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Smooth as Silk: Dryer Advances (Conclusion)

Programmability in dryer tech is the key

TROY, Mich. — While highly programmable wetcleaning washer-extractors have been on the market for years, their partner dryers have lacked the programmability needed to dry delicate fabrics — wools, silks (like the red silk dress the woman is wearing in the photo), linens — without resulting damage.

Historically, garments were either wet-cleaned and air-dried overnight, which took a lot of time and space, or dry cleaned. Thankfully, emerging dryer technology is changing all that ... revolutionizing the wetcleaning process and how textile care operators do business.

What are the key capabilities to look for?

Seek out dryers with programmability of multiple variables within each step/phase of the drying process. Programmable phases, beyond the typical dry and cool-down, allow for the control necessary to protect garments when they are at their most vulnerable — at the beginning of the dry cycle when they are saturated with water and at the end of the cycle when they are near dry. A minimum of five phases is essential, here are the next three:

3. Moisture Level

It’s important for a dryer to have the ability to check and confirm the moisture content of a load before advancing to the next phase. Most dryers monitor for one moisture level throughout the entire dry cycle. Now, thanks to new technology, each phase has its own moisture level setting. This eliminates over drying, shrinking and damage at all phases of the drying process.

4. Timed Reversing

When the drum only turns in one direction, garments tangle and ball up, creating uneven drying. Look for a dryer with multiple different reversing options.

5. Input (Oven) and Output (Drum)Temperature

Most dryers allow control over the drum temperature for a set period of time. But it isn’t enough. A dryer with programmable oven temperature, from 104-392°F, allows total control over the dryer heat source/flame, which greatly reduces the risk of hot spots and heating inconsistencies that contribute to garment damage or shrinkage. Typically, oven temperature is higher for thicker materials and lower for delicate garments.

Additionally, new dryers can hit high drum temperatures of up to 195°F extremely quickly in order to evaporate moisture without as much tumbling. This precise control over temperature, rotation action and drum speed protects garments from damage while allowing the shortest dry times.


It goes without saying that the duration of each phase is important. New technology allows cycles to advance to the next phase based on time limit or moisture level. A time limit is always programmed to prevent over drying due to a possible moisture sensing error. This redundancy is an additional safeguard against damaging garments.

To read Part 1, go HERE.

19058 01336 red dress web

(Image licensed by Ingram Publishing)

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected].