How to Care For Your Garments

With over 75 years of professional dry cleaning experience, we have gained the expertise and knowledge needed to care for your items. And because customer service is our #1 priority, we want to share some insider tips and information to help you better understand how we care for your garments and so you can better care for them at home, too.

The objective of fabricare is to clean and restore garments to a condition so they look new.  Fabricare processes can be divided into two basic steps:  soil removal and finishing. Soil removal generally is accomplished by immersing the soiled textile item in water or a solvent to dissolve or flush-out the soils present. Some type of mechanical action and a detergent aid in the removal of the soils. Cleaning with solvents generally is referred to as dry cleaning, while cleaning with water is referred to as laundering or wet cleaning. The term laundering is used to describe machine washing in either domestic or commercial applications. Wet cleaning generally refers to hand washing of garments in a professional cleaning facility.

DO'S OF FABRICARE

Save the hanging tags that come with garments you buy and take note of their instructions. Brush your clothes regularly and thoroughly.

Dry rain-soaked or damp garments thoroughly in a cool, well ventilated place before hanging in a closet.

Have garments dry cleaned regularly. Take stained garments to the dry cleaner immediately. Exposure to air, heat and light sets stains and can make their removal impossible.

STRETCHING

Knits and open weave garments are susceptible to stretching, which is irreversible. Garments made of acrylic fibers will stretch more easily than wool, making wool a better investment overtime. When not being worn, knits should be folded instead of hung.

COTTON KNITS

Knits are unstable because of their loose yarn construction and improper pre-shrinkage. Common complaints are stretching, distortion and shrinkage. Knits can be dry cleaned successfully but due to the absorptive properties of cotton, soil is not always removable.

SURFACE PRINTS

Some garments have a pattern, design or color which is painted or glued on to the fabric's surface. The print can be adversely affected or even lost by washing at home. Check to see whether the color or design penetrates the fabric before buying.

SEQUINS

Sequins are often applied with a chain stitch or are glued on which could unravel and fall off from normal wear. They are also made from a gelatinous material that is effected by heat, causing the sequins to melt, cloud, curl, bleed color or completely dissolve in dry cleaning solvent.

DONT'S OF FABRICARE

Don't iron a garment that's stained. The heat will set the stain and make its removal impossible. Don't hang knits. This causes stretching and sagging hemlines. Don't use stain removers. They aggravate the fabric and cause color loss. Don't use nail polish remover. It damages the dye and creates holes. Don't store garments without having them cleaned and moth-proofed. Store your boxes or cedar chests in a cool dry place.

SHRINKAGE

A fabric is subject to shrinkage if it was not pre-shrunk or the fabric was stretched to get more yardage during manufacturing. Examples are soft woolens, angora and drapery and upholstery fabrics. Leather and suedes can also be subject to shrinkage.

PURE SILK

Silk is a delicate fabric that may chafe, split, or shred through normal wear. Bleeding may also occur through normal wear or during spotting (professional stain removal) and dry cleaning. Perspiration also degrades silk fabric and perfumes and deodorants adversely affect the color.

METALLICS

Stains caused by beverages containing sugar, for example, may not be visible until the garment has been cleaned. By knowing the origin of a stain, stain removal and the cleaning process will be shorter. Note that the longer a stain sets, the harder it is to remove.

BUTTONS

Some manufacturers use polystyrene buttons that dissolve in the dry cleaning solvent. Buttons also have specific affinities to certain dyes. When improper dye is used, the button does not absorb or accept the dye. When moisture contacts the button, the dye bleeds onto the garment. 

BEADS & GLITTER

Most glitter and beads are made of glass, plastic or wood and are glued on. Plastics dissolve and wood cracks while loose dye transfers to the garment. The glitter may detach from in normal wear or the adhesive that holds it may dissolve in dry cleaning. Mini mirrors are often clear plastic that have a silver coating, and the adhesive that holds the silver coating dissolves in dry cleaning solvent resulting in the loss of the mirror affect.

FADING

Fading occurs when the fabric is exposed to sunlight or artificial light . Color loss is gradual and often goes undetected. Dyes on silks, acetate, leathers and suedes are most susceptible to color loss or discoloration. Fading in home closets or retail racks is known as fume fading

IMITATION LEATHER

Never dry-clean imitation leather made of vinyl due to cracking or peeling. Imitation suede is dry-cleanable if the polyurethane was made with quality control or else it will peel and pucker. If made by attaching loose fibers to a base fabric with adhesive, normal wear or dry cleaning will leave bald spots.

VELVET

The fabric pile may become flatted or distorted, especially in the seat and underarm areas. Acetate pile velvet is the least serviceable. Cotton, rayon and polyester fiber pile will resist flattening. Do not attempt any stain removal on velvet as it will become damaged permanently.

SHOULDER PADS

The change to large shoulder pads as a fashion trend has created problems for consumers and dry cleaners. Improperly manufactured shoulder pads may break up, distort or shrink. Many are improperly fitted to the garment and after one cleaning or launder are totally unusable.

*All services are provided at the risk of the customer. We are not responsible for the quality of the manufacturer of your garments.

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