RAVE FabriCARE'S True Quality Cleaning Blog

Straight talk about caring for your fine garments, household tetiles and accessories
from experts who call things like it is. In plain English.

Category: Nationwide Clean By Mail Service

Evaluating the construction of bespoke garments: Hand vs. machine work
Written 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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The Hanger Project’s video review of RAVE FabriCARE’s bespoke garment cleaning service
Written by: Stu Bloom

It’s quite common for dry cleaners to tell you all about the “quality” of their cleaning. This applies across the board to all cleaners, even value (discount) cleaners, ordinary (middle market) cleaners and wanabee (illusion) cleaners.

It’s also quite common for customers of dry cleaners to post online reviews and offer testimonials for every category of cleaner.

However, it’s quite rare for a client — particularly a client with both a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the construction of bespoke garments and the experience to assess true quality cleaning — to offer a 10 minute plus video critique of the work delivered by a dry cleaner.

In this post, Kirby Allison, founder of The Hanger Project, offers such a critique.

Although Kirby Allison is a long standing bespoke client of RAVE FabriCARE, neither Kirby nor The Hanger Project are affiliated with RAVE FabriCARE.

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What’s the safest (and best) way to clean my fine silk and wool ties?
Written by: Stu Bloom

An advise column that appeared in a recent issue of Esquire Magazine theorized that the “best” way to clean your fine ties was to:

(a) blot — not rub — the stain(s) with a napkin or paper towel,
(b) pre-treat the stains with specific product(s) and
(c) hand wash the tie with other specific product(s).

I agree with (a). I vehemently disagree with (b) and (c).

What’s the basis for my disagreement? I see the results of DIY tie cleaning disasters from all around the USA and Canada on an almost daily basis. Extrapolate that over a period of almost 30 years and that represents thousands of potentially ruined ties.

In this post, I argue that, when it comes to cleaning your fine ties, the first rule is to ignore substantially all internet-based advise.

Most of that advise is not based on experience — the actual cleaning and restoration of thousands of ties. Rather, the advise appears to be contrived: grab a few ties, stain the ties with various substances, apply specific “stain removal” products to be promoted (the true objective of the article) and write a “how to” article on the outstanding results achieved.

The second rule is to consult a true quality cleaner who specializes in the cleaning and restoration of fine ties.

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