True Quality CleaningStraight talk about caring for fine garments & household textiles from an expert who calls it like it is. In plain English.

The RAVE FabriCARE story

Storefront bannerThe year was 1988. I was living in New York City and I had just picked up my favorite navy pin striped suit from "the cleaners."

Prior to dropping off this suit, the fabric had a butter soft texture one would have expected of a wool woven by one of England's finest mills. And the collar, lapels, shoulders and silhouette had that distinctive Savile Row tailored look.

Only now it had been reduced to a rag.

The fabric felt like cardboard. The suit exhibited shine, flap, button and seam impressions, wrinkled linings, a rippled collar and hard pressed lapels. It looked like the internal construction of the shoulder, lapels and collar had distorted. And the smell? Don't even ask!

So began my quest to find a true quality cleaner.

The search proved to be unsuccessful. And led to the realization that true quality at the vast majority of cleaners was non-existent. And that true quality at the so-called "better cleaners" -- the one's that "dressed up" their product with logo-printed tissue and poly, and with wood/chrome hangers -- was still only slightly above average. At best.

StorefrontMy failure to locate a true quality cleaner led me to pose the obvious question: why can't cleaners produce a garment that is cleaned, finished, inspected and packaged with extraordinary care?

After extensive research, my conclusions were quite simple ...

  1. I discovered that the drycleaning business is riddled with compromises and shortcuts -- at every step of the cleaning, finishing, inspecting and packaging process. And that, over the years, customers have come to accept these compromises and shortcuts as "just the way cleaners do things."

    And the reason?

     A lack of consumer awareness about the difference between true quality cleaning and "bang and hang cleaning" or "ordinary cleaning."

    Most consumers have never seen, felt and smelled a garment cleaned, finished, inspected and packaged with extraordinary care. They don't have any yardsticks against which they can judge the quality of the product they receive. They don't know what questions to ask. And they don't know how to assess the "truthfulness" of the responses they receive.
  2. I determined that, apart from soliciting your preference for "starch or no starch, on hangers or folded", cleaners despise catering to the many personal (and, yes, sometimes idiosyncratic) preferences of their customers.

    And the reason?

    Personal preferences interfere with their standard operating procedures and their in-by-9:00-and-out-by-5:00, picked-up-on-day-1-and-delivered-on-day-3 production orientation.

    In the drycleaning business, there's simply no such thing as catering to personal preferences when the entire operation is run like a production line.

    This is a self-evident truth notwithstanding cleaners' claims to the contrary.
  3. I figured that the decision to make these compromises, to take these shortcuts, and to ignore personal preferences is driven by two factors: faster turnaround time and lower production costs.

    And the reason?

    The vast majority of cleaners compete on service speed and/or price. Not on the quality of their work product.

    In the drycleaning business, there's simply no such thing as "Top Quality Work The Same Or Next Day" , "Top Quality Work Picked Up on Day 1 and Delivered on Day 3", "Top Quality Work At A Competitive Price" or "Top Quality Work at Half the Price of a True Quality Cleaner".

    This is a self evident truth notwithstanding cleaners' claims to the contrary.
  4. I concluded that, in the drycleaning business, the focus on faster turnaround time and lower production costs is incompatible with producing a true quality garment.

    And the reason?

    True quality requires the application of time and an investment in specialized procedures, processes, skills, equipment and fabricare facilities. Not the contraction of time and the extraction of cost at every opportunity.

    In the drycleaning business, there's simply no such thing as compromising your way to true quality.

    This is a self evident truth notwithstanding cleaners' claims to the contrary.

And so it was that an idea -- and a company -- was born.

When you start something, you dare to believe it can work. What you can't understand or predict is just how it's all going to happen, and who's going to help you.

As with most business endeavors, the early years were characterized by trial and error. Nonetheless, the vision inspired us, and, most importantly, attracted like-minded craftspeople who saw something noble and rewarding in a simple, yet profound idea: No compromises. No shortcuts. Just extraordinary care for fine garments and household textiles.

In the words of the late Paul Harvey, "Now you know the rest of the story."

How can I help you?

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