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A garment steamer is a device that is used to release wrinkles from clothing. Steamers are often used by clothing companies and clothing stores to prepare garments for sale or display. They are meant to function as a fast and effective substitute for ironing. The speed with which a garment steamer releases wrinkles from an article of clothing is especially important in commercial and industrial use when hundreds of garments may require attention in a single day.
Although it is possible to find steamers in many different shapes and sizes, there is one model that is the most common. The most common kind of garment steamer has a water well at the base, a long metal rod that extends up to five feet (about 1.5 meters) above the base, and a flexible rubber tube that carries the steam from the base up to a wide nozzle. When the steamer is plugged in, the water in the base begins to heat up quickly, creating steam which rises through the tube and out through the nozzle. The tall rod is designed so that a garment can be hung upon it with a hanger.
Once the garment has been hung on the rod and the steam has begun to rise, the nozzle can be brushed over a wrinkled garment. Many people know the trick of hanging a wrinkled garment in the bathroom while showering in order to release wrinkles. A garment steamer functions on the same principle, but the steam is more concentrated.
Depending on how deeply wrinkled a piece of clothing is and how thick its material is, the time that it takes to steam a garment varies. This time also varies based on the power and quality of the garment steamer as well as the size of the item of clothing. Many garments made of cotton, wool, and blends including these two types of fibers can be completely steamed in a minute or less.
While garment steamers are most commonly used for commercial and industrial purposes, there are models that are intended for personal use at home. In fact, there are also some very compact models that can be used while traveling. This can be particularly helpful for people who travel on a regular basis for professional reasons. Hotel ironing services can be quite expensive and a good portable garment steamer can remove wrinkles from suits and dresses that have spent hours or even days crammed into a suitcase.