Monthly Archives: May 2010

Yellowed, 60-year-old christening gown restored (even I don’t believe how great this looks!)

Recently, our office manager, Lorraine, came into Meurice with a badly faded and yellowed christening gown that belonged to a friend. The gown was a treasured family heirloom last worn about 30 years ago, but needed for an upcoming baptism. When removed from storage, the gown appeared slightly the worse for wear.

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Before:

Christening gown before restoration (click to enlarge)

Christening gown before restoration (click to enlarge)

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Just look how yellowed and gross these booties are (click to enlarge)

Just look how yellowed and gross these booties are (click to enlarge)

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Particularly bad stain on front (click to enlarge)

Particularly bad stain on front (click to enlarge)

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One more overview shot (click to enlarge)

One more overview shot (click to enlarge)

This textile was in particularly poor shape when we first got it, and I wasn’t overly optimistic that it would hold up to restoration. Yet again, our restoration expert Santiago was able to work his magic and turned out an amazing gown. It almost looks like we bought a whole new one — I really can’t believe how vibrant and bright this gown is. Those stiff, faded shoes came out especially well.

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After:

Overview shot of restored gown and slip (click to enlarge)

Overview shot of restored gown and slip (click to enlarge)

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Look how crisp and white this gown came out! (click to enlarge)

Look how crisp and white this gown came out! (click to enlarge)

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These accessories were the dingiest pieces of all before restoration, and they came out great! (click to enlarge)

These accessories were the dingiest pieces of all before restoration, and they came out great! (click to enlarge)

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If you’d like to have Meurice restore your vintage gown (or anything else, for that matter!) drop us a line at info@garmentcare.com or call 800.240.3377.

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iPad referal giveaway… we have a winner!

Some of you may recall the iPad contest we sponsored just over a month ago. We entered all of our existing customers who referred a new client, and the new customers who had been referred by a friend in the contest. Then, we drew numbers in the office and our winner turned out to be one John Wang, an English professor from Tribeca.

Ironically, John came into Meurice toward the tail end of the contest and hadn’t even realized he was in the running. Suffice to say, when he received a phone call from our fearless leader Wayne, it was a happy surprise.

John collecting his iPad in Meurice's University Place store

John collecting his iPad in Meurice’s University Place store (click to enlarge)

Best of all for us at Meurice, John had a great story to share. He came in with a leather-trimmed Zegna jacket that he’d owned for years without cleaning, concerned his neighborhood cleaners might not be up to the job. After we finished the jacket, John came back with a stained Polo shirt several other cleaners had tried unsuccessfully to revive. Our expert spotter Sammy was able to work his magic, and returned the shirt as new.

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Beddings and Linen — Spring Clean with Meurice and Save 20%

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Now that it finally looks like we may enjoy a complete week of temperatures over 70º, you’ve probably started to think about what to do about cleaning heavy comforters, duvets and coverlets.

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The bad news: That bedding isn’t going to fit in your miniature closet washer, and the oversized laundromat around the corner probably isn’t your first stop with your finery.

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The good news: Meurice has exactly the right equipment to tackle the job, and we’ve just received a fresh shipment of extra-large laundry bags to make picking up your bulky bedding a snap.

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Give us a call today at 800.240.3377, or send us an email at info@garmentcare.com. We’ll come out to collect and deliver all your spring cleaning. You’ll barely have to lift a finger.

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Plus, through the end of May, we’ll take 20 percent off the cleaning of any bedding item — from pillows to bedsheets and blankets. Just mention this post to receive the discount.

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Keep Clean,

Wayne Edelman

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Interesting wedding dress label… what materials burst into flames when washed?

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This wedding gown is apparently flammable in water...

This wedding gown is apparently flammable in water…

Just saw this bizarre wedding gown care label. Another member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists forwarded it to me this morning. I’ve heard of materials that are combustable when machine-dried before, but gowns exploding in the wash is a new one for me! An important reminder: care labels are required by the FTC, but this does not guarantee the label is correct!

No matter what the label says, it’s safe at Meurice!

 

Pregnancy and your favorite jeans – two things that deserve to be together.

Pregnancy can be a serious challenge to your figure and – as anyone who’s shopped for maternity jeans recently knows – your checkbook.

Fortunately, Meurice has the simple solution. Our talented seamstress Roma can transform any pair of standard jeans into comfy maternity wear.

Roma measures a pair of jeans prior to adding maternity waistband

Roma measures a pair of jeans prior to adding maternity waistband

Roma will add color-coordinated maternity waistbands to nearly any pair of jeans or other pants. The band is flexible enough for the second and third trimester for most women. Best of all, the process is completely reversible. We’ll complete the cycle and turn those jeans back into the same stylish designer denim you originally brought us,  once you’re ready for non-maternity wear.

Lucky jeans just prior to maternity alteration

Lucky jeans just prior to maternity alteration

Lucky jeans after alteration -- the waistband has been completely replaced

Lucky jeans after alteration — the waistband has been completely replaced

Roma's pregnancy jeans retain their original flattering lines

Roma’s pregnancy jeans retain their original flattering lines

Purpose-made maternity jeans aren’t exactly up to date on trends — and they certainly don’t come cheap. Don’t give up your favorite denim, let Meurice transform their fit so you stay stylish throughout your entire pregnancy.

