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.

Couture dry cleaners: Not all “couture cleaners” are alike

There are thousands of dry cleaners in the USA who claim to be "couture dry cleaners" or "couture specialists". Can this possibly be true?
By: Stu Bloom

There are 26,000 dry cleaners in the USA.

Thousands of these cleaners call themselves “couture cleaners”, “couture care cleaners” or “couture care specialists”.

In this blog post, we explore the why ordinary cleaners are rebranding themselves as “couture dry cleaners” despite the obvious absence of technical skills, institutional experience and facilities and provide 3 ways to assess whether a dry cleaner who claims to be a “couture dry cleaner” is recognized by third parties as one.

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Cleaning and restoring handbags: Removing exterior ink stains

An ink stain on the exterior of a leather handbag is amongst the most difficult of all stains to remove
By: Stu Bloom

The most frequent stains found on handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks is general soiling, liquid spills, oil stains and dye transfer from jeans.

As a general rule, these types of soil and stains can be removed or remediated.

Ink is one of the most difficult stains to remove from the exterior of an accessory. And the problem is particularly acute if the ink stain is on leather.

In this blog post, we explain why ink is amongst the most difficult of all stains and illustrate the results that can be achieved through the application of skill, process and time.

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Cleaning & restoring handbags: Perfection vs best achievable results

If perfection can almost never be attained, aim for the best achievable result
By: Stu Bloom

It’s a simple fact of life that 95% of the handbags and other accessories brought or sent in to a handbag specialist for cleaning and/or reconditioning have seen prior usage — sometimes extensive prior usage. Even abuse.

No handbag specialist can guarantee perfection where perfection is defined as the condition one would find in a brand new, identically-styled, identically-colored handbag or other accessory currently on display in a boutique or department store.

As a result, a handbag specialist can only focus on delivering the best technologically achievable result.

In this blog post, we examine the perfection vs best achievable results dilemma and explain why perfection is, for the most part, a pipe dream.

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Cleaning and restoring vintage Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed handbags

Vintage Louis Vuitton accessories present additional maintenance issues not faced by their more modern counterparts
By: Stu Bloom

Vintage Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks present additional cleaning and/or restoration issues that are typically not found in more modern brown monogrammed accessories.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your vintage Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed accessories because of those additional “issues”.

These vintage handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks can be cleaned and restored to wearable condition with the application of skill, process and a little time.

In this post, we explore these additional issues and demonstrate the results that can be realistically achieved.

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Cleaning and restoring leather & leather-trimmed handbags: Removing water-based stains

Water-based stains and spills can be mitigated or completely removed with professional cleaning
By: Stu Bloom

The most common stains we see on leather and leather trimmed handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks are water-based stains.

With hand cleaning you might be able to lighten the water-based stain to the point that it’s not too visible. But you’re unlikely to restore the accessory to fully wearable condition with cleaning alone.

In this blog post, we explore some of the more common issues you might face when you attempt to clean a leather or leather-trimmed accessory with water-based stains and provide examples of the results that can be achieved with the application of skills, experience and time.

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Cleaning and restoring Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed PVC handbags

When it comes to cleaning and restoring LV brown monogrammed PVC coated canvas handbags and other accessories, you might not know which way to turn.
By: Stu Bloom

Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed PVC coated canvas handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks presents some maintenance issues that are unique to these accessories.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to abandon your Louis Vuitton brown monogrammed PVC coated canvas accessories just because it has some “issues”.

These handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks can be cleaned and restored to wearable condition with the application of skill, process and a little time.

In this post, we explore some of the more common issues associated with these accessories and demonstrate the results that can be achieved.

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Cleaning and restoring handbags: Removing dye transfer stains from jeans

Dye transfer from blue, navy, black or red jeans can be mitigated or completely removed with professional cleaning
By: Stu Bloom

One on the most common stains we encounter on handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks is dye transfer from jeans — blue, navy, black and red.

Professional cleaning can remove most if not all dye transfer from handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks as long as they are leather, suede, nylon, nylon/leather trim, canvas and canvas/leather trim.

When it comes to PVC coated canvas accessories your chances are 50:50 and when it comes to patent leather your chances are close to zero.

In this blog post, we provide examples of the results that can be achieved with the application of the right skills, judgement and hand cleaning processes.

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Shoe repair shop handbag cleaning: Exercise caution

Shoe repair shops offer $5 to $10 shoe shines. Cleaning and restoring handbags is a vastly different process.
By: Stu Bloom

If you’re going to drop off a handbag, purse, wallet or backpack at a shoe repair shop for cleaning, we’d suggest that you exercise caution.

Why?

Because shoe repair shops are in the business of repairing and shining shoes. And, because they “sew leather”, some offer luggage and handbags repair. A few even offer “handbag cleaning”.

The rationale for offering handbag cleaning is that “we know how to shine shoes” and that “there’s no difference between shining shoes and cleaning handbags.”

The problem for the owners of high-end handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks is that shoe repair shop typically won’t invest the time necessary to hand clean, condition, refinish and sanitize the exterior of a handbag and hand clean and sanitize the interior of a handbag.

In this blog post, we illustrate this point with an example of a handbag that was “cleaned” by a shoe repair shop and then reworked by a handbag specialist. The difference is night and day.

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