Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Which Gowns Respond to Wedding Dress Cleaning and Restoration?

Thinking of getting wedding dress cleaning and restoration done? Here are the kind of gowns that respond best to this treatment.

A bride isn’t going to trust just anyone with her wedding dress cleaning and restoration. And who can blame her? Whether it’s new or vintage, it’s not just a gown, it’s a symbol of love, trust, and promise.

Picking out a wedding dress is one of the most exciting parts of the planning process for most brides-to-be. Whether you pick a new dress or want to wear one worn by a member of your family, you'll want to make sure the dress is clean and prepared to be stored properly after the fact. Keep reading to learn more about wedding dress cleaning and restoration. 

Gown Fabrics Matter

There’s no better way to have the matriarch of your family be a part of your special day than to wear her wedding gown. Whether it’s your mother’s or grandmother’s dress, you couldn’t imagine your happy day without it.

Your mom carries it down the stairs, opens the box, and– Gasp! It’s, uh... yellow. And stained. And something might have been eating it.

You’re baffled. How did this happen? And what can you do about it?

If you’ve got a dress that has yellowed, don’t panic just yet. Wedding dress cleaning and restoration services can do wonders. But first, a cleaner must identify the fibers used in a gown before attempting to clean it.

Non-silk fabrics can often withstand the cleaning agents needed to restore a gown to its original bright white. Silk wedding dresses, they’re a completely different story. Remember that vintage silk dresses were never truly white. Modern silk that is bright white has been dyed after the thread was harvested.

Cotton and linen are much easier to restore than silk. The tighter the weave, the more difficult it is to press out wrinkles. Silk satin is quite difficult to press out smooth again. Net or lace is easiest.

As for silk illusion net, you’re probably not going to save that. Silk illusion veils were popular in the first half of the 1900s. They look great new, but unfortunately, the fabric has a short shelf life. It gets all crunchy and dissolves in water if you try to clean it.

Light Fabrics Yellow

Whites and shades of pastel are especially susceptible to yellowing. It’s due to a degradation of the colorless fibers that compose the fabric. As they decay, they turn yellow. And as the decay continues, they progress from a light yellow to a moderate yellow color.

Not all vintage gowns need color restoration. Fabrics such as rayon, cotton, or other non-silk fabrics may age in an attractive way. A very pale yellow wedding dress sometimes has a vintage look that you might not what to change. Think royal princess. Perhaps only a cleaning is necessary. Cleaning and restoration are not the same thing. 

Dresses Get Contaminated

During manufacturing, chemicals added to process the fabric can lead to yellowing. Textile softeners sometimes include chemicals that comprise chlorine, oils, and even animal fats. These products all decompose in long-term storage. And they can make your fabric decay as well.

They also attract dirt, dust, and oils during the wedding day. While in storage, they ramp up the speed of yellowing. Exposing a gown to direct sunlight, humidity, or extreme heat can impact its fibers long term too.

Atmospheric pollutants also play a part. Nitrogen, found in the air, combines with certain fabrics to cause yellowing. Also to blame are automobile pollution, home heating systems, and industrial air pollution. That's why preservation facilities have state-of-the-art air circulation and purification systems.

In storage, polyethylene (plastic) bags cause phenolic yellowing of fabrics. This yellowing also occurs from storage in cardboard, papers, and other wrapping materials. Keep dresses safe from these contaminants if you want to restore them later.

Stains Happen

Stains can rapidly advance decay of fibers. Especially deep stains. And attempts to treat those stains can cause even more damage to the gown.

Sometimes stains aren’t that noticeable, like those from champagne. But the sugar is in the fibers and contributing to decay. If dresses are left with even slight stains, they can come out of storage dark brown or even black.

On the wedding day, a dress is exposed to all kinds of contaminants. Do you ever wear white? Then you know how dirt, grass stains, and food love to show up on white clothing. Wedding gowns are no exception.

