric may not dry completely
  3. The timer may be set for too long of a cycle so that the fabric has time to dry
  4. Productivity may suffer as an indirect result

Doing this correctly; that is, avoiding the hole, doesn’t take any additional time.


Figure 2

Look at Figure 2. This is a result of simply not paying attention.  A customer will notice this error and every customer will note this as carelessness. It doesn’t take any longer to do it right.

Figure 3

Look at Figure 3.  If you are careless about how you lay the sleeve gusset, you will end up with a careless looking press job like the one you see in Figure 4.  There is no reason for it.  Careless in = careless out.


Figure 4

Yes, all of these things can be “touched up” but touch up is to do the parts of the shirts that your shirt press is incapable of pressing correctly.  It is not to fix the parts of the shirts that the presser didn’t do correctly.  That is a manager’s job… training employees.


And speaking of touch up, here’s the best press for doing shirt touch up:

Figure 5

Yep, a hot head mushroom press.  It gives the best finish and is very fast.  Furthermore, it can fix multiple defects on the back of a shirt with one lay! See Figure 6


Figure 6

Oh!  And one more thing.  I love touching up shirts on hot head because of the speed and finish that they provide, but maybe you disagree.  Very often I find that they are misadjusted.  There is a critical squeeze pressure adjustment on these machines. If this is set incorrectly, the press will not give the desired quality result.  As the steel mesh compresses, the squeeze pressure needs to be tweaked to compensate.  The brand of machine that you have may look different but on this Forenta 19VS, (Figure 7) the space between the roller and the end of the track needs to be ¾ of an inch. If the roller “bottoms out”, the steam chest may not be squeezing to full pressure.