Easy Tips for Care & Cleaning of Cashmere

cashmere-luxury-display

This time of year, we see a lot of cashmere garments at Meurice. Cashmere is among the most luxurious varieties of wool, and it’s not just for sweaters: cashmere is perfect for everything scarves to socks! Because cashmere clothing is a significant investment, it’s worth taking taking the time to care for it properly.

Fortunately, cashmere is not as finicky as it’s luxury image might lead you to believe. It’s easy to keep your cashmere looking fantastic with a few easy tips:

  • Start by reading the your garment’s labels: cashmere is commonly blended with other types of wool, and care instructions vary widely with each specific textile formulation.
  • Always hand wash pure cashmere garments. They’re easy to damage with machine agitation. Here at Meurice, we often hand wash cashmere, or sometimes dry clean it as needed. At home, there are a number of soaps and detergents formulated just for cashmere.
  • Never wear a deodorant with aluminum chloride – this can cause cashmere to become stained around the armpits.
  • Try to keep perfumes and cologne to a minimum when wear cashmere. Wool fibers absorb the scents and necessitate more frequent cleaning.
  • Keep the cat away! Cat fur gets everywhere in the fine weave of cashmere, and is difficult to remove.
  • Don’t pull a pill! Pulling pills will cause the rest of the textile to unravel. Use a cashmere brush or pill stone instead.
  • Finally – at the end of the season, put cashmere away clean. Moth larvae feed on fibers like cashmere, and wool with residue from food, beverage or perspiration are the most tempting targets.

PS – Ever wonder why cashmere gets it’s name? Cashmere wool comes from goats in the Cashmere region of the Gobi Desert.

If your cashmere could use professional attention, just drop us a line at Meurice. Even if you’re not local, we can handle all your cashmere care.

 

Meurice Celebrates 2012 Fashion’s Night Out

Fashions-Night-Out-Susan-NYC

Photo Credit: Flickr User Susan NYC

There are some really fantastic events tonight in celebration of Fashion’s Night Out, and we know our clients will be out at most all of them. While we can’t make it to all the events across the city, we’re looking forward to the photos we’ll find on Friday morning.

Share your photos from FNO 2012 and we’ll clean any one article of clothing from the photo for free. (fine print applies) It’s simple to claim your complimentary cleaning. Become a fan of Meurice on Facebook and post a photo to our wall of yourself at of tonight’s events. Please use an account under your real name, or comment with your name, so we’ll know it’s you. If you’d prefer to follow Wayne on Twitter and submit your photo there that’s acceptable, too. Please come in to any of our store locations to claim your cleaning. One cleaning per client, please.

The fine print: Cleaning offer applies only to items that can be dry-cleaned or laundered. So, skirts, pants, dresses, etc., qualify. Handbags, leather coats, furs, shoes, hats, etc., do not. Exceptionally intricate garments are not eligible. One cleaning per household. Last day to post a photo: September 14, 2012.

Sell Your Wedding Gown: Five Easy Tips

window-wedding-dress-for-saleThis dress deserv


Trends in the wedding industry come and go with every season
, but it seems a growing trade in pre-worn wedding gowns is here to stay.

Wedding dresses were once considered untouchable – an heirloom to be treasured and preserved for future generations. However, a growing number of brides have discovered that unloading their gown after the big day can go a long way toward defraying the staggering expense of holding a wedding.

Of course, selling a gown can be an anxiety-inducing experience, since with luck, most of us won’t have to do it more than once. That’s why we spoke to a few veterans of the bridal industry to gather a few tips on making the process a painless as possible:

1). Sell as quickly as possible to stay with current trends:

The most popular dresses on the resale market are also often the newest dresses. The longer you wait to sell a gown, the less desirable it becomes. So – make sure you get your gown on the market as soon as you can.

2). Clean your dress immediately after your nuptials:

It’s critical to have your dress professionally cleaned, as buyers expect it to be in as near-new condition as possible. The longer you wait to clean a gown, the harder it can be to remove stains which have set, and the more likely it is that “hidden” stains such as champagne or cake icing can oxidize and appear.