Body lotions, perfumes, and sweat all do a number on a dress, leading to stains. Keep these products off of your dress as much as possible.

Wedding Dress Cleaning and Restoration

Okay. It looks like the old dress survived the wedding day without any obvious staining. But most of the staining on a wedding gown is invisible to the naked eye. After decades of storage, invisible sweat or sugar stains turn into brown splotches. Those brown monsters never stop eating away at the fabrics in the gown.

If you need to remove these stains, only water-based solutions remove them. This requires the whole dress to be soaked and restored to the true color. Water (plus our formula) dissolves the oxidation that provides a gown’s heirloom color. Dissolving stains is tricky business because fabrics can dissolve right along with them.

Holes, Stains, No Problem!

Dresses with holes, stains, or in need of excessive alterations may be hard to restore. And doing so might be expensive. Fragile gowns may need to be lined and mended onto the lining to make sure they last through the wedding day. Some brides opt to wear such fragile gowns only for the ceremony and change into a newer gown for the reception.

Color restoration requires removal of metal buttons because it rusts in the solution. Metal hooks and eyes are also removed for the same reason. Pearls can lose their polished covering and look opaque. Fabrics may shrink in different ways and have to pressed back into shape. Or the hem may need to be removed and resewn.

Get Your Gown Cleaned and Restored

On your wedding day, the two of you will unite as one. There’s no greater expression of love or acceptance. But to have the happiest, most perfect day, you’ll want a stunning dress. You’ll want to command the attention of everyone present, especially your partner.

Call and ask about our wedding dress cleaning and restoration services. You can count on us to give your dress the personal attention it needs. We follow a multi-step process to erase years of storage. Put on that dress and walk down the aisle as the radiant bride you deserve to be!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Does This Really Need Dry Cleaning? Dishing the Dirt on ''Dry Clean Only''

How serious is that ''dry clean only'' label on your favorite cashmere sweater? Here's what you need to know about dry cleaning labels and fabrics!

The average household spends on average $500 per year on dry cleaning expenses. While this may seem like a steep annual bill, it's nothing compared to the countless money that's wasted on clothing that's damaged due to improper cleaning methods. After all, do you really want to sacrifice your favorite dress or suit simply because you ignored the dry clean only tag?

The good news is, you can avoid damaging any more clothing by being on the lookout for some essential signs that your piece requires dry cleaning.

If you're not willing to let go of one more piece of clothing, read on to get the lowdown on what does and doesn't require dry cleaning.

The Benefits of Dry Cleaning

Before we get into what does and doesn't need to be dry cleaned, it's important to be aware of the multiple benefits of dry cleaning and why people choose it for all of their clothes, even the ones that may not need it.

Dry cleaning is remarkably less abrasive, even on the clothes that aren't marked with a dry clean only label. If you're looking to keep your colors fresher and for a longer period of time, dry cleaning is an ideal option. This results in less money spent on clothes over time.

Professional dry cleaners also tend to pay close attention to detail, meaning they'll be able to zone in on the little stains and discolorations that you may have already given up on.

The majority of people simply don't have the time to wash their clothes themselves. If you think about it, there are much more productive things you can be doing than washing your clothes. This is where dry cleaning easily comes into play.

Dry cleaners are also particularly effective for those large item pieces like drapes, rugs, or slipcovers that seem like a chore when attempting to do them at home.

What's Really Dry Clean Only

Now, let's take a closer look at which of your pieces need dry cleaning every time. Be on the lookout for these essential signs that your item need to be dry cleaned even if you didn't spot the direction on the tag.

Recognize Labels

There's a good chance that over time the tiny writing on your label may have faded. However, look for the small icon shaped like an iron on the tag to help signify that an item is not made for your washing machine.

Pay Attention to the Material

You can typically tell whether or not a clothing item will do well in your washing machine by simply paying attention to the material.

