This is despite their proven effectiveness for straightening out wrinkles in clothing, and suits especially, where the elbows and knees tend to regularly become creased and wrinkled. A good steamer benefits a suit by allowing it to retain its natural shape and look pristine again, without damage to either the fabric itself or the actual look of the suit so that it hangs as good as new.
The reason professional clothes steamers are so popular on the men's sartorial style street Savile Row is because they get the job done without the necessity to resort to dry cleaning techniques. The latter traditionally involve the use of a lot of chemicals and solvents - both of which can prove damaging to worsted woollen fabric (the traditional material for expensive Savile Row suits).
And, of course, the more expensive the suit, the lighter and thinner the fabric, therefore the more likely it is to be damaged by the process of dry cleaning. This is where the garment steam press-which manages to both steam and press simultaneously - comes into its own. There are other advantages, in addition to the above, of using clothes steamers. These include:
Clothes steamers are quicker at straightening out wrinkles than an iron
With an iron you have to wait until the appliance heats up whereas with clothes steamers it's a case of simply setting the garment down and getting started. They are also much more effective at straightening wrinkles in materials such as denim, cotton, silk and wool - all of which can prove difficult to press using a conventional iron
Clothes steamers can prolong the life of your clothing
The more often you use a clothes steamer to straighten out wrinkles etc on your clothing, the less frequently you will be forced to subject it to the dry cleaning process which we know isn't particularly good for any material.
Ironing boards can be awkward to set up and carry around
Not only that but ironing boards also need to be stored somewhere and aren't exactly an attractive object to leave lying around a shop or your home. A steamer can simply be laid on a cupboard shelf without taking up too much space. Steamers are also much lighter in weight than an iron and therefore more portable. This makes them good for the business traveler in particular.
Clothes steamers do more than just straighten out wrinkles
They also freshen up clothing and get rid of any debris lying on the fabric so that the suit or dress looks as good as new when put out on display on the shop floor. Dust can accumulate while the garment is being stored in a backroom so it's always important to give it a quick steam before presenting it for sale.
Other fabric accessories can also benefit from clothes steamers
Curtains and cushion covers can look as good as new following a quick steam press. So too can pillow cases, quilt covers and comforters. And don't forget the sofa or your favourite armchair, both of which can easily fall prey to dust.
Always test a garment prior to steaming
Some garments aren't suitable for steaming. It is always a good idea to test a garment prior to steaming by practising on the inside of the fabric on a patch which won't be visible when the garment is worn or displayed. Common areas include the inside lapel of a jacket or the hem of lined curtains.