Knit Blocking & St. John’s Knits

No True Quality Cleaner in your area? Don't live in the metro Phoenix area?

We ship throughout the USA and Canada. With our Nationwide Clean By Mail service, we’re as close as your front door.

Click Here For Details

For many of our clients, sweaters and knits constitute a significant portion of their wardrobe investment.

There’s alpaca, angora, cashmere, escorial, marino, mohair, vicuna and other fine wools.

From the likes of Ballantyne, Cucinelli, Escada, Gucci, Hermes, Loro Piana, Missoni, Prada, Pringle, Ralph Lauren, TSE and St. John Knits.

At RAVE FabriCARE, our cleaning, blocking and packaging process for sweaters and knits is unmatched any dry cleaner in Arizona and by few others in the USA.

Our blocking procedures provide you with the assurance of a perfect fit.

And our packaging methods help you maintain their shape.

And we can do this (in most cases) even if your fine knits have been contaminated by fire, smoke, soot, water, mold, mildew and/or humidity as a result of a fire or flood.

Simply put, you can trust RAVE FabriCARE to keep all your sweaters and knits in ship shape condition.

Tips on Caring for St. John Knits

cover-st-johns

VIEW IT NOW

RAVE FabriCARE has prepared a tip sheet on the care and storage of St John Knits. Click to to view the document. No registration required.

Blocking

At RAVE FabriCARE, every sweater and knit garment is carefully measured prior to cleaning.

After cleaning, your sweaters and knits are de-pilled, delinted and blocked to your original measurements.

Blocking involves:

  • Measuring all dimensions of a garment prior to cleaning.
  • Maintaining a record of all those dimensions.
  • Shaping the garment to those original measurements, using hands and steam.
  • Applying a vacuum to “dry” the steam and “lock” the shape into place.
  • Returning the garment with proof of blocking.

All our sweaters and knits are finished on custom steam/vacuum tables. This way the entire garment can be laid perfectly flat and blocked to shape using steam and vacuum.

Very few cleaners in the USA actually block their sweaters and knits. And even fewer have specialized blocking equipment necessary to do the job right.

Other than RAVE FabriCARE, we know of no other cleaner in Arizona that has this specialized blocking equipment.

Proof of blocking

At RAVE FabriCARE, proof of blocking accompanies every sweater and knit garment returned to you..

Here’s how it works…….

We use four different custom printed blocking tags – for sweaters/blazers, slacks/trousers, dresses and skirts.

Prior to cleaning, every sweater and knit garment is carefully measured (up to 12 different dimensions). These dimensions are noted on the appropriate blocking tag.

The blocking tag accompanies your garment through the entire cleaning, finishing/blocking, inspection and packaging process.

At the packaging stage, we hang the blocking tag on your garment hanger or place it in your breathable sweater bag.

While some ordinary cleaners claim that they block their sweaters and knits, RAVE FabriCARE puts proof of blocking right in your hands.

Because claims without proof are just hallucinations.

Our knit care process

At RAVE FabriCARE, we specialize in knits generally and in St. John Knits in particular.

Truth is, this specialization is merely an extension of the extraordinary care we lavish on all your specialty garments with trim or embellishments.

At RAVE FabriCARE, every knit is:

  • Protected against scratching or chipping of the buttons, zipper pulls and other hardware.
  • Measured prior to cleaning.
  • Pre-spotted prior to cleaning.
  • Cleaned in dry cleaning fluid that’s extremely gentle on the garment and on trims such as glued-on pailettes and/or rhinestones.
  • Cleaned in dry cleaning fluid that’s completely odorless.
  • Cleaned in dry cleaning fluid that’s as crystal clear as bottled mountain spring water.
  • Blocked to size after cleaning.
  • Carefully and thoroughly inspected. From top to bottom. From inside to outside.
  • Elegantly packaged using premium materials.

All this means that:

  • Your knits will fit perfectly.
  • Your white, cream and pastel knits will always be spectacularly bright (particularly if they’ve always been cleaned at RAVE FabriCARE).
  • Your dark colored knits will always look rich and lustrous, without that “washed out”, faded look (particularly if they’ve always been cleaned at RAVE FabriCARE).
  • The light colored edging on your dark colored knits won’t turn greyish or dingy (as long as they’ve always been cleaned at RAVE FabriCARE).
  • Your knits will never have any “dry cleaning solvent” smell, or any fragrance or perfume smell.
  • The glued-on pailettes and/or rhinestones on your St. John Knits won’t peel off or lose their luster (as long as they’ve always been cleaned at RAVE FabriCARE).

At RAVE FabriCARE, our care for knits is unmatched by any dry cleaner in Arizona and by few in the USA.