Any of your more delicate fabrics like satin, wool, velvet, and silk are not designed to be washed in high temperatures or to be used in machines. Not only are these fabrics not made to go into your washing machine, but they will also do some serious damage in your dryer as well.

When loading up your washing machine be sure that everything that goes in is either polyester, linen, nylon, or cotton. Even then there may be some exceptions to the rule.

Additional Accessories and Trim

Even if the material being washed is one of your approved materials, there are some situations in which a garment should still be brought in to a cleaner.

For example, high-end suits and dresses should still be brought into a cleaner to make sure that the lines and fit aren't affected during the washing process.

Any items with collars, or additional lining should be brought into your dry cleaner as the harsh movement of a washing machine can gradually undo the seam that's been sewn into place.

If you're looking to have a garment wood handmade lacework or embroidery cleaned, stay clear of the washing machine that will certainly rip and damage this intricate work

Finally, your favorite beaded and sequence items won't hold up well in washing machines or dryers. These glued-on accessories tend to become undone when washing machine and the thin threads easily tear.

Your favorite delicates aren't worth damaging. The more dainty they appear the more likely it is that they should be saved for your dry cleaner.

Tricky Spots and Stains

There are some stains that only a professional knows how to get out. If one of your favorite items have faced the wrath of some spilled wine, blood, or even oil, don't give up on it just yet.

A quick trip to the dry cleaners may be all you need to get your favorite outfit back into Tip-Top shape. You'll find your dry cleaners know exactly which method to apply to get the stain out without causing any further damage.

This is particularly important with keepsakes like wedding dresses or baptism gowns that you want to hold onto forever without the appearance of harsh stains.

Items that Need Extra Pressing

Nothing is as crisp as a suit straight from the dry cleaners. While you can always take the time to iron, there are some items that really need professional-grade ironing to maintain their look and quality.

Fortunately, dry cleaners know how to perfectly steam each piece for a classic and wrinkle-free appearance.

Finding the Right Dry Cleaner to Handle it All

Once you've found out which items are dry clean only, it's time to find the perfect dry cleaner to do the job. Look for dry cleaners with years of experience in maintaining the look and quality of various types of clothing items.

If you're looking for more information on protecting your clothing and dry cleaning services check out our blog today.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Monique Lhuillier: Profile of a Couture Wedding Gown Designer

Photo: Getty Images

Though today her brand is famous for its celebrity following, Monique Lhuillier’s couture wedding gowns are designed to make real women feel stunning.

The designer has the rare ability to convey both timelessness and modernity in her gowns, seamlessly combining well-worn traditions with fresh touches which brides worldwide find irresistible.

Since opening her business 3 decades ago, Lhuillier’s designs have only grown in popularity and with good reason. Read on to learn more about her and to find out just what’s so special about her bridal collections.

A Brief Biography

The glamour behind Monique Lhuillier's couture wedding gowns doesn’t just lie in lushly romantic cuts, luxe fabrics, and careful detailing. It’s also to be found in the designer’s worldly background.

Lhuillier is the daughter of former model Amparito Llamas and Vietnamese-born entrepreneur Michel Lhuillier and spent her early years in the Philippines. The designer has expressed that her early love of fashion emerged from observing her elegant mother.

When she was small, her mother sewed and designed the children’s clothes. As Lhullier grew older, local seamstresses created them for her. In her early teens, she began sketching designs together with these creators, thus further entrenching her love for and deep understanding of fashion design and dress structure.

From an early age, Monique Lhuillier was drawn to formalwear, and this focus continued into her days at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Yet it wasn’t until she began to plan her own wedding that the seed of the brand was sown.

A young bride-to-be at 21 years old, Monique Lhuillier unsurprisingly was on the lookout for something fresh and modern for her wedding day. It should have been easy to find what she was looking for, but the options available were much too stuffy and conservative for her sophisticated taste.

Though she found a gown in the end, it was the search for the perfect dress that sparked her desire to specialize in wedding couture. To her surprise, Lhuillier discovered just how significant the wedding industry was and that it was a field where she could make her mark.

