RAVE FabriCARE's True Quality Cleaning Blog

Straight talk about caring for your fine garments, household textiles and accessories
from experts who call things like it is. In plain English.

Cleaning and restoring exhibition-quality garments for a museum

By: Stu Bloom

Share this blog post:
1930's suit restored by RAVE FabriCARE for Phoenix Art Museum

RAVE FabriCARE entrusted with the restoration of a 1930's suit for the Phoenix Art 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 exhibition, “Automotivated”, explored the influence of automobile design (streamlining) on fashion design (form fitting) from the 1930’s to the end of the 20th century. The link between automotive design and fashion design was boosted by French couturiers who often worked with carmakers to create matching ensembles for the car owners who sought to create the ultimate luxury style statement.

One of the items featured in this exhibit was a new acquisition: a men’s two piece, off-white, wool and cotton blend suit from the early to mid 1930’s.

At the time of the acquisition the suit was in poor condition: the fabric was highly acidic, the color was dark brownish-yellow, water and rust stains were highly visible and it had a musty, dank smell. In summary, the suit displayed all the symptoms of poor care and storage over a 75 year period.

The curator of the Phoenix Art Museum then turned to RAVE FabriCARE for help. Her instructions were simple: Restore the suit to it’s original splendor.

The following BEFORE and AFTER photos reflect that transformation:

RAVE FabriCARE in Scottsdale, Arizona cleans and restores 1930's suit for the Phoenix Art Museum: Before and after photos


The results of our restoration efforts were on display at the museum’s Kelly Ellman Fashion Design Gallery from April 14 though September 2, 2007.

The suit in question can be seen in the exhibition photograph above (it’s the 7th garment from the left with the carnation in the lapel’s button hole)

Cleaning so good it belongs in a museum!


What’s been your experience with cleaning and/or restoring museum quality garments, household textiles and/or accessories? Please share your comments below.


Photo credit: ravefabricare.com/Stu Bloom

Share this blog post:


Filed Under:

Garment Restoration,Vintage & Museum Pieces,Vintage Garments


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.

Comment on this blog post:
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Additional Resources:




Sign up to receive our blog posts:

Did you find this blog post informative? Subscribe today to receive our blog posts delivered straight to your inbox. We'll never share your email. No spam. Unsubscribe whenever you want.

Sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter:

Get tips, ideas and information you can use. Subscribe today to receive our quarterly newsletter, the RAVEreview® delivered straight to your inbox. We'll never share your email. No spam. Unsubscribe whenever you want.

Looking for more great resources?

Check out our Resource Library for over 60 expert Ebooks, Position Papers (short discussions) and White Papers (longer in-depth discussions) spanning all aspects of caring for your fine garments, household textiles and accessories.

Connect with us:
America's True Quality Cleaner and Fabricare Specialist For Almost 30 Years
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Call Now Button