Loads of linen
Busy days when you're the only drycleaner in town

Maria Canton
Northern News Services

IQALUIT (Oct 11/99) - As she drives to the hospital to drop-off more than 70-pounds of clean, crisp linen, Pitseolak Shoo says the morning delivery run is often her only break during the day.

"It's the only chance I have to sit down, we are so busy," she says.

Busy keeping clothes, sleeping bags, parkas and linens stain-free, wrinkle-free and dirt-free.

At Qikiqtani Drycleaners and Landromat, which Shoo bought three years ago, she often begins the day by folding linen and then sorting loads of clothes for the drycleaner.

"First, I sort out the different loads, they are either whites, colours or greasy, and then I check everything for stains," she says.

"After that, I iron and clean the drycleaner."

Removing stains, particularly blood and ink, is very time consuming, Shoo says.

And red wine is very difficult, if not impossible, to get out.

"I spend a lot of time at the stain removing station working by hand and with a scrubbing machine. Wine is very, very hard to get out, but coffee is one the easiest," she says.

After people drop their items off, Shoo tags both a card and the item with a laminated cardboard tab that can withstand the throws of the drycleaner.

"And after I wash and iron the clothes, I hang them up, wrap them up and put the customer's card on it," she says.

Abandoned clothes is another thing that is not uncommon at the drycleaners -- Shoo says people drop clothes off and never pick them up again.

Right now she has some items that have been left for over a year.

Hanging on the clean- clothes carousel are dresses, suits, uniforms, a santa suit, parkas, curtains and sweaters.

But not all have been forgotten, surely Santa will come back before Christmas.