It was in the mid-90s that she launched her business quite humbly from her home in Malibu. Lhuillier admits that she jumped boldly into the industry with a line of 5 gowns and without a business plan. Yet, she quickly got serious, setting up an office with a group of trusted seamstresses and promoting designs to wedding dress boutiques.

By 2001, she opened her first Beverly Hills shop. Amazingly, Lhuillier had no public relations strategy in place, yet celebrity stylists started reaching out. In 2004, her designs popped up at the Emmys, Britney Spears hired her in secret to design her wedding dress, and in 2005 Martha Stewart Weddings launched her into the big-time with a feature including her wedding designs.

Celebrities including First Lady Michelle Obama, A-list actors Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Emma Stone, as well as musicians Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift have all worn her stunning designs.

Michelle Obama has sported them over and over, including to important events such as a visit to Pope Francis and the White House Correspondents’ dinner. The first time Gwyneth Paltrow wore Monique Lhuillier was in 2010, donning a svelte corseted white number with a cutout design and a scallop-edged bottom. It was far from the last time she would chose the designer. Reese Witherspoon is a regular too, wearing a blush pink wedding gown to her ceremony in 2011, though perhaps her most famous outfit from the designer was a black and white lace long-sleeved dress dotted with 3-D butterflies. In Taylor Swift’s new music video for the single “Me,” she sported a black and white mid-calf Lhuillier party dress with a scattered multi-colored floral design.

In addition to her celebrity endorsements, Lhuillier is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Philippines’ Presidential Medal of Merit as well as a membership in the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Monique Lhuillier’s Design Inspiration

The designer’s spring 2020 bridal collection has an unusual inspiration: Italian gardens. Lhuillier set out to create designs which, like the gardens of Italy, are based in traditional design but retain an element of ever-present freshness. Though she’s tapped into the current trend of reaching into the past for wedding design concepts, she’s also utilizing fresh new trends like using color in wedding gowns. For Lhuiller’s current collection, that color focus is centered on shades of green.

Monique Lhuillier's spring 2019 bridal collection, however, had a much more timely inspiration: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s nuptials. For this season, she was thinking royal, with all the pomp and splendor of a wedding fit for a princess, but with the elegant simplicity Markle is known for. More traditional full skirts and mermaid silhouettes dominated the season’s wedding dresses, a striking departure from fall 2018’s white leather bridal moto jacket.

One collection from spring 2015 drew inspiration from the Edwardian era portraits of American painter John Singer Sargent. Monique Lhuillier imagined her brides seeing themselves embodying the glamour of the painter’s works - so much so that they would become “a living picture.”

The designs for these seasons seem so different, but there are certain threads that are ever-present in Lhuillier’s gowns. As the designer puts it, the brand is all about “beauty, femininity, and really making a woman feel beautiful to be in the clothes.” Her designs hinge on the glamour she inherited from her mother with the sophistication she brings from decades of designing.

With a vision like that, it’s no wonder she’s found such success.

Closing Thoughts

Couture wedding gowns like Lhuillier’s are beyond precious. The designer’s dresses are heirloom treasures to be passed on through the generations.

The amount of time, care, consideration, and creativity that go into a Monique Lhuillier wedding dresses are priceless. If you are lucky enough to have one, it’s your duty to care for it to the best of your ability.

At Janet Davis Cleaners, we specialize in cleaning, steaming, and preserving couture wedding gowns with the utmost care. With over 60 years of experience, we have the expertise needed to handle your high-end dress.

Visit Janet Davis Cleaners to learn more or call us today at 248-543-0340. We can’t wait to help make your wedding day just magical.


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Your Ultimate Guide to Shopping for Vintage Wedding Dresses

Planning a lacy, vintage wedding steeped in history? Check out this handy guide to shopping for vintage wedding dresses to match!