Adjustments to the dimensions of knits returned to you

Why do we pre-measure every knit prior to cleaning?

Why do we block your knits to size after cleaning?

Why do we return every knit to you with the pre-cleaning dimensions as well as the post-cleaning dimensions attached to your garment?

Simply because we want to ensure that each knit returned to you has been cleaned to our highest standards and blocked to as close to pre-cleaning dimensions as possible.

If any of your knits require some minor dimensional adjustments after they have been returned to you, we will be happy to accommodate that request.

However, we do require that our original blocking tag – identifying the pre-cleaning dimensions – be returned together with your garment.

We regret that we cannot accommodate any request to reblock a knit unless that knit is accompanied by the original blocking tag.

There is, of course, a secondary reason why we pre-measure your knits prior to cleaning and subsequently block your knits to those pre-cleaning dimensions.

You see, as a fabricare specialist, we occasionally receive knits that have shrunk or stretched. 

Here are two examples:

  • The knit was washed at home and/or tossed in a dryer. And, as a result, it shrunk.
  • The knit was “steamed out” by another cleaner. And, as a result, it overstretched.

The problem is that, in some cases, these facts were never disclosed to us when the garment was dropped off or sent in. The client then claims that “you shrunk my sweater…it’s two sizes too small” or, alternatively, “you stretched my sweater…it’s way too big.”

Pre-measurement of all knits and the return of a blocking tag with your garment eliminates these all too common scenarios.

St John Knits with glued on pailettes and/or rhinestones

In the preceding paragraph, we state that the glued-on pailettes and/or rhinestones on your St. John Knits won’t peel off or lose their luster – as long as the knit has always been cleaned at RAVE FabriCARE.

Why do we use the term “as long as the knit has always been cleaned at RAVE FabriCARE”?

Because we’ve been cleaning in siloxane –  a very gentle dry cleaning fluid that doesn’t dry out the glues – for over 15 years. And because we’ve never had St John Knits with pailettes and/or rhinestones peel off or deluster where RAVE FabriCARE has been the only dry cleaner who has cared for that garment from day one.

As a dry cleaner, the problems we face on many St John Knits with pailettes and/or rhinestones – particularly on older St John Knits with the Marie Gray label – are 3 fold:

  • the glues used on these older St John Knits might have naturally dried out over time due to improper storage
  • the dry cleaning solvent used to previously clean these older St John Knits might have dried out the glues.
  • it’s almost impossible to speculate whether or not the glues used on these older St John Knits have dried out unless, of course, the pailettes and/or rhinestones show visible signs of peeling off or delustering prior to cleaning.

Typically, St John Knits will stand behind a garment that is less than 5 years old if the pailettes and/or rhinestones peel off or deluster. They will provide no such assurance on garments older than 5 years.

And, if St. John Knits won’t stand behind their own garments with pailettes and/or rhinestones that are more than 5 years old, we see no reason why RAVE FabriCARE should function as St John’s insurance company.

Accordingly, RAVE FabriCARE requires a signed waiver of liability on any of the following St John Knit garments with pailettes and/or rhinestones:

  • If the garment is more than 5 years old.
  • If the garment is more than 5 years old and has been cleaned, at any point in time, by a cleaner other than RAVE FabriCARE.
  • If the garment is less than 5 years old and has been cleaned, at any point in time, by a cleaner other than RAVE FabriCARE.
  • If the garment was purchased from a consignment or resale store either online or locally.

Single-dimensional (length or width) corrective re-blocking

Are any of your sweaters or knits out of shape?

In many cases, sweaters and knits can be re-blocked to your desired and/or original measurements.

To facilitate re-blocking, attach one of our convenient blocking diagrams to your garment.

To view and print these diagrams, click on any one of the diagrams below:

Then mark up the diagram to reflect the changes you desire.

For example, if you wish to re-block the sleeves of your blazer 1-1/2 inches longer and the waist 1 inch wider.

  • Print the sweater/blazer diagram
  • Enter the garment description, such as brand name and color
  • Circle the sleeve length (#7) and write “make 1-1/2 inches longer” next to #7
  • Circle the waist (#3) and write “make 1 inch wider” next to #3
  • Attach diagram to your blazer.

It’s really that simple.

Two-dimensional (length and width) corrective re-blocking

We often receive requests to re-block sweaters and knits that are misshaped along the 2 major dimensions: length and width.

Typically, these requests are accompanied by an explanation. For example:

  • “I washed this sweater in error and it shrunk in both length and width”.
  • “I took this to an ordinary cleaner and got it back looking like this. Now it’s too long and too wide”.
  • “I’m a size 10 in a St Johns Knit suit. I purchased this St John Knit suit (label says size 10) on Ebay but the jacket is too tight in the body and the too short in the length”.

Blocking larger….

