Fabricare Cleaners recently traveled to New York, NY to attend the national meeting of America’s Best CleanersTM, where Affiliates from across the US gained exposure to couture fashion trends and industry best practices that will ultimately benefit their clients.
HARTFORD – Fabricare Cleaners, along with Affiliates of America’s Best CleanersTM (ABC) Affiliates from across the US and Canada, recently traveled to New York, NY for three days of networking and presentations around industry and general business best practices. The meeting included outings to fashion-related exhibits and businesses including the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center and the Albright Fashion Library, where Affiliates sharpened their knowledge of caring for high-end garments.
The regular ABC National Affiliate Meeting, which is held every six months in locations around the country, is a forum for networking and the exchange of ideas around industry and general business best practices. Meetings are frequently attended by consultants from various industries and businesses that support dry cleaning.
ABC is heavily focused on fashion education. The New York meeting was no exception, with attendees touring the newly opened “China: Through the Looking Glass” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center. The display of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear fashions gave Affiliates of ABC a keen insight into the construction and care of high-end, heavily decorated garments. Fabricare Cleaners and other Affiliates also visited the famed Albright Fashion Library, where they were invited to view more than 20,000 couture and designer items housed in the Library’s 7,000 square foot showroom. Started by Irene Albright, and currently headed by Creative Director Patricia Black, the Albright Fashion Library helps clients source inspired looks for photo shoots, films, performances or special events. The library’s extensive list of designers, which runs the gamut from Alexander McQueen to Giambattista Valli and Zuhair Murad, gave attendees a chance to view the latest trends in fashion, and to familiarize themselves with current styles in embellishments and design.
“You’re my worst nightmare!”
Those were the words from the owner of a high-end men’s clothing line when he met Michael Astorino at the collective in New York several years ago. Mr. Astorino of Fabricare Cleaners was retelling the story to a group of students at the Fashion Institute of Technology as part of their course on textiles.
“There is a disconnect between the manufacturing of fine clothes and how to clean them,” Astorino explains. Designers, often in a rush to get their items to market and to save costs, don’t test or take into consideration the cleaning of their garments. As a result, clothes often get ruined in the dry cleaning process. Leather trims bleed onto fabric, shrinkage occurs, embellishments sometimes melt – these are just some of the issues that can occur if designers don’t take into account how to care for the piece before going to market.
Among the garments Mr. Astorino brought in as samples was a $3400 Christian Dior dress that bled during the cleaning and made the dress unwearable. There was also a $2000 Lela Rose gown where the ornamental trim rubbed against the silk trim leaving it frayed and pilled. Because the manufactures don’t stand behind their work, and often blame the dry cleaner, Mr. Astorino’s business ends up reimbursing the customer for these defective items.
Salvador Giardina, the instructor for the class, noted that often these problems can be prevented with some simple common sense. A leather collar sewn onto a wool coat could easily be constructed with a detachable collar. This would enable the dry cleaner to remove the collar and clean the wool coat separately not risking any color bleed or damage to the leather collar which needs to be cared for in a different process.
The high-end clothier that Mr. Astorino met at the collective came around to understanding the importance of working with the dry cleaning industry and actually ended up working with Fabricare who helped test his garments for shrinkage as well as other issues. This manufacturer was one of several who understood the value of working together as opposed to blaming each other for problems. However, Mr. Astorino pointed out that there are over 6000 different brands that come through his dry-cleaning establishment and It would be impossible to build relationships with each one of them. When Professor Giardina heard of this problem, he thought it would be best to get this message to those who will eventually be designing clothes and started inviting Astorino as a guest speaker at his classes.
Ever wonder how does Fabricare hand press a shirt? Now you can see it!
REMINDER: If you ever just need a press, without the cleaning, Fabricare can do that for you! Ask for “PRESS ONLY”.
Going away for Labor Day weekend? Be sure to pack up smart!
One of the biggest reasons to pack up efficiently is to avoid baggage fees and of course, to carry less.
If you are packing up dry cleaned shirts, be sure to ask us to fold them for you rather than get them to you on a hanger. We can fold them in such a way that they won’t wrinkle.
For t-shirts, roll them up in a tube as that will take the least amount of space in your suitcase.
Dresses & Suits
Don’t carry around a garment bag. Instead, lay the garment bag on top of the items in your luggage. Fold the garment bag neatly by first folding up the empty space and then folding down the top part. This will leave your dresses & suits neat.
Starch is an “oldy but a goody” when it comes to keeping your clothes looking crisp. In fact, it has been used since the 1500’s for that purpose and continues to be a popular choice today. But, is it healthy for your clothes?
In short, it depends on the fabric.
- Starch gives a “crisp” look to your clothes
- Makes ironing easier
- Makes washing most stains out easier
- Can greatly reduce the longevity of your clothes
- Can cause fraying as fibers dry out
- Some people have adverse skin reactions to starch in their clothes
For the above reasons, we recommend NO starch. We press the shirts wet, giving it a crisp look. Also, not using starch allows for your shirts to move more naturally and will not show the wrinkles as much. Plus… it will prevent you from looking like Frankenstein!
As a couture dry cleaner, we deal with clothes from various high-end designers which typically require specialized care. You could say that finding out what each garment needs in order to be healthy, beautiful and clean is our expertise. We use only organic solutions, which help us keep your clothes and your skin healthy!
Schedule a FREE pick up & delivery today: www.fabricarecleaners.net
“Dress for Success” is an international non-profit organization offering services designed to help disadvantaged women find jobs and remain employed. It promotes the economic independence of struggling women by providing professional attire, a network or support and career development tools. Fabricare Cleaners is proud to announce that it is supporting this amazing movement. Currently, Fabricare Cleaners is accepting professional women apparels and is cleaning all donated clothing for FREE.
For more information, please refer to the site: http://www.dressforsuccess.org/