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Hand ironing, not machine pressing or steaming

The highest standards of garment finishing can tolerate no compromises or shortcuts.

Which is why our skilled garment finishers delicately hand finish every garment. Both inside and out. The old-fashioned way. Using a hand iron. No matter how long it might take.

In fact, we guarantee customized, personal attention on each and every garment. Such as:

  • perfectly rounded, non-rippled, “factory formed” collars, and soft, rolling lapels on your suit jackets, sport coats and blazers.
  • pleats that are precisely hand-finished to avoid seam impressions.
  • sweaters and knits that are measured prior to cleaning and then blocked to those original measurements after cleaning.
  • neckties and scarfs that are blocked to shape to prevent rippling, maintain fullness and provide gently rolled edges.

And, yes, we know exactly how a 3-roll-to-2 or a 3-roll-to-2½ suit jacket or sport coat must be pressed. Without you ever having to ask.

It goes without saying that, at RAVE FabriCARE, you won’t find those common “bang and hang” machine pressing practices typically found at ordinary cleaners: crushed nap; shine; seam, flap and button impressions; moire-like press pad impressions; double creases; wrinkled seams and linings; and other “crimes of fashion”.

More on "steaming"

It's important to understand that steaming is NOT hand pressing or hand finishing.

Visit the website of any dry cleaner with a promotional video and you're likely to see a shot of a "presser" holding a steam iron and "squirting" steam onto a garment. The shot is visually appealing and creates the perception that "something important must be happening".

At RAVE FabriCARE, we tell clients that steam is evil.

Here's why....

The idea that "steaming" is equivalent to "pressing" is nonsense. If the sole input required for fine garment finishing is steam, the only requirement for "pressing" a garment would be steam from the shower head in a bathroom.

Fact is, steam should be used solely to relax the fibers of the garment. To achieve a smooth, soft finish, a skilled presser will use steam from a hand iron to relax the fibers and, simultaneously, use vacuum (that's built into a press) to extract the moisture imparted by the steam from the hand iron.

It's the combination of steam and vacuum that creates a smooth, soft finish.

A skilled hand finisher will use steam and vacuum; an unskilled presser will squirt steam at every garment they handle.

The right equipment, correctly equipped and staffed

At RAVE FabriCARE, we’ve even got different finishing stations, equipped with different types of finishing pads, adjusted to different pressures, equipped with hand irons set at different temperatures, and staffed by finishers with different skills, to accommodate different categories of garments and even different types of fabrics within a specific category of garments.

To understand this nuance, you must first recognize that ordinary cleaners typically employ only two types of presses in their dry clean operations: pant presses (for slacks, trousers and shorts) and utility presses (for blouses, shirts, blazers, sport coats, dresses, skirts, sweaters, etc.).

Moreover, most ordinary cleaners cross train their pressers to be “jacks of all trades”. So a presser may press slacks, trousers and shorts for 5 hours, and blouses, shirts, blazers, sport coats, dresses, skirts and sweaters for the rest of the day. Or their “stain removal technician” will load and unload their dry clean machine, and press slacks, trousers and shorts in between loads.

At RAVE FabriCARE, we’d never permit such cross utilization.

For example, our slacks, trousers and shorts finishers would never be assigned a sport coat or a dress.


Because skilled finishing is all about technique. And few finishers have developed their technique to the point that would allow them to move seamlessly between different categories of garments.

Please note that “technique” does not equate to “experience”. Many pressers with years of “experience” have zero technique. By way of analogy, a short order cook with years of “experience” working at Denny’s, is unlikely to be able to cut the mustard as a bus boy at a 4 or 5 star-rated Michelin restaurant.

Not only that, but we’ve even got different finishing stations to accommodate different fabrics within a specific category of garments. For example, our cotton/linen slacks, trousers and shorts finishers would never be assigned a wool, silk, poly, acetate or rayon slacks, trousers or shorts.


Because our cotton/linen pant presses are equipped with a “harder” pad, are adjusted to a higher pressure, are equipped with hand irons set at higher temperatures, and requires a hand finisher with a “stronger arm”.

By contrast, our wool, silk, poly, acetate and rayon pant presses are equipped with a “soft” pad, are adjusted to a negligible pressure, are equipped with hand irons set at lower temperatures, and requires a hand finisher with a “delicate touch”.

At RAVE FabriCARE, anything less is simply unacceptable.

Talk to your tailor about “machine pressing” and “steaming”

“Pressing” or “steaming”, as practiced by ordinary cleaners, is such a poor descriptor of the art of finishing.

Of course, a skilled finisher must know how to apply pressure to achieve a smooth finish on a linen or cotton. But a smooth, soft, hand-finish, that minimizes the possibility of shine or seam, flap and button impressions, best defines the finest professional finishing.

If you’re looking for validation of this point of view, just broach the subject of “pressing by dry cleaners” with any bespoke tailor and watch their blood pressure rise.

And make sure you bring along a portable defibrillator. Your tailor may need it.

"You get what you pay for, and that holds true here. Rave Fabricare will never give you up, let you down, or desert you in your time of quality cleaning need. (With apologies to the great Rick Astley.) I had accidentally put in a tie dye garment with my fiancee's white blouse. The results were not pretty. There wasn't much we could do at home to save it and were doubting it could at all. In comes Rave Fabricare to the rescue. Not only were these stains removed like they never existed without using bleach or any other harsh chemicals, leaving it whiter than it ever was, it was perfectly pressed. Again, better than it had ever been. They took the time to hand press everything including the ruffles and ruching detail in back. Top notch. No automated "shirt balloon" machines here like the lesser guys. Would recommend to everyone not just from my experience but from the experience of many other clothing connoisseurs who have used them."
Giselle Gauthier
Internationally Recognized Dry Cleaner
RAVE FabriCARE is a nationally recognized leader in true quality care for fine garments, household textiles and accessories. And the only dry cleaner in Arizona recognized as one of the nation’s premier dry cleaners by non-compensated, independent, authoritative third parties.