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Fashion vs. Fabricare (Part 1 of 4)

American Drycleaner recently asked industry experts how to handle the looks appearing in the Fall 2010 couture collections—and the ready-to-wear garments they’re bound to inspire.

Cozy knits are a natural fit for fall, but designers outdid themselves this year by dressing runway models head-to-toe in knit headbands, fisherman’s sweaters, cable-knit skirts, and clingy knit pants and leggings.
Drycleaners should observe the same precautions as if they were cleaning a sweater, and