It's your big day so it's only fitting that you want to find a dress that makes you feel beautiful and unique. Vintage wedding dresses are a great way to make a statement and find a look that is all yours. In fact, 90 percent of weddings are dreamed up with vintage inspiration.

Whether you're fantasizing about your grandmother's perfect lace wedding dress or daydreaming of the This Is Us episode showcasing Rebecca's boho-chic dress, shopping vintage for your wedding will require a little more patience, but you'll reap the reward at the end of the day.

Why Choose Vintage?

We live in the age of social media. Everything about our lives is blasted and broadcasted across all channels. Not only that, but there's an air of comparison with everything we do, weddings are no exception.

What's the number one thing brides want in their wedding? Well, besides a life full of happiness, every bride wants her dress to be the most unique and to stand out from the crowd. She wants to get away from the comparison of who wore it best and be in a league of her own.

A vintage wedding dress ensures that your style is all your own. This will help you to step away from the fear of wearing the same dress as your best friend and focus on the rest of your wedding.

Do Your Research Ahead of Time

Vintage wedding dresses are popular and in high demand, which means they won't last for long. Chances are if you see one you like and don't act on it, it'll be gone the next time you got to look. This is why it's beneficial to do the leg work ahead of time so the dress of your dreams doesn't slip through your fingers. 

One of the best ways to do this is to visit a local wedding dress shop to do a little research prior to committing to a vintage dress. This is a great way to find the silhouette is both flattering and that you love. Once you've narrowed down the shape of the dress you want, you can search for vintage wedding dress dealers who have a dress that fits your vision.

You can also do price comparisons online. is a great place to start. This will give you a good idea of what you should set aside for the dress so you won't be shocked when it comes time to pay.

Another thing to consider is finding a dress dealer that you trust. The price for a vintage wedding dress will be steeper than that of a modern dress, which is why it's important for you to know where your money is going. Finding a wedding dress dealer you can trust to give you all the details will make you feel better about your purchase.

What to Do Before You Buy

Most vintage wedding dresses are pre-owned, which means they might have signs of wear and tear. Before you spend your hard earned money on a dress, be sure to give it a thorough look over. You'll want to inspect the dress for tears, stains, and discolorations, especially under the arms.

When inspecting your dress, be sure to view it in natural light. Some imperfections can't be seen in dull light, which is why you want to always view it in as much light as possible. Even though you'll most likely be getting your dress professionally cleaned prior to your big day, you'll still want to get a fresh look at it before forking out all the money.

Altering Vintage Wedding Dresses

As with most wedding dresses, alterations are possible, even with a vintage option. But the one thing to make sure of is that your dream dress isn't too small. There is no good way to let a dress out or add more fabric, especially since an older dress is more fragile in nature.

If you need to take it in at the waist or the length that is usually a possibility. The only difficulty would come if your dress had intricate or heavy beading. 

There is also the option for you to put your modern touch on your vintage dress. You can remove a high neckline or even shorten a long dress to add a modern feel to an older style.

Be sure to get your dress cleaned prior to alterations to ensure that you don't accrue surprise expenses along the way.

To Splurge or Not to Splurge?

A true vintage dress in prestine condition is hard to come by, not to mention finding one at an affordable price point. This is why you should get all your questions answered ahead of time so when you find your perfect dress, you're ready to pounce!

One thing you will find is plenty of vintage designer gowns. While this is exciting, it does come at a cost. When it comes to true vintage wedding dresses, it's not necessarily about finding a dress tied to a designer's name. Many designers from the 40s and 50s are nameless designers who created some beautiful and timeless pieces.

This Is Your Day...

Your wedding is a day you'll remember forever. Make sure your dress is something you'll remember too. Vintage is a classic that will never go out of style. A testament to that fact is that you want to buy one in the 21st century.

Choosing to shop vintage wedding dresses on your most important day can be a risky endeavor, especially if you're just beginning your search. This is why it's so important to know what to expect when going into the process.

