Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Handling Specialty Items Vintage and Current

Jane Zellers at Janet Davis Cleaners talking about Wedding Gown Preservation during workshop
Janet Davis Cleaners recently hosted industry expert Jane Zellers who taught several dry cleaners from all over Michigan how to properly clean specialty garments such as wedding gowns, both new and vintage.

Jane C. Zellers, CED, consultant, lecturer and former owner of a three store dry cleaning establishment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has been involved in the laundry and dry cleaning industry for over 30 years. Coming from a three-generation dry-cleaning family, she has gained experience in customer service, knowledge of fabrics, stain removal and all related concerns of the business. She instructs industry-related courses at the International Textile Center, Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Her lectures and training programs have taken her across the United States and as far away as England, Australia and New Zealand.

A wedding gown, family heirloom or special occasion dress is symbolic of a very special day in the life of its owner. The items and their owners should be treated accordingly. Jane taught attendees how to safely remove spots, stains and discolorations without damaging the fabric. In addition, several alternative cleaning methods were covered, which is especially helpful when working with delicate fabrics.

Jane started the class with the basics of how to setup a specialty garment cleaning room and what you need to get started. Many standard items and processes need to be tweaked slightly or used in a non-traditional way to properly care for special garments. Next the workshop covered how to identify what types of materials are in the garments you are working on. Many vintage garments do not have labels indicating what they are made of or how best to clean them. Finally, Jane spent the bulk of the class working on actual customer garments. No experimentation was going on here and great care was taken to preserve the integrity of the garments. Example garments included everything from vintage silk organza to contemporary polyester.

Janet Davis Cleaners hosted the Handling Specialty Items event sponsored by the Michigan Institute of Laundering and Dry Cleaning May 20-21, 2009.

Janet Davis Cleaners specializes in wedding gown preservation, gown cleaning and pressing, and garment restoration.

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