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: Shirt Laundry

Dark colored shirts: Launder & machine press or dry clean & hand iron?

In this post, we explain why you should never allow your dry cleaner to launder and machine press your dark colored cotton shirts. We also explain why dark colored cotton shirts should always be dry cleaned in a very gentle dry cleaning fluid and then hand ironed.

We illustrate our position by showing you pictures of some dark colored Prada shirts that were laundered and machine pressed. We then present the results that we achieved by dry cleaning these same shirts in a very gentle dry cleaning fluid and then hand ironing them.

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RAVE FabriCARE: The best online resource for cleaning questions

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

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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New players are always promising to revolutionize the dry cleaning industry

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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Tell your dry cleaner to remove their glued on or heat sealed barcodes

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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The Hanger Project’s video review of RAVE FabriCARE’s bespoke garment cleaning service

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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Non-iron shirts: A Frankenstein textile technology that’s well past it’s “use by” date

The term “non-iron shirt” is an oxymoron. Whether you call them non-iron, wrinkle-free or wrinkle-resistant, these shirts still require hand ironing to look truly professional.

Now I know that there will be those who say that they just wash them and either hang dry them or toss them in a dryer and they “come out just fine.” But I’ve yet to see a non-iron shirt that’s processed in this fashion that looks like it’s been professionally hand ironed.

Like Frankenstein, the scientist who created a man-made monster who eventually turns on him and destroys him, non-iron shirts have many unexpected negative consequences.

In this post, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of “non-iron” shirts. After you’ve read the post, you might just reconsider your commitment to these Frankenstein monstrosities.

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