RAVE FabriCARE: Position Papers

Our brief discussion of various issues related to
fine garments, household textiles and accessories

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Corozo nut buttons: Does your dry cleaner play Russian Roulette?

 

Corozo nut buttons: Does your dry cleaner play Russian Roulette?

By: Stu Bloom

Many of the world’s finest garment manufacturers and bespoke tailors use corozo nut buttons on their high-end garments.

These manufacturers and tailors love the fact that corozo nut buttons are porous. This allows the button manufacturer to dye their buttons in small quantities, thereby achieving a near exact match of the color of their buttons to the color of the fabric.

The corozo nut (aka Tagua nut) refers to the seed of the Tagua palm tree native to equatorial South America. This tree grows very slowly and bears fibrous nuts after about 15 years. If this fruit falls to the ground when fully ripe, it is harvested and dried under the tropical sun for about 3 months. The gelatin of the nut then ripens and becomes a hard white substance resembling animal ivory. After drying, the nuts are husked by machine and sorted by size and quality. Then they’re thinly sliced so that they can be used as raw materials for buttons.

The problem for dry cleaners is that corozo nut buttons can crack or chip when the garments are tumbling in the stainless steel drum of a dry cleaning machine. Even when the buttons are supposedly “protected” with a foil covering.

Furthermore, because these buttons are color-matched to the fabric, it’s near impossible to find replacement buttons of exact size, color and design.

Corozo nut buttons must be removed and replaced

 

At RAVE FabriCARE, we’d never play Russian Roulette with the buttons of your fine garments. Instead, we remove them prior to cleaning and replace them after cleaning. Using the exact same color of thread, type of thread, and sewing technique.

By the way, there’s an easy way to determine whether your dry cleaner plays Russian Roulette with your corozo nut buttons: Carefully examine the surface of the buttons. If you see thin, hairline cracks on the surface of your buttons, you have your confirmation.

Does your dry cleaner remove the buttons, including the corozo nut buttons, of your fine garments?

Or have they decided that it’s just too much work and that they’re willing to play the odds with your fine garments?

This begs the question: If they’re playing Russian Roulette with your corozo nut buttons, what else is being compromised in their never ending quest to cut costs by cutting corners.

 

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Filed Under:

Dry Cleaning,Position Paper

Author

Stu Bloom

Stu Bloom is Founder and President of RAVE FabriCARE. RAVE FabriCARE, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, cares for fine garments, household textiles and accessories and serves clients throughout the USA and Canada. Stu is the author of various ebooks on these subjects, all of which are available from www.ravefabricare.com/freestuff. He is an evangelist for true quality cleaning and is a contributor to and editor of True Quality Cleaning, RAVE FabriCARE’s blog. You can find Stu on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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