RAVE FabriCARE's True Quality Cleaning Blog

Straight talk about caring for your fine garments, household textiles and accessories
from experts who call things like it is. In plain English.

About Our Blog

Our blog posts explore a wide range of issues associated with caring for your fine garments, household textiles and accessories. I hope you'll join us along this journey.

Your fine garments, household textiles and accessories will love you for that.

The notion of airing out your dry cleaned garments & household textiles is absurd

You might be smelling dry cleaning solvent or fluid. But it's more likely that you're smelling the accumulated filth in your dry cleaner's solvent or fluid.
By: Stu Bloom

You’ve heard the “advice” countless times before: air out your dry cleaned garments and household textiles before bringing them into your home.

In this post, I’ll tell you why that conventional notion makes no sense whatsoever and what you can do to avoid the prospect of having to air out your garments and household textiles.

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New players are always promising to revolutionize the dry cleaning industry

Dig a little deeper and you'll soon recognize that most of these "new" ideas have been around for quite a while and at there's nothing new to be found.
By: Stu Bloom

Every new entrant into the dry cleaning market place will enthusiastically tell you all about their plans to “revolutionize” the industry. 

They’re always full of “new” ideas that, they believe, will turn the dry cleaning business on it’s proverbial head and generate wealth beyond their wildest dreams.

More specifically, they’ll tell you that they’ve developed a “new concept” — a better mouse trap. And that everything will be “different” and “better”.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll soon recognize that most of these “new” ideas have been around for quite a while and that there’s nothing new to be found.

Fact is, the only thing “new” about their concept is the glitzy marketing package that surrounds the very ordinary product they deliver.

In this post, I use Procter & Gamble’s franchised operation, Tide Dry Cleaners, to illustrate my point.

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Dry cleaners don’t care. Really. You might think that they do but they don’t.

Value, ordinary and most wannabe dry cleaners don't care about your fine garments, household textiles and accessories. How do you know that? Because everything they do confirms that.
By: Stu Bloom

Every dry cleaner swears that they really care about your fine garments and household textiles.

But do they really care?

Out of 26,000 dry cleaners in the USA, how many really care about your fine garments, household textiles and accessories? I’d bet fewer than 25.

In this post, I’ll explain why the work delivered by value (discount), ordinary (middle market) and most wannabe (illusion) dry cleaners is incompatible with caring.

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Tell your dry cleaner to remove their glued on or heat sealed barcodes

Before your leave a dry cleaner that glues or heat seals barcodes onto your garments, ask them to remove those unsightly, scratchy labels.
By: Stu Bloom

Many dry cleaners glue or heat seal barcodes on your fine garments and household textiles.

When you ask dry cleaners why they glue or heat seal barcodes on your fine garments and household textiles, they’ll tell you that they do so in order to “track your items through their production system”.

That’s the pronounced reason or spin. The real reasons are different.

So the critical question is this: What should you do if you discovered that your dry cleaner glued or heat sealed a barcode onto any of your garments or household textiles?

The overwhelming majority of dry cleaning customers probably couldn’t care less. All they want is a “cleaned and pressed” garment or household textile at the cheapest possible price.

Other customers — particularly those with a large investment in their fine garments and household textiles — may frown upon this practice. For those individuals, what are your options?

In this blog post, I prescribe a course of action and, if that fails, an alternative approach.

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Evaluating the construction of bespoke garments: Hand vs. machine work

When discussing the merits or otherwise of the construction of a bespoke garment, it's important to specifically identify hand work versus machine work
By: Stu Bloom

There are a number of online forums catering to members with an interest in bespoke garments.

Over the years, I’ve followed many threads (questions, answers and comments) relating to the construction of bespoke garments. While some of these threads were both interesting and educational, I’d invariably come away a little confused by the discussion.

When the threads involved a comparison between the work of different tailors, my confusion was magnified.

Something was missing: a mental construct that I could apply to the discussion to sort the wheat from the chaff.

Then I read a blog post by Derek Guy on www.dieworkwear.com entitled “What’s the point of hand work?”.

In this blog post, I identify the reason for my confusion: Unless the hand work and the machine work is specifically identified and labelled, it’s almost impossible to follow a thread discussion and make qualitative assessments between the work of different tailors.

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The Hanger Project’s video review of RAVE FabriCARE’s bespoke garment cleaning service

Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project, discusses why he trusts RAVE FabriCARE to care for his bespoke suits and shirts
By: Stu Bloom

It’s quite common for dry cleaners to tell you all about the “quality” of their cleaning. This applies across the board to all cleaners, even value (discount) cleaners, ordinary (middle market) cleaners and wanabee (illusion) cleaners.

It’s also quite common for customers of dry cleaners to post online reviews and offer testimonials for every category of cleaner.

However, it’s quite rare for a client — particularly a client with both a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the construction of bespoke garments and the experience to assess true quality cleaning — to offer a 10 minute plus video critique of the work delivered by a dry cleaner.

In this post, Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project, offers such a critique.

Although Kirby Allison is a long standing bespoke client of RAVE FabriCARE, neither Kirby nor The Hanger Project are affiliated with RAVE FabriCARE.

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Ordinary dry cleaners agonize about setting prices. They wouldn’t have to if they focused on delivering true quality cleaning.

The prices charged by the overwhelming majority of dry cleaners are sucked out of thin air, modified to end in a 1, 3, 7 or 9 and confirmed by gut instinct.
By: Stu Bloom

Ordinary cleaners have a unique approach to setting prices. They start by analyzing the prices charged by other cleaners in a 5 to 10 mile radius prices. Then they ignore those comparative prices and set the final price by sucking it out of thin air, modifying it to end in a 1, 3, 7 or 9 and confirming it by gut instinct.

Their prices are, in effect, the highest prices they think they can charge relative to the competition and relative to the “quality” of the product they deliver.

Then they spend months agonizing whether their prices are set at the appropriate level.

In this post, I hypothesize that the primary reason customers patronize ordinary dry cleaners is because of price, not quality of product. I also argue that customers who focus solely on price are customers that are not worth pursuing under any circumstances.

On the other hand, if ordinary dry cleaners dramatically improved the quality of the product they offered, their clients would drool over the quality of their work and they wouldn’t have to spend years agonizing whether their prices are set at the appropriate level.

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Ordinary dry cleaning means average care for average consumers by average people

Every dry cleaner starts out with the idea that they'll deliver "quality". Then they flip to growing the number of pieces "processed".
By: Stu Bloom

Almost every new entrant into the dry cleaning industry talks about delivering “quality” to their customers.

These new entrants believe that the “right” location, the “right” equipment, the “right” eco-friendly dry cleaning solvent, the “right” computer system, the “right” app and the “right” amount of effort will miraculously produce “quality” and, as a consequence, financial success.

They soon realize, however, that the overwhelming majority of their customers just want their garments “cleaned and pressed” for the lowest possible price and in the fastest time — two major impediments to delivering true quality cleaning.

In this post, I discuss why building a sustainable business that delivers true quality cleaning is so difficult to achieve and why these new entrants into the dry cleaning industry quickly shift their goal from “quality of product” to “growth in piece count” as a way to generate the cash necessary to keep the doors open.

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