Vintage Garments

Vintage Garments
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Our guiding principle: Do No Harm

At RAVE FabriCARE, we understand the delicate nature of vintage garments. We respect their value to you. And we’ll do our very best to safeguard them.

Cleaning a vintage garment is a skillful process that involves great thought and care at every stage of the cleaning and finishing process.

The guiding principle should always be “Do No Harm”.

At RAVE FabriCARE, our strength is our personalized advisory service. When you bring in or send in a vintage garment to us, a knowledgeable Fabricare Consultant will:

  • Examine the piece carefully
  • Identify the challenges presented by the piece
  • Discuss the areas of risk
  • Explain our recommended restoration and/or cleaning process
  • Identify the results that we believe you can and cannot expect from our work.

Specifically, we will discuss the problems and/or conditions of use, storage or manufacture that may limit whether such items can be safely cleaned and yield satisfactory results.

Potential issues to consider

At the very least, the following potential problems and/or conditions require careful examination:


May peel, separate, dissolve, lose color, fall off due to loose, broken or rotted threads. If glued on, the glue may dissolve in either an aqueous solution or in dry cleaning fluid.


May be discolored, stained, or deteriorated due to age. If glued on, the color may change. If the item is a garment trimmed with lace, the lace may have to be separated from the garment, independently cleaned, and then reattached after the rest of the garment has been cleaned.


May be badly soiled, scuffed, frayed, torn or glued. Soil removal may be limited.


May be discolored, worn, frayed, torn, or stained.


May be stained from food or beverage, perspiration (can be invisible and turn yellow or brown in processing), dye bleed, or rust from metal components (buttons, hooks, zippers, etc.).


Bows, buttons, buckles, flowers, appliques, rhinestones and other ornamental attachments may separate or discolor. If trim is glued on, the glue may dissolve. Trims might have to be removed and then reattached after the rest of the garment has been cleaned.

Overall Condition

Scuffing, pulls and snags; yarn slippage; crushed nap; yellowing due to age, exposure to light (natural and artificial) or improper storage in appropriate climate conditions and/or acidic storage materials; stained and soiled; worn necklines, cuffs and hems; insect damage; dry rot and tears. Weakened or rotted fabric may tear. Unstable dyes may bleed.


The catchword on any vintage garment is test, test and test again before proceeding with any cleaning process.

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Services to resellers

Please note that we do not accept commissions to restore vintage garments from resellers.

And the reason?

Our goal is to deliver the best technologically achievable result given the existing condition of the garment.  

The seller's goal is to maximize profitability (loosely defined as the difference between the likely sales price in the event of a successful restoration and the original acquisition price plus the cost of restoration).

That presents us with an inherent conflict of interest.

Accordingly, we cannot entertain questions such as: Can you just treat/remove the wine stain on the front, or brown stains on the collar, or yellow stain on the underarms.

In the vast majority of cases, there are many more issues associated with the garment than just a single area of staining and the entire garment requires treatment.

There is one more issue: Our mission is to deliver the best technologically achievable result. We will not be associated with mediocrity. There are, literally, thousands of dry cleaners would will be quite happy to assist you.

Risks and rewards

Cleaning a vintage garment is a skillful process that involves great thought and care at every stage of the cleaning and finishing process. It also involves potential risk. So it’s important to understand the potential risks involved before proceeding.

Especially if your vintage garments have been contaminated by fire, smoke, soot, water, mold, mildew and/or humidity as a result of a fire or flood.

When you’ve been entrusted with maintaining and preserving the integrity of a precious and valuable textile, you can trust the experts at RAVE FabriCARE for an informed consultation and care at every stage of the cleaning and finishing process should you decide to proceed.

"I had a great first experience with Rave. I had a tweed overcoat that had some awful yellowish staining at the collar. These stains were probably over 60 years old but Rave managed to get them out, and now the coat is wearable. On top of this, I have often found that very old wool garments like this one still tend to have a smell even after multiple dry cleanings. But this overcoat smells fresh now, in contrast to the deeply musty odor it had when I mailed it to them. I am extremely impressed, and will be sure to use Rave again."
Alec Goodwin
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.