Once you've bought your dream dress for your dream day, make sure you know how to protect it from the elements until its big reveal. Learn more about how to care for your dress in the months and days leading up to your wedding.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Getting Ready for Guests: Why Your Duvets and Comforters Need Household Dry

As guests arrive for the summer, you want to give them somewhere clean to sleep. Get the deepest clean by taking in these household dry cleaning items.

Do you have guests coming to spend the summer with you? If so, you're not alone! This article claims 100 million Americans will travel this summer!

If your guests are arriving soon, it's time to get your guest space ready for them. This means making sure everything is tidy and clean.

But what about all those duvets and comforters you've had sitting in a closet all year? Does it matter if you clean those before setting them out?

Yes! Keep reading to learn all about why your duvets and comforters are perfect household dry cleaning items.

Particles Accumulate

You have a bunch of duvets and comforters that you don't use very often if you're like lots of other people. These are likely stashed away in some closet or drawer, or even under a bed.

They're not being used, so they'll stay clean? Well, no. Duvets and comforters don't only get dirty from being used.

Particles accumulate in the fabric of those blankets and comforters, even as they sit unused. Dust, dirt, parasites, whatever's floating around in the air. They all accumulate in those blankets.

This means you really should get them cleaned before you set them out for your visitors. While they likely won't cause any damage, your guests will appreciate comforters that they can tell are clean.

That Musty Smell

Duvets and comforters don't smell great when they haven't been used for a while. So your visitors will get the hint that you pulled them out of a closet when they pull those covers up to their chin.

What causes that musty smell? There are a couple things that could be the culprit. 

First, humidity. If there's any moisture in the air, or moisture left from the comforters not being 100% dried before they were stored, that can result in a musty smell. You may end up with mold if there's too much moisture involved.

Second, cramped spaces. Believe it or not, your comforters need space. They shouldn't all be stored in one big stack and left to be forgotten until you need them next.

Fabric needs air circulation. If all your duvets and comforters are stored together, or in an area that doesn't allow good airflow, you'll end up with funny smells.

Storing comforters in airy, dry conditions is best.

Cleaning Blankets and Comforters

Okay, so you've determined that you really need to clean your duvets and comforters before your guest arrives. But how should you do it?

You may be tempted to throw a quilt into your washing machine. Blankets, though, shouldn't be treated like regular laundry.

A quilt that's too large for your washing machine may not get properly cleaned. And if the dryer is too small, you run the risk of storing the blanket when it's not entirely dry.

Air drying is fine, but you still want to make sure your household items are totally clean. In order for them to fit in the washer, you may have to visit a laundromat.

To save yourself that hassle, visit a dry cleaner instead.

Why Visit a Dry Cleaner?

While you can wash them at home, it's better to take your blankets and comforters to a dry cleaner. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why.

No Shrinkage

Over time, your comforters may shrink when they're washed in a home machine. If this happens, your beds won't be properly covered anymore.

Shrinkage isn't a concern with dry cleaning. So if you're worried about this, always take your blankets to a dry cleaner.

Less Time and Hassle

When you wash and dry your comforters on your own, the process can really be time-consuming. First, you have to fit the comforter into your washing machine. Then you have to remember to put it in the dryer once it's washed.

If your comforter isn't dried completely, you'll have to run the dryer a second time. Or you'll take the time to hang it up to dry.

This process can really take some time if you're washing more than one comforter. And even if you're only doing one, you may forget what you started and accidentally leave it in the washer for too long.

Ultimately, taking your comforters to be dry cleaned means much less hassle for you. All you'll have to do is take them in and pick them back up.

A More Efficient Way

Dry cleaning effectively removes all particles from comforters and duvets. This may not happen with a typical washing.

And one dry cleaning can last you a long time. You won't have to clean your items as often, which saves you time and money and lets you focus your attention on other things.

