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 Restoration

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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Removing odors from new, used and vintage leather garments & accessories

Leather soaks up smells and odors like a sponge.

The smells and odors in brand new leather garments (handbags, purses, backpacks, etc.) or accessories (shoes, boots, etc.) typically comes from the leather tanning process.

The smells and odors in used and vintage leather garments (handbags, purses, backpacks, etc.) or accessories (shoes, boots, etc.) can come from a variety of sources such as food, mildew, mold, perfume, perspiration and smoke. 

In this post, I’ll discuss some of the options available to remove odors and smells in new, used and vintage leather garments and accessories.

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Cleaning and restoring sports memorabilia: Sporting patches

Collecting vintage sporting patches occupies a relatively small corner of the entire market for sports memorabilia.

We restored a sporting patch that was in relatively poor condition: the fabric was fragile and exhibited rust, grease stains and yellowing associated with poor storage over the years.

In this blog post, we illustrate the results that can be obtained through professional restoration.

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Cleaning and restoring a custom-made vintage silk coat

When you’re restoring a garment, household textile or accessory of historical significance, maintaining the integrity of the original components (color, buttons, hardware, linings, etc.) is critical.

When you’re restoring a garment, household textile or accessory for your own use, you might need to compromise in order to achieve the result you desire.

In this blog post, we illustrate this point by guiding you through the restoration of a 40 year old, blue silk coat. While the results exceeded our client’s expectations, the rotted lining could not be restored and required replacement. In other words, we compromised to achieve the desired result.

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Cleaning and restoring sports memorabilia: Signed Muhammad Ali Robe

Many collectors of sports memorabilia own textile-based memorabilia — jerseys, jackets, shorts, robes, sporting patches and the like. Typically, they’ll display these textile-based memorabilia in display boxes.

For the most part, these displays are esthetically-pleasing. In other words, they look good.

The problem is that, despite all your best intentions, these artifacts may be deteriorating (and losing value) with each passing month.

That’s because of factors such as exposure to natural or artificial light, physical contact with acidic woods or plastics used in the construction of these display boxes, proximity contact to acids that off-gas from these woods and plastics over time, lack of air circulation, and the like.

In this blog post, we highlight the destructive nature of mounting textile-based sports memorabilia — such as a signed Muhammad Ali robe — in a display box that’s not archival using mounting techniques that are not archival. We further explore the results that might be achievable through professional restoration.

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

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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Cleaning and restoring sports memorabilia: Major League Baseball uniforms

Ron Davis is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for 5 different teams from 1978 to 1988.

In 2011, Davis discovered that rats had eaten through his 30 year old equipment bag and had nested amongst the 3 MLB jackets in the bag.

This blog post focuses on the transformation of these heavily-stained jackets and 1 equipment bag.

Enjoy the game. Oops, I mean enjoy the transformation.

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Cleaning and restoring military memorabilia: Nimitz’s WW II uniform

Cleaning and restoring military memorabilia requires the application of skill, judgement and process.

In 2011, RAVE FabriCARE was entrusted to restore Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz’s white summer uniform to as close to original condition as possible. In the photo accompanying this blog post, Fleet Admiral Nimitz is wearing that summer uniform. In the photo, President Roosevelt and General McArthur are seated to his left.

This blog post demonstrates how the application of skill, judgement and process can transform the condition of a military uniform from poor to extraordinary.

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