3). List your dress online to get the widest audience:

There’s no comparison between online dress marketplaces and local methods of selling a gown, such as classifieds or consignment shops. Sites like PreOwnedWeddingDress.com have hundreds of thousands of brides who visit each month, giving you the greatest opportunity for a buyer to fall in love with your gown.

4). Take tons of photos and describe everything:

If a bride can’t try on a gown and hold it in her hands, she wants to see as much as possible. Take plenty of photos in good light, and be sure to point out any imperfections. Paperwork, such as the original sales receipt, is always nice too.

5). Price it right:

Finally, avoid sitting on a dress for sale too long by being absolutely certain you’re asking a reasonable amount. Online marketplaces make it easy to compare your gown to similar ones for sale and confirm you’re in the ballpark. If you don’t sell your gown right away, be prepared to negotiate with the right buyer.

And of course, whether you’re cleaning a gown for resale or preservation, Meurice can assist. Our cleaning facility has a dedicated production area that works strictly with wedding gowns. For over fifty years, we’ve cleaned couture bridal pieces from New York’s top designers, and are proud to work with ateliers including Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, and Barney’s New York.

For more information on our wedding gown cleaning and preservation, please contact Meurice.

Wedding Gown Storage Tips

Bridal Gown Preservation By Meurice

We’ve been preserving and restoring wedding gowns more than fifty years at Meurice. I’m proud to say that we’ve seen subsequent generations wear many of the earliest gowns we preserved! With proper care, a wedding gown can be worn by daughter, grand-daughter, and even great-grand-daughter of the original bride!

When we receive yellowed, stained gowns for restoration, the most common culprit is improper storage. Most people don’t routinely store textiles for decades, so it’s no surprise they’re not aware of the safest ways to handle heirloom gowns. Fortunately, there are a few simple rules that can prevent 90 percent of age-damaged gowns:

- Store your gown in a cool, dry, and dark location. The most important thing to do is protect your gown from extreme temperature changes, humidity, and harsh sunlight. Many basements and attics are not safe. Think if you’d like to hang out in the area where you plan to store your gown. If the answer is no, it’s probably not a safe place for a wedding dress, either.

- It’s perfectly safe to take out your wedding dress whenever the mood strikes you. In fact, we’d encourage you to inspect a preserved gown when you get it back. Fabric was made to breathe, so don’t store a gown sealed up and blocked off. One caveat to this suggestion: oils on your hands can contribute to the breakdown of textiles. We suggest you wear gloves when handing a gown – gowns preserved by us come with a pair made from white cotton gloves.

- Periodically shift the folds in a stored gown, to prevent crease marks from forming. Once every year is fine. If you’re not comfortable with the process, bring it to Meurice, or any other member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists.

- Don’t wrap your preserved gown in plastic, or any other covering. Remember, fabric wants to breathe, so it’s critical not to impede air circulation

For more information on the proper care of wedding gowns (or any other garment!) please follow us over on Twitter, or Facebook. And if you’re a Meurice client, don’t forget our mailing list offers regular discounts.

Camp Meurice

My nephew is coming home from camp today…

and I can’t wait to see him! His parents are excited, too, but they’re not looking forward to seeing his muddy bags crammed with dirty clothes and bedding.

Fortunately for them, those bags aren’t even going to make it to their apartment – I’m going to have them collected from their lobby. For the remainder of the 2012 camp season – through August 28 – we have a fantastic offer to help with whatever comes home with your child. Mention this blog post to receive a 20 percent discount on cleaning kids’ clothing, bedding, even sleeping bags.

Booger at the original Camp Meurice

Booger at the original Camp Meurice

I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone how bad kid’s gear gets after camp. Don’t fear, Meurice has an unmatched arsenal of cleaning technology and experience, and we can handle even the grungiest camp messes. You can redeem our offer in-store, or if you prefer to have bags collected before they hit your home, like me, schedule a pickup online.

Claim The Offer

Please Support Meurice – We’re Competing For a Grant

We have some really exciting news at Meurice: we’re under consideration to receive a very significant grant from Chase Bank and Living Social! But we can’t win without YOUR vote!

Support Meurice in Mission: Small Business!

Support Meurice in Mission: Small Business!

You might wonder why we’re competing to recieve this funding. Short answer: we have a vision to bring our high-end cleaning service to a mid-market pricepoint, through a new brand we’re developing: CLEAN. We’ve been perfecting our concept since the economic downturn in 2008 forced us to shelve our plans – and with a little dose of startup capital we hope to hit the streets up and running.

Please visit the Mission: Small Business website and take a moment to located our profile. It takes, quite literally, only seconds to submit your vote. We have just one week left to build votes, and we’re counting on your support.

Here's how to log in and vote

Here's how to log in and vote

And here's how to find us: Please note, we're in the Bronx

And here's how to find us: Please note, we're in the Bronx

And, if you haven’t already, please connect with Wayne on Twitter at @ClothesDr, and say hello – we’d love to stay in touch.

Thanks for your support!

Garment Care Tips For Lani

Garment Care Label Symbols Decoded

Don't despair! They're not as mysterious as they may seem!

After sending over some questions from my clients to styling and organization consultant extraordinaire Lani Inlander, Lani had a few garment care questions of her own. They’re very timely as we head into summer, so I thought I’d post them up for all to see.

1.How do I keep my summery whites white? Sometimes they yellow.

It can be a challenge to keep whites white – especially on delicate summer clothing. There’s no foolproof method to care for whites (and depending on the manufacturing process, some garments will yellow no matter what) but there are some simple steps to improve your odds:

–Wash whites with only other whites, on the highest temperature setting you can
–For clothing in generally clean and bright condition, toss in a capful of hydrogen peroxide with the load
–For clothing in dingy condition, use bleach containing Sodium Perborate

2. How do I know what those weird icons mean on the care instruction tag?

This is an easy one – we’ve decoded the garment care hieroglyphs here.

3. What is the best way to care for wool and cashmere sweaters?

Short answer: hand wash. Some wool and wool blend sweaters can be machine-washed and lay flat to dry. Consult the care label, and proceed with caution, using a gentle cycle and cold water. When washing a sweater at home for the first time, I like to measure its dimensions armpit-to-armpit and collar-to-base, just to ensure there has been no shrinking. If the sweater does shrink a touch, don’t despair! Soak it thoroughly and block it back to the old size by allowing it to dry while slightly stretched.

Cashmere and garments with substantial cashmere blends should only be washed by hand. I like to use a solution of tepid water and just a hint of baby shampoo.

4. I’ve heard that you shouldn’t touch a stain before you bring it to the dry cleaner. But what if I can’t get there for a few days and I get olive oil or balsamic vinegar on my shirt at lunch?

Yes, this is good advice. One of our pet peeves is cleaning a garment which has been made worse by a botched stain removal attempt! If it’s just a couple days, however, you don’t need to do anything. Blot the stain at the scene of the crime to sop up any excess from the spill and bring it in as soon as you get the chance.

5. Does grease from the taxi door ever come out? Should I even bother bringing it in to you?

Yes, grease from taxi or other car doors will absolutely come out. This is a tricky stain to handle at home since the grease is a lubricant that does not break down in water. Immersion dry cleaning, however, is safe for most garments and will easily remove oil-based stains.

6. How do you clean a garment that has just a little bit of leather on it?

Very carefully! It’s safest to have this garment dry cleaned to prevent shrinkage of the leather. Depending on what colors and dyes are present in the garment (for instance, a white sweater with black leather trim would be very hazardous) it may be necessary to spot clean the garment to prevent the dye in the leather from becoming soluble and transferring into the textile.

Spot the Truck Photo Contest

New Meurice Delivery Truck

Spot a truck – win a spin class! Have you seen our freshly wrapped Meurice vans on the road this spring? If so, we want to see your snapshots! When you share a photo of our trucks with us via Facebook or Twitter, we’ll enter you to win one of three spin class passes to Flywheel Sports. If you’ve never taken a class with Flywheel before, you’re living a thin life. Their pulse-pounding, stadium-seating spin venues deliver the best workout in the city – Wayne’s been addicted since they opened in 2010.

Contest skills required: Quick wits, photographic ability, social media savvy.

Contest dates: June 7 – June 28, 2012

Contest fine print: No purchase necessary, offer has no cash value.

Ready to give it a shot? Send us your images – we can’t wait to see where our vans are spotted!

 

Meurice Garment Care A Case Study In Twitter Marketing Book

Some exciting news for the team at Meurice – we’re a featured case study in the recently published Twitter guide: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Twitter Marketing! Authors Brett Petersel and Esther Schindler discuss the rapid growth of our (2,500 follower strong!) Twitter account – and how we’ve been able to connect to an audience as a small business. It’s been a lot of hard work to deliver value through our efforts on Twitter, and other social media sites, and we’re proud of the results.

It might not be polite to brag, but every now and then we have to toot our own horn! Click the images below to for a large view, and if you’d like to read more on how we’ve built our social presence at Meurice, you can buy the book on Amazon.

 

A Style And Organization Q&A With Lani Inlander

Recently, we asked our clients at Meurice what questions they had for Lani Inlander, a styling and organization consultant. Lani helps men and women find the clothing and accessories they feel most stylish and confident in, and also helps tame closets to ensure you’ll never be stuck again without anything to wear.

We’ve selected our favorite inquiries, and sent them over for a professional opinion:

 

 

 

Jeff Turner writes:
I have a beautiful favorite Paul Stuart blue blazer, and also a double breasted one which now seem to be very loose fitting. I also see that the brass buttons are out date. Do I change them? What color?
Lani’s response:
I suggest that if it is necessary, you alter the Paul Stuart blazer to the new, slimmer shape men are currently wearing. [Ed: This is within the realm of the work our tailor performs] If the brass buttons are in good shape, you could keep them as long as you wore the blazer with a more formal look than a regular sportcoat. Think beautiful checked shirt, tie and pocket square with dress beige pants, not cotton khakis.  If you would like to wear the single breasted blazer in a more casual manner, I would replace the brass buttons with horn ones.

 

It seems to me that a boxier, double breasted blazer is not a look you should be trying to resurrect, regardless of the buttons.

ML Halland writes:

How should NYers with small closets (isn’t that all of us?) organize their clothes?  It’s hard to figure out what to wear when you can’t see everything at a glance.

Lani’s response:

Yes, Mary, too little storage space is a big issue for most New Yorkers. This is the organizational method I use with my clients who are tight on space.
  1. Make more space with skinny hangers. And no, I don’t mean the kind from the corner dry cleaner! Flocked velvet hangers, such as the Huggable Hanger line, protect the shape of your clothes and use MUCH less space than wooden, metal or plastic hangers.
  2. Double your hanging space for $9.99! Everyone to whom I’ve shown this simple, inexpensive fix, is amazed at the impact it has on their storage space.
  3. Only the clothes you are currently wearing should be hanging in your main closet. Put off-season clothes in beautiful fabric bins which you can stack vertically on the top shelf of your closet or another out of the way place. Black tie clothes you wear once a year should also find a new home. Sandals can go in underbed boxes during the winter, replaced by boots in the summer.
  4. Re-purpose furniture. I believe that out-of-sight equals out-of-mind. Why not stack sweaters and tee shirts on an open bookshelf instead of away in a dresser?
  5. Throw away your shoe boxes! The original boxes, I mean. Replace them with clear shoe drawers. This allows you to stack many more pairs on the top or bottom of your closet, while making them truly accessible.
If have your own question, or you’d like to know more about Lani and her services, visit her website at real-life-style.com, and follow Lani on Twitter!