Fire and water damage: what to do in a disaster situation
A fire and/or water disaster – natural or otherwise – can occur at any time.
Before you turn over your fine garments, household textiles (such as bed and table linens, bedspreads, coverlets, comforters, cushion covers, draperies and area rugs) and accessories (such as handbags, purses, wallets, shoes and boots) to a dry cleaner for restoration, there’s much that you can do – and not do – to mitigate further damage.
In this post, we identify many of those “do’s” and “don’ts”.
The most important “don’t” pertains to your selection of a restoration dry cleaner.
If you have a significant investment in bespoke, made-to-measure, designer, high fashion, specialty and couture garments, household textiles and accessories, it’s critical to understand the difference between an ordinary restoration dry cleaner and a true quality restoration dry cleaner.
It’s even more important to understand your rights under your insurance policy, particularly your right to choose your restoration dry cleaner without being “steered” or “prodded” — against your better judgement — to the restoration dry cleaner “selected” or “recommended” by the insurance company, agent or adjuster.
In this post, we explain your right to choose and why you should forcibly exercise that right.
A tale of 2 dry cleaners: Which one would you choose?
Imagine that there are only two dry cleaners in a particular city.
Further, imagine that they’re situated next door to one another.
One has a sign which that says True Quality Cleaners; the other sign says Ordinary Cleaners.
Let’s say that you mostly shop at high-end boutiques and department stores, that you have a relatively significant investment in your fine garments and that you have the financial resources to pay for the very best in on-going maintenance of that wardrobe.
Which of these two cleaners would you choose?
The purpose of this post is to help you make an informed decision by highlighting the differences between extraordinary (true quality) dry cleaners and ordinary (middle market) dry cleaners and the operating philosophies underlying those differences.
Cleaning and restoring handbags: Removing ink stains from interiors and linings
One of the most difficult stains to remove from the interior or lining of an accessory is ink.
The reason why ink is so problematic is because of the number of variables involved and the thousands of combinations of those variables.
In this blog post, we discuss those variables, caution against the use of various “miracle cures” that can be found on the internet and illustrate, through two examples, the results that can be achieved — one almost completely and the other not at all (because of the type of lining involved).
Do it yourself handbag cleaning: Exercise caution – a case study
If you’re going to clean your leather or leather trimmed handbag, purse, wallet or backpack at home with any type of “cleaning product, we’d suggest that you proceed with caution.
If you, nonetheless, proceed to use one of those “cleaning products” and the results produced are not as expected, we’d suggest that you ignore any advice you might fin=d on the internet on how to fix the problem caused by one of those “cleaning products”.
Because there is an element of experimentation involved with using these cleaning products. The outcome is often a crap-shoot. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. You’ve got a 50:50 chance of getting it wrong and the consequent results can be disastrous.
And if you take the advice of some internet-based Helpful Heloise, you’ll probably just compound the problem.
In this blog post, we illustrate this point with a Prada leather handbag with an ink stain that was cleaned at home with one such “cleaning product” and then further complicated by poor internet advise. Then we show you the results that can be achieved with the application of the right skills, judgement, products and processes.
Dry cleaners: Competing on the basis of “better” and “cheaper” is a fool’s errand
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.
Cleaning and restoring handbags and accessories of sentimental value
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.
Cleaning handbags: Perfection vs best achievable results – a case study
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.
Couture dry cleaners: Not all “couture cleaners” are alike
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.