We provide extraordinary care for fine
garments & household textiles
There are over 26,000 cleaners in the
USA. And probably 99.5% of these cleaners believe that "cleaning"
is a relatively simple operation ...
Take 50 to 60 "laundry" shirts. Scrub the collars and cuffs with
a hard-bristled brush. Sort them into two loads: "lights" and
"darks". Then subdivide each load into "starch" and "no
Next, stuff a load into a 60 lb. shirt washer, adding hot (even
boiling) water, harsh caustic industrial grade detergents and
bleach. Starch with cheap synthetic glue. Remove the damp shirts
from the washer and run them through a series of pressing machines
that have all the subtlety and precision of a sledgehammer. At a
rate of 40 to 50 shirts (or more) per hour. Then, using a hand
iron, touch up the underarms (maybe) and crease the sleeves in an
attempt to conceal any evidence of machine pressing and pass them
off as a "hand finished" or "hand ironed" shirt. Finally, cram the
finished shirts into narrow poly bags so that they're returned
looking only slightly better than the day they were sent in or
dropped off. Or machine fold them for that desired "slept in"
But wait, there's more ...
Take 50 to 60 "dryclean" garments. Sort them into "lights" and
"darks". Load them into a 60 lb.
drycleaning machine with little or no pre-spotting (pre-drycleaning
stain removal). Add detergent (the cheapest one), moisture or water
(to "remove" any water-based stains), fragrance (to disguise the
smell of the emulsified oils and fats in the solvent) and sizing
(to stiffen your garments and render them quicker to press). Toss
them about in a relatively aggressive, dye-stripping, toxic solvent
(perchloroethylene or synthetic petroleum) for 10 minutes or less.
Extract at a high RPM and dry at a high temperature to further
minimize the total wash/extract/dry cycle time. Then, machine press
the garments and "squirt" them with steam from a hand iron in an
attempt to conceal any evidence of machine pressing. At a rate of
30 to 40 pants per hour per presser and 20 to 30 non-pant garments
per hour per presser. About 1½ to 3 minutes per garment. Finally,
stuff the finished garments into narrow poly bags and cram them
onto a holding rack or conveyor.
What's more, many of your drycleanable cottons and linens may,
in fact, not have been
drycleaned at all. They've probably been washed or wetcleaned,
tossed into a dryer, machine
pressed, and then "squirted" with steam. Even if you specifically
requested "dryclean only". Even if the care label said "dryclean
Voila, they're done! With almost no investment of time or skill.
They're in by 9:00 and out by
5:00. Picked up on day 1 and delivered on day 3.
Welcome to the world of "professional cleaning". Where every
cleaner claims to be a true quality cleaner.
Unfortunately, fine garment care - true quality cleaning -
requires more than just a knowledge of loading and unloading a
shirt washer or dryclean machine, and banging those garments out on
a press. And more than just an assembly-line cleaning and pressing
operation where every garment is barcoded and treated as
interchangeable irrespective of original cost. Based on this
definition, I could teach any Hallmark Card store employee to be a
drycleaner/presser in 2 weeks. (Sorry, I take that back. In 1
Truth is, fine garment care - true quality cleaning - requires
an extensive knowledge of and
commitment to the art and science of textiles, garment
construction, cleaning and hand ironing, a never-ending commitment
to process improvement (no matter how marginal), a stubbornness to
reject labor saving technologies that negatively impacts true
quality, an unyielding commitment to invest in true quality rather
than extract every last penny out of the cleaning, hand ironing and
packaging process, a sense of pride in one's work, a passion for
perfection (to the extent that perfection is achievable), the time
necessary to "do the job right," and most importantly, a personal
philosophy that says that true quality has inherent meaning and
value - for the cleaner, his employees and his clients.
In this blog, I'll be exploring a wide range of issues
associated with caring for your fine garments and household
textiles. I hope you'll join me along this journey and participate
conversation. Your fine garments and household textiles will love
you for that.
How can I help you?
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