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: Vintage Garments

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.


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.


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.


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.


Cleaning and restoring exhibition-quality garments for a museum

The Phoenix Art Museum houses one of the finest collections of American and European couture garments and accessories in the nation.

The museum’s 2007 exhibit, entitled “Autovotivated”, featured a new acquisition: a men’s two piece, off-white, wool and cotton blend suit from the early to mid 1930’s.

The suit required extensive restoration.

This blog post demonstrates the results that can be achieved with the application of the right blend of skills, judgement and restoration techniques to a museum-quality garment. Or any other vintage or heirloom piece, for that matter.


Cleaning and restoring vintage garments: What you need to know

So you just purchased a gem of a vintage garment or retrieved one from the far reaches of a close relative or friend’s closet.


However, it’s more than likely that that vintage garment has not been properly cleaned and/or properly stored over the years.

In this post, I highlight some of the more common issues you might encounter when considering the purchase of a vintage garment and how those issues might impact the cleaning and restoration of that vintage garment prior to wearing it for the first time.

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