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: Garment Care

Salespersons and stylists are not garment care specialists

At the high-end, every salesperson and stylist understands that the key to their long term success is to develop a relationship with their clients. An important part of that relationship is to become a trusted advisor to their clients on every aspect of their style and fit.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that some salespersons and stylists believe that this relationship should extend to advising clients on the best approach to caring for those fine garments.

I’ve also noticed that most of this garment care advise — “tell your dry cleaner to do a, b and c” — amounts to nothing more than fiction and myth — something they might have heard somewhere from someone who heard something from someone else.

Bottom line: Salespersons or stylists should limit their advice to style and fit. Garment care specialists are skilled in determining the best approach to restoring your fine garments to pristine condition.

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Fine garment care: It’s not solely about the dry cleaning machine or solvent

Dry cleaners are quick to tell you all about their “great” dry cleaning machine and their “great” dry cleaning solvent or fluid.

The implication is that true quality cleaning is all about machines and solvents or fluids.

That’s a false and misleading premise.

Truth is, true quality garment care is the result of the integration of the right dry cleaning machines and right solvents or fluids into a garment care process that involves an entire chain of specific tasks. Independent of the process, the dry cleaning machine and the solvent or fluid are worthless.

In this post, I explain why it’s important to understand your dry cleaner’s process instead of focusing solely on the brand of the dry cleaning machine or the generic type of solvent or fluid used.

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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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Ordinary dry cleaners agonize about setting prices. They wouldn’t have to if they focused on delivering true quality cleaning.

Ordinary cleaners have a unique approach to setting prices. They start by analyzing the prices charged by other cleaners in a 5 to 10 mile radius prices. Then they ignore those comparative prices and set the final price by sucking it out of thin air, modifying it to end in a 1, 3, 7 or 9 and confirming it by gut instinct.

Their prices are, in effect, the highest prices they think they can charge relative to the competition and relative to the “quality” of the product they deliver.

Then they spend months agonizing whether their prices are set at the appropriate level.

In this post, I hypothesize that the primary reason customers patronize ordinary dry cleaners is because of price, not quality of product. I also argue that customers who focus solely on price are customers that are not worth pursuing under any circumstances.

On the other hand, if ordinary dry cleaners dramatically improved the quality of the product they offered, their clients would drool over the quality of their work and they wouldn’t have to spend years agonizing whether their prices are set at the appropriate level.

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In the dry cleaning business, average is just another word for mediocre

In June 2017, dry cleaners from all around the USA, Canada and beyond will descend on the Las Vegas for the Clean Show, a biennial trade exposition showcasing the latest in equipment, technologies and services.

They’ll all be searching for the holy grail: how to push more and more pieces of fabric (aka your fine garments and household textiles) faster and faster through their production facility using a mix of low skilled labor and highly automated equipment.

The problem for all these dry cleaners is that they’ll continue to face that same recurring dilemma — year in, year out — no matter how many Clean Shows they attend and no matter how many labor saving machines they buy.

In this post, I posit that success in the dry cleaning business isn’t a function of the number of trade shows they attend or the number of labor saving machines they install.

The answer is to say no to being average. That the answer is to stand for something instead of standing for nothing.

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A tale of 2 dry cleaners: Which one would you choose?

Imagine that there are only two dry cleaners in a particular city.

Further, imagine that they’re situated next door to one another.

One has a sign which that says True Quality Cleaners; the other sign says Ordinary Cleaners.

Let’s say that you mostly shop at high-end boutiques and department stores, that you have a relatively significant investment in your fine garments and that you have the financial resources to pay for the very best in on-going maintenance of that wardrobe.

Which of these two cleaners would you choose?

The purpose of this post is to help you make an informed decision by highlighting the differences between extraordinary (true quality) dry cleaners and ordinary (middle market) dry cleaners and the operating philosophies underlying those differences.

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Like new & gently used, high-end garments & accessories: Post-purchase cleaning

When you think of purchasing a fine garment or accessory, you might typically think of a traditional, high-end department store or boutique located in a particular geographic area, in a particular street or in a particular shopping mall. In addition to these brick and mortar locations, these stores or boutiques typical offer an online option as well.

With the normalization of the “sharing economy”, the number of non-traditional sources of high-end garments and accessories has mushroomed.

In this post, I highlight some of the non-traditional sources of like new and gently used garments and accessories, identify the more common issues you might encounter after you’ve purchased that garment or accessory, and suggest an approach to restoring that garment or accessory to as close to pristine condition as possible.

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