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.

Dry cleaners: Competing on the basis of “better” and “cheaper” is a fool’s errand

The vast majority of dry cleaners compete on the basis of "better" and "cheaper". They should, instead, focus on being "different".
By: Stu Bloom

Almost every dry cleaner in the USA competes on the basis of “better customer service” and “cheaper prices”

This is dry cleaner code for targeting the largest segment of the market — the vast middle market between the discount cleaner and the extraordinary cleaner.

In this blog post, we explain why dry cleaners prefer to compete on the basis of “better customer service” and “cheaper prices” and why they almost never talk about the quality of product they deliver — the primary reason why you entrust your fine garments, household textiles and accessories to a dry cleaner.

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Cleaning and restoring handbags and accessories of sentimental value

Cleaning and restoring handbags of sentimental value requires understanding of the circumstances and extreme TLC
By: Stu Bloom

Handbags and accessories of great sentimental value must be handled with the utmost care — irrespective of the original cost, age or condition of the handbag or accessory.

Every one of these handbags and accessories handbags of great sentimental value has a unique story that relates to the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the handbag. Typically, the handbag was received as a gift from a family member or friend, or the handbag once belonged to a family member or friend.

In this blog post, we illustrate this TLC principle by guiding you through the transformation of a handbag of great sentimental value — a handbag that belonged to the deceased daughter of our client.

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Cleaning handbags: Perfection vs best achievable results – a case study

Most reasonable clients understand that perfection is rarely attainable. Occasionally, someone - with ulterior motives - feigns ignorance.
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 a prior blog post, we explained the reasons why perfection is, for the most part, an unrealistic goal.

The overwhelming majority of clients understand this reality.

On the other hand, there will always be someone who, irrespective of the condition of the handbag or other accessory on the day it was dropped off or sent in, will always demand perfection. And who will accept nothing less than absolute perfection.

In this blog post, we illustrate the perfection vs best achievable results dilemma with a concrete example of the consequences faced by handbag specialists when a client demands perfection in the face of reality.

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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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