Chefs’ wear is increasingly becoming the “marker” by which customers rate competing providers of kitchen garments. Chefs' jackets have long been associated with rancid odours, greying, un-removed stains, black marks and unexplained damage. The list is a long one and embroidery that changes colour in washing has now joined to the list. |
However, the days when customers would accept garments that were still stained on return and with aluminium and rust marking are at an end. While the laundry service provider must be firm about the customer's responsibility for garment abuse, making it clear that it must be paid for, rancid odours, greying, yellowing and yellow stains should be problems of the past. Fortunately much has changed in the last two years and the market leaders are now able to produce coats that stay white and unstained and that give a commercially acceptable life.
This has been achieved with work in all areas, from fabric design to improved wash chemistry to a better understanding of and dealing with user abuse. The detergent suppliers have had to find ways of removing the yellow/brown staining caused by the oxidised proteins picked up from hot ovens. This staining is very resistant to conventional washing . It can defy removal without heavy bleaching and often even this is not enough. Worse than this staining is greasy fatty marking, which might not discolour a garment significantly but develops during laundering , leaving the unfortunate launderer to explain why the garment looks worse now than when it was sent in.
Abuse in the form of knife cuts can be particularly difficult to deal with, until the launderer recognises the symptoms of knife cuts and the difference between these and a snarl up in the garment folder. Finally, some chefs still demand embroidered garments and the problems with different embroidery threads are currently being re-examined. While the launderer's role continues to be a challenging one, this month's article suggests effective ways to address some of the main problems.
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