Keep Color Safe

If you want to keep the colors on your duvets and comforters bright and true, always use a dry cleaner. It's a color-safe way to clean these items.

Traditional washing may make colors fade over time, as well as add wear to the fabric.

Duvets and Comforters are Perfect Household Dry Cleaning Items

You likely have several items that are perfect candidates for household dry cleaning. If duvets and comforters aren't on that list, it's time they were on there.

Overall, dry cleaning treats your blankets and comforters better while efficiently making them clean and fresh. Choose this cleaning method to make sure your guests feel right at home when they come to visit for the holidays!

Many other items benefit from dry cleaning. Click here to read up on why you should always dry clean your silk clothing items.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Learn How to Repair Clothing to Make Dry Cleaning Easier

[Guest post by Jackie Edwards] People trash about 26 billion pounds of clothing a year. Why? People seem to simply not understand just how much clothing can be reused or repaired. Not only is repairing and reusing clothing and other textiles great for the environment, it can help you see better results with dry cleaning. While dry cleaning isn’t bad for your clothing, if an item is already damaged, worn or torn, you’ll find that it’s harder to see quality results from dry cleaning efforts. Learning how to repair your own clothing by sewing and stitching them back together can help facilitate the dry cleaning experience while also igniting a restored passion and interest in your clothing, accessories and furnishings.

Restore Old Clothing

If you have antique clothing that’s been passed down from centuries of family use, learning how to stitch it up and restore it to its best state will help preserve the quality of the item. Whether it’s a dress, bed linens or even a small pillow case, if you know how to stitch it back together where it might be falling apart, you’ll be able to see a renewed look in its overall appearance and also enjoy the benefits of dry cleaning. Once you’ve sewing it back to its original state, it will be easier to get it dry cleaned in order to prevent moth and insect damage, which is crucial in older, antique clothing items.

Ignite a Passion for Your Furnishings

Whether you’re furnishing your home or styling your own body, learning how to sew your clothing and other household items can ignite a personal passion that yields many health benefits. As you begin to learn more about how to work a sewing machine and all of the benefits it offers you in terms of upcycling old clothing and accessories, restoring antique items in your home and even sprucing up your style year after year, you’ll gain a solid understanding of what it takes to make clothes look nice and presentable. This directly translates into a better dry cleaning experience, as you’ll begin to know exactly what needs to be done in order to get the best result and how often you need to do it.

Get a Flawless Finish

The flawless finish you see from clothes and other household items that are dry cleaned is easier to accomplish if the dry cleaners can easily work with quality pieces that aren’t ripped or damaged. Steaming and pressing clothes in order to yield the crisp, stunning result that comes out of a dry cleaners is much easier if they’re not having to work around unsightly and difficult tears that could worsen with the use dry cleaning techniques. To achieve a flawless look, you’ll want to stitch up any loose ends and repair any holes and then take the piece to a qualified dry cleaner to let them work their magic.

Repairing Clothes, Renewing Interests

Dry cleaning provides a lot of benefits to people looking for extra clean, highly-preserved and well-pressed clothing and household items. Learning how to sew your items back together, however, will ensure you get the result you’re looking for out of dry cleaning and can enjoy your articles for many more years to come.

Photo Credit: Alex Andrews

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Monday, December 24, 2018

Dry Cleaning vs Laundry: What Do You Need?

We all know certain fabrics and clothing should be dry cleaned. But when can you get away with laundering? Here's your dry cleaning vs laundry guide.

The average American spends $161 a month on clothing. Over a year, that's around $1700.

If you think about it, your closet has a good chunk of your salary sitting in there. If you have a couple years' worth of clothing in there, that's quite a large investment.

But when you look around your closet, do you see several years' worth of clothing in there? Probably not.

On average, people throw out 81 pounds of clothing every single year! That's a lot of money going into the trash. Often, people discard clothing when it becomes faded, torn, misshapen or got shrunk in the dryer.

