Garment maintenance

Most tailors have a tenuous relationship, at best, with dry cleaners, because of the things many do, in the name of expediency. I won’t get into the details because my blood pressure is plenty high these days, but I want to share what was, until now, a hidden treasure trove of information about garment maintenance. Hidden to me, anyway.

I had heard of Rave FabriCare and about some of the extraordinary lengths to which they go to care for garments, both cleaning and pressing, but a recent exchange on StyleForum brought their blog, True Quality Cleaning to my attention, something which I had never seen before, probably because it’s not all that easy to find on their website (are you reading this, Stu?)

I have never used them, but reading through the site, they say all the right things to lead me to believe that they really are the best place to consign one’s clothing. I’m not talking about your 3-for-1 specials, but if you have been investing in quality clothing, it’s worth investing in its maintenance. I’m frequently amazed at the number of people who will spend ages bulling their shoes to a perfect shine but who don’t want to spend a few extra minutes on clothing maintenance, or a few extra dollars on proper cleaning and pressing. Sure, a hand-held steamer may appear to get the wrinkles out, much the same way a good coating of shellack will give your shoes a quick and easy shine. You don’t varnish your shoes, do you? So why not care for your clothing properly? For those who are wondering about maintaining garments at home, between wearing and cleaning, all I can do is say that no tailor that I know of owns a steamer- we use an iron to PRESS out the wrinkles.

They do mail delivery cleaning for all over the US, Canada and Mexico, so if I weren’t moving I would give them a try right away. Once I get settled I will send a suit in (incognito, of course) and report on how it comes back to me.

Anyway, anyone interested in clothing maintenance should have a browse through their blog- it’s wonderful to find someone who seems to care as much about maintaining clothing as I care about making it.

10 Replies to “Garment maintenance

  1. Thanks for the info…I will definitely check their blog. I hope they're up to snuff because I've have one too many suit pants cleaned and pressed to the point where they shine and I have no idea how to fix it, nor do I wish to have it happen ever again.

  2. Could you comment on how to do daily maintenance of suits? I wear a suit every day and have many on rotation, however they suffer from shiny butt and shiny elbows from being at a desk all day. Is this a product of the fabric quality, or just a part of the patina of a well worn suit? Also, I wear fairly slim pants and the crotch starts to pill, or wear out, especially on tweeds and worsteds is there anything you can do in between wearing to help reduce this? Thanks so much.

  3. As for cleaning in Montreal, I'm afraid I won't be much help- I would send my stuff to Bellingham but insist they not press it, that I would take care of pressing.

    @Christopher- Shine on a suit is the result of friction and happens mostly on dark, hard-finish worsteds regardless of quality. It is possible, to a certain extend, to lift a bit of the shine, but it is best left to a professional. Pilling, as well, is the result of friction and the only way to avoid this is to avoid friction. Which is not really an option.

    As for daily maintenance, a touch-up with an iron and press cloth is the best method. See this post

  4. Totally disagree with you.
    Best parisian tailors such as Cifonelli or Camps will use steam, and steam only. Press to be used only with low quality clothing.

  5. You state: "Once I get settled I will send a suit in (incognito, of course) and report on how it comes back to me."

    Have you tried them? If so, are you happy with the results? Thanks

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