As a general rule, a sweater or knit can be re-blocked about a size to a size and a half larger, but along one dimension only.

In other words, if you are looking to to re-block a sweater or knit wider, you cannot also re-block the sweater longer. As a general rule, you need to focus on one dimension only.

Conversely, if you are looking to to re-block a sweater or knit longer, you cannot also re-block the sweater wider. As a general rule, you need to focus on one dimension only.

Blocking smaller….

As a general rule, a sweater or knit can be re-blocked about a size smaller, but along one dimension only.

In other words, if you are looking to to re-block a sweater or knit smaller in the width, you cannot also re-block the sweater shorter in the length. As a general rule, you need to focus on one dimension only.

Conversely, if you are looking to to re-block a sweater or knit shorter in the length, you cannot also re-block the sweater narrower in the width. As a general rule, you need to focus on one dimension only.

Please remember that these are rules of thumb.

Accordingly, please understand that

  • We cannot provide guarantees that your desired dimensions –  both length and width – can be achieved.
  • We’ll only know the results after the work has been completed. 
  • We cannot undertake any cleaning and re-blocking work on a “results-achieved basis”.
  • We cannot undertake “blocking only” work as our blocking specialists can only work on garments that we know are clean.

If you agree to entrust your sweaters or knits to us for cleaning and re-blocking, we will do our very best to achieve your desired dimensions – both length and width –  and we expect to be paid for our efforts.

To facilitate re-blocking, attach one of our convenient blocking diagrams to your garment.

To view and print these diagrams, click on any one of the diagrams below:

Then mark up the diagram to reflect the changes you desire.

Refer to the example in the sub-section above for instructions on marking up the diagram.

Restoring a St. John Knit ensemble that has an identical color tone

At RAVE FabriCARE, we may be able to rejuvenate, or even fully restore, your pailette-free, rhinestone-free, white, cream or pastel St. John Knit ensembles that have become yellow, grey, dull and/or stained due to improper cleaning or storage.

Our special whitening and/or brightening processes may be able to bring them back to life.

For two or three piece St. John Knit ensembles, we must be able to treat all pieces of the ensemble at the same time to stand any chance of achieving consistency of color across all pieces.

Please understand that

  • St. John Knit suits are wool and/or wool/rayon blends.
  • St. John Knit suits are “dry clean only” garments.
  • Our whitening and/or brightening processes typically involves soaking in a water-based process, hand rinsing, flat drying, dry cleaning to restore the texture and feel, and re-blocking to as close to original measurements as possible.
  • It might not be possible to remove all oxidized or caramelized yellow or brown stains, particularly if the garment(s) has been improperly cleaned and dried multiple times in the past.

There are risks. So it’s not possible to guarantee perfect results on every St Johns ensemble.

That being said, we’ve been able to produce excellent results on many St. John Knit ensemble.

At RAVE FabriCARE, our strength is our personalized advisory service. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your options, advise you as to the risks associated with each option, and identify the results you can or cannot expect from each – using our best judgment.

Restoring a St. John Knit ensemble that has differing color tones

If you have a pailette-free, rhinestone-free, white, cream or pastel St. John Knit ensemble that’s become yellow, grey, dull and/or stained due to improper cleaning or storage – and those ensemble pieces currently exhibit a clear variation in color from one piece to the other –  we might still be able to employ our special whitening and/or brightening processes to bring them back to life.

For two or three piece St. John Knit ensembles, we must be able to treat all pieces of the ensemble at the same time to stand any chance of achieving consistency of color across all pieces.

In other words, if you took one piece of a 2 or 3 pice ensemble to a cleaner and that cleaner yellowed, grayed, dulled and/or failed to remove stains from that piece – and as a result that one piece has a different color tone from the other pieces of the ensemble – we must be able to treat all pieces of the ensemble at the same time to stand any chance of achieving consistency of color across all pieces.

Accordingly, we cannot accept one piece of a 2 or 3 piece ensemble with instructions to “make this slacks the same color as the jacket but do not clean the jacket…use the jacket as a color guide only”.

Because of the pre-existing variations in color, the process required is more time consuming and the outcome less predictable.

The same risks discussed in the section above apply.

Keeping shape in storage

To keep the shape of your sweaters and knits during storage, we recommend that your sweaters and knits be carefully folded, cushioned with acid free tissue, and packaged in one of our breathable sweater bags.

For more information on the characteristics of our our breathable sweater bags and how to purchase  these bags as well as other specialty storage solutions, please click here.

In-Store ServiceLearn More

Pick Up and DeliveryLearn More

Nationwide Clean by MailLearn More

RAVE ReviewsRecent customer testimonials

America's True Quality Cleaner and Fabricare Specialist For Almost 30 Years