Much of this waste could be prevented by dry cleaning. Read on to learn when you should choose dry cleaning vs laundry for your garments.

Look at the Label

The first thing you should do when deciding if you should launder shirts or other items or choose to dry clean is to look at the care label.

The label in the seam of an article of clothing gives you important care instructions about your garment.

If an article of clothing says dry clean only, there is probably a good reason why. Maybe there is a decorative trim that could be damaged in a washing machine or maybe the coloring could become faded or stain other materials.

If you decide to give laundering your dry-clean-only item a try, here are some tips.

Tips For Washing Dry-Clean-Only Clothes

If you want to wash an item that specifies dry-clean-only on the label, take a moment to consider.

If the item has sentimental value or is expensive, your best bet is to pay for dry cleaning. When items become damaged during laundering, it is almost impossible to repair them.

But if you are ready to try, here are some tips.

First, always use cold water and a gentle detergent. Wash the item on its own if you plan to use the washing machine to prevent it from damaging other items in the wash.

Your best choice is to wash the item by hand or use the gentle cycle on your washing machine. This mode on your machine doesn't use as much agitation and wringing.

Once it is clean, lay it on a towel to dry if it is a knitted fabric. This will protect the item from becoming misshapen and stretched.

If the garment is woven, you can hang it on a clothes hanger over your bathtub to drip dry.

Understand the Dry Cleaning Process

Dry cleaning involves using a liquid & soap to remove stains from the clothes without any use of water (hence the term dry cleaning).

Then, the clothing tumbled and dried in the same machine. The final step is to either iron or steam the clothing so that they look crisp and wrinkle-free.

The main benefit of dry cleaning clothing is that this method is excellent at removing tough stains and dirt while being extremely gentle.

Dry cleaning makes your clothes last longer because the garments are agitated and wrung out. Plus, dry cleaning preserves the color of the garment so that it doesn't wear out as quickly compared to items that are machine washed.

Dry Cleaning Vs Laundry - How to Decide

Sometimes an article of clothing doesn't say dry clean only but you wonder if maybe you should get it dry cleaned. Or the label may say dry clean only and you feel that it could be laundered at home.

Here are some things to consider when you are deciding how best to clean your garment.

Does your item have any stains or spots that you aren't sure how to deal with? Is your garment made out of silk? Specialty fabrics require delicate handling.

If your item is made from rayon, triacetate or acetate it is prone to shrink in water. This is why dry cleaning is recommended.

Layers or Trim

If your item is a suit jacket, consider the multiple layers. Though the exterior fabric may be washable, the lining and interfacing may not be. For example, the interface that shapes the shoulders may become warped in water and can no longer fit right.

Items that are made or suede or leather or have trims in either of these materials should never be washed with water. Water can strip these materials of their natural oils and ruin the finish.

Pleats and Tucks

Another thing to consider is if your item needs ironing. If you have a skirt with many pleats or tucks, it can take an experienced hand at ironing to get them looking crisp and straight after a tumble dry. Dry cleaners will ensure that the item retains perfectly straight pleats and tucks.

Is the Clothing Colorfast?

One reason why certain garments say dry-clean-only is that the dye in the fabric may transfer to other garments if it becomes wet.

You can test to see if your item is colorfast. This means that the dye will not fade or rinse out when washed with water.

Take a clean cotton swab and wet it with clean water. Rub the swab gently on the inside seam of your article of clothing. If the swab comes away dyed, then you should not wash that item with water.

Bottom Line on Dry Cleaning Vs Laundry

We hope you found this guide on when to choose dry cleaning vs laundry helpful. Although dry cleaning is more expensive than washing your clothes at home, it is often the smartest choice.

Especially if you take into account the replacement cost of a garment that becomes ruined in the wash. And also keep in mind that dry cleaning doesn't wear out your clothes the way a washing machine does.

Still not sure, check out these 10 benefits of professional dry cleaning.