Why Upcharges?


DLI Seal of Approval dry cleaners consider the cost (materials, labor (including hand cleaning procedures), and time) it takes to care for an item when they set prices; and strive to align prices for similar type garments. For example, a pair of men’s dress slacks and a pair of women’s dress slacks will be the same price, if all factors are equal!  If one of the pairs of slacks is fully lined; or if they are made of silk, rayon, or linen, instead of cotton or wool; there may be a difference in price due to the additional labor to separately press the lining; or because of the special handling and hand pressing which silk, rayon, or linen requires.

Some differences which result in additional labor upcharges are fairly obvious;  a blouse with no ornamentation, compared to one with extensive trim and beads; or a straight skirt versus one with 30 pleats, each of which must be individually pressed. Other factors which result in additional work may not always be as obvious, such as the following:

  • Dark or bright colored fabrics with unstable dyes; requiring hand cleaning and air drying; i.e. madras or vegetable based dyes
  • Delicate or natural trims (i.e. glued on) or stretch fabrics, requiring hand cleaning, air drying and hand pressing.
  • Labels such as Tommy Bahama, Jhanes Barnes, Robert Graham, Bugatchi, Viyella, Canali, hand tailored, etc.
  • Fragile buttons or novelty fasteners; some may have to be removed and re-attached to safely clean.
  • Pleats, flutes, sequins, or ruffles; requiring hand pressing. Epaulets/military creases.
  • Care label requirements: “Hand/gentle wash, wash separately, dry flat, or cool iron”.
  • Specific requested instructions by customer; or care labels outside the normal process; or no care labels at all!

If you have a question about what appears to be a difference in pricing between two similar articles, please ask to speak with the manager to resolve the question. Garments manufactured “off the continent” (Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean) not subject to the same standards (shrinkage, colorfastness, quality of buttons, etc.) to which American companies are held. Occasionally, variations in descriptions can occur when your garments are detailed due to individual judgment; however we strive to standardize these variations through training. Our tracking software codes each piece and catalogs each piece separately with its own history. This reduces confusion and maintains credibility. We believe that our customers appreciate that we have to charge incrementally for the extra care and professional methods which we employ. It is the only way that we can hold the line on fair, competitive pricing going forward.

Hand press: silk, rayon (polynosic), linen, lyocell, ramie, viscose, tencel; lined, pleats, and ruffles; gabardines, chiffon, crepe, taffeta, satin, suede cloth, ultrasuede (polyurethane), etc.

Special handling: cashmere, angora, mohair, chiffon, crepe, acetates (taffeta, satin), faux fur, lame, metallic fiber items, spandex, vinyl, etc.

Decoration: Beads, sequins, rhinestones, shell buttons, novelty fasteners, leather, fur, or other natural skin trims, and hand painted, etc.

Hand cleaning/processing: including air drying, de-pilling, measuring and blocking to size, etc.

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