Give us a call today at 800.240.3377, email us at info@garmentcare.com or stop into any of our three dry cleaning locations to learn more.

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Can your clothes be cleaned? Importance of serviceability in garment production

We all know an early collection can make or break an upcoming designer. No designer would dare roll out a new line without researching manufacturing costs or running a tech sheet by a seasoned industry expert.

Yet, serviceability is a consideration that’s often overlooked, even by established design houses. A garment cannot be considered ready to wear if it cannot be cleaned. Most couture clients expect to clean their purchases as well. Selling garments that cannot be cleaned, or fall apart when cleaned as directed is a good way to ensure clients will think twice before buying from your label again.

This skirt actually melted when exposed to the cleaning process

This skirt actually melted when exposed to the cleaning process

Many fashion insiders are surprised to see how many unserviceable garments pass through a typical cleaner. Pieces across all price points can turn out to be uncleanable, often due to manufacturing or design issues. When an item is cleaned as directed and deteriorates, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will tell you that the manufacturer is liable. Even the big guys make mistakes in labeling or manufacture – the difference is, they can afford to. Serviceability issues are so common that a trade group called the National Cleaners Association (NCA) works independently to indentify non-processables and alert cleaners through a bulletin called “Watch out for this Garment!”

The best way to ensure a garment is serviceable is to have it professionally examined and tested for solubility in the various common cleaning agents. This service is available free of charge at Meurice Garment Care to members of the CFDA (limit of two free tests per year). Another outstanding resource for garment testing is the NCA’s test lab on West 29th St.

A garment that contains a difficult to clean element isn’t necessarily impossible to process. In the old days, there was only one solvent available for dry cleaning, but today a cleaner worth their salt ought to have dozens of cleaning agents at their disposal. The most important thing is to accurately describe garments on their care label in order to ensure they’re not mishandled.

Aside from professional testing, good manufacturing practices can minimize garment serviceability issues. Here are a few common trouble areas to be mindful of:

Unserviceable Trimming: Many garments labeled “dry clean only” hold up well in cleaning solvent, but are trimmed with beads or sequins which do not. Not only does this mean that the trimming can be ruined by a careless cleaner, but it also presents the issue of “bleed” – fugitive dye running onto the garment as well. Sometimes these garments are more accurately labeled “Dry clean Only Exclusive of Ornamentation”. In either case, the cleaner must remove all trim, clean the garment and then sew all the trim back on! Can it be done? Sure, if the cleaner has a talented tailor! But, it’s a labor intensive and very costly process. A simpler solution is to use trimming that can withstand the dry cleaning process. However a garment is made, absolutely do NOT use glue in the construction.

Good example of bleeding trim on a garment

Good example of bleeding trim on a garment

Pigment Prints: Pigment prints are in many cases problematic to clean. These prints are typically insoluble color particles held to a fabric with a binding agent. The pigment is applied to the fabric using various printing methods, which can deteriorate in either water or solvent. Pigment prints are often used in apparel as well as household goods such as draperies and bedspreads. It is often possible to hand-clean pigment prints, but it’s essential that they are identified clearly on the care label.

Coated Fabrics: Manufacturers use coatings such as vinyl, polyurethane, Gortex ® or Tyvek ® to give a fabric water and windproof qualities. These coatings can be sprayed on or laminated; again, proper identification is critical. Especially when quality control is weak, coated fabrics can delaminate, blister or stiffen when cleaned. This is an even greater problem when dry cleaners have not invested in multiple dry cleaning technologies and are precluded from using a less aggressive process.

The coated fabric on this coat dissintegrated when it was cleaned

The coated fabric on this coat dissintegrated when it was cleaned

Solvent Soluble Dyes: Many dyestuffs have a tendency to become fugitive and bleed when exposed to particular cleaning solvents or staining agents – this is particularly noticeable with garments that are both black and white. These garments must be treated with kid gloves: often bleeding can be avoided by reducing dry cleaning cycles, temperatures and moisture in solvent.

Piece Dyed Fabric: Fabrics are considered “piece dyed” when they are dyed after yarn has been woven into a fabric. This presents a risk of dye “crocking” (dye becoming fugitive and transferring) because the fibers in the fabric may not have been completely penetrated. This damage is typically pronounced in areas exposed to friction or abrasion during wear. Piece dyed garments must be cleaned with caution.

Dark suede or leather with a light colored textile: Dark-colored suede and leather pose a significant risk of bleeding. While this bleeding may not be perceptible when an entire garment is made from one material, it can easily show when the dark leather is paired against a contrastingly light textile. Also, since suede and leather are made from animal hides, natural irregularities can become much more noticeable after cleaning. If possible, avoid pairing dark animal hides with light textile, if that combination can’t be avoided it’s best to ensure the hide portion is easily detached from the rest of the garment, because the only safe way to clean it will be separately.

This coat contained dissimilar fabrics which reacted differently to cleaning

This coat contained dissemilar fabrics which reacted differently to cleaning

If there’s one critical lesson in manufacturing serviceable garments, it’s the need for accurate care labels. Take risks with your design, but be sure to play it safe with manufacturing and labeling..