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.

RAVE FabriCARE: The best online resource for cleaning questions

Derek Guy believes that our Position Papers and White Papers constitute the best online resource for questions and answers about garment care
By: Stu Bloom

Derek Guy writes one of the best blogs on men’s clothing (DieWorkWear.com). So much so, that the readers of PermanentStyle.com, a blog that receives up to 500,000 page views a month, voted the Die Work Wear blog Best Media for 2017. The Best Media category includes newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs and Instagram accounts — worldwide.

In a recent post, Derek Guy states the following:

The blessing and curse of the internet is that anyone can put up information. That’s why online guides on how to clean clothes are often so spotty – recycled wives tales and anecdotal evidence are thrown around to justify some cleaning method. Often times, you don’t know who’s writing the guide and how they know what they know.

He then proceeds to name RAVE FabriCARE’s website as the “Best Online Resource For Cleaning Questions.”

If you’re looking for answers to your questions about garment care, we invite you to explore our Position Papers, White Papers and Ebooks.

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How to select a quality dry cleaner: The old standards don’t cut it anymore

Every dry cleaner swears that they're a true quality cleaner. There's a far better way to select a true quality cleaner than those verbal reassurances.
By: Stu Bloom

In the past, consumers chose their dry cleaner on the basis of convenience, price and some vague verbal reassurances from the manager or customer service representative that the cleaner was, indeed, a “quality dry cleaner.”

In this age of hyperbolic claims, there has to be a better way. And there is.

In this post, I suggest that a far better approach is to

(1) review a checklist of specific, written practices — practices that, when viewed as a cohesive whole, constitutes true quality cleaning,

(2) compare those specific, written practices to the practices of any other dry cleaner you’re considering, and

(3) hold the dry cleaner accountable for meeting your expectations based on those specific, written practices.

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Removing odors from new, used and vintage leather garments & accessories

Removing smells and odors from new, used or vintage leather garments and accessories using a myriad of home remedies rarely produces satisfactory results
By: Stu Bloom

Leather soaks up smells and odors like a sponge.

The smells and odors in brand new leather garments (handbags, purses, backpacks, etc.) or accessories (shoes, boots, etc.) typically comes from the leather tanning process.

The smells and odors in used and vintage leather garments (handbags, purses, backpacks, etc.) or accessories (shoes, boots, etc.) can come from a variety of sources such as food, mildew, mold, perfume, perspiration and smoke. 

In this post, I’ll discuss some of the options available to remove odors and smells in new, used and vintage leather garments and accessories.

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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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