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.

Cleaning and restoring handbags: Sometimes the only option is to replace the lining

Replacing stained, soiled and/or torn linings can transform a handbag from unusable to perfectly wearable
By: Stu Bloom

Stuff happens.

The lining of your favorite handbag, purse, wallet or handbag gets soiled from general usage and/or stained by a cosmetic, pen, beverage, candy and the like.

In most cases, these stains and soils can be removed by gentle hand cleaning.

On occasion, however, the accumulated soils and/or stains are so extensive and/or so ingrained that no amount of hand cleaning is going to return the lining to “like new” condition. At this point, it’s appropriate to consider replacing the lining.

In this blog post, we illustrate this idea with the transformation of a white Chanel handbag from disastrous to perfectly wearable.

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Cleaning and restoring a custom-made vintage silk coat

The restoration of a vintage garment requires skill, judgement and process. And often, a healthy dose of compromise and luck.
By: Stu Bloom

When you’re restoring a garment, household textile or accessory of historical significance, maintaining the integrity of the original components (color, buttons, hardware, linings, etc.) is critical.

When you’re restoring a garment, household textile or accessory for your own use, you might need to compromise in order to achieve the result you desire.

In this blog post, we illustrate this point by guiding you through the restoration of a 40 year old, blue silk coat. While the results exceeded our client’s expectations, the rotted lining could not be restored and required replacement. In other words, we compromised to achieve the desired result.

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Cleaning and restoring handbags: Returning discolored white handbags to brilliant white

Soiled or yellowed white leather or leather-trimmed handbags can be restored to brilliant white with professional cleaning
By: Stu Bloom

White leather handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks are the perfect accessory.

The only problem, however, is that white tends to magnify soil, stains, scratches and scuffing. White also tends to yellow over time when improperly stored.

The internet is awash with Do-It-Yourself cleaning products that are “guaranteed to produce a professional result in the comfort of your own home”. And let’s not forget every shoe repair shop that offers “handbag cleaning” on the side.

The bottom line is that you may need the professional help of a handbag specialist. Particularly, if your handbag, purse, wallet or backpack is a high-end brand. And particularly if it’s white.

In this blog post, we illustrate the results that can be achieved with professional cleaning and restoration.

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Cleaning and restoring sports memorabilia: Signed Muhammad Ali Robe

RAVE FabriCARE entrusted to restore a signed Muhammad Ali robe in poor condition
By: Stu Bloom

Many collectors of sports memorabilia own textile-based memorabilia — jerseys, jackets, shorts, robes, sporting patches and the like. Typically, they’ll display these textile-based memorabilia in display boxes.

For the most part, these displays are esthetically-pleasing. In other words, they look good.

The problem is that, despite all your best intentions, these artifacts may be deteriorating (and losing value) with each passing month.

That’s because of factors such as exposure to natural or artificial light, physical contact with acidic woods or plastics used in the construction of these display boxes, proximity contact to acids that off-gas from these woods and plastics over time, lack of air circulation, and the like.

In this blog post, we highlight the destructive nature of mounting textile-based sports memorabilia — such as a signed Muhammad Ali robe — in a display box that’s not archival using mounting techniques that are not archival. We further explore the results that might be achievable through professional restoration.

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Do-it-yourself handbag cleaning: Exercise caution

DIY leather and suede cleaning products are a dime a dozen. In most cases, that's all they're worth.
By: Stu Bloom

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.

Why?

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.

In this blog post, we illustrate this point with a Tory Burch leather handbag that was cleaned at home with one such “cleaning product”. Then we show you the results that can be achieved with the application of the right skills, judgement, products and processes.

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Cleaning and restoring garments: A Dairy-Saturated Suit Used in a Commercial

Jesse Thorn challenges RAVE FabriCARE: Restore this dairy-saturated Dolce & Gabbana suit !
By: Stu Bloom

In 2012, Put This On, released a series of videos covering various aspects of men’s wear and styling. The series was sponsored by Lifeway Kefir, a cultured, probiotic dairy product available throughout the USA.

In a web commercial for the series, Jesse Thorn pours 3 bottles of Lifeway Kefir over his head, saturating a black pin stripe Dolce & Gabbana suit in the process. Jesse then sent the suit to RAVE FabriCARE for restoration to “like new”.

This blog post illustrates the results that can be achieved with the application of skill, judgement and process.

Enjoy the journey.

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Cleaning and restoring sports memorabilia: Major League Baseball uniforms

RAVE FabriCARE entrusted to clean and restore three Major League Baseball jackets circa 1978 to 1988
By: Stu Bloom

Ron Davis is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for 5 different teams from 1978 to 1988.

In 2011, Davis discovered that rats had eaten through his 30 year old equipment bag and had nested amongst the 3 MLB jackets in the bag.

This blog post focuses on the transformation of these heavily-stained jackets and 1 equipment bag.

Enjoy the game. Oops, I mean enjoy the transformation.

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Don’t dry clean your handbag, purse, wallet or backpack. Ever.

Cleaning a leather or leather trimmed handbag in a dry cleaning machine is a disaster in the making
By: Stu Bloom

High-end handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks should always be hand cleaned.

High-end handbags, purses, wallets and backpacks should never be dry cleaned in a dry cleaning machine, irrespective of the type of dry cleaning machine or the type of dry cleaning solvent used.

Now, there are some dry cleaners who will tell you that they have a “special” dry cleaning machine that uses a “special” dry cleaning solvent. And to reinforce their argument, they’ll tell you that they clean leather and suede garments in that machine and with that solvent all the time.

Don’t buy that line.

In this blog post, we provide you with an example of the disaster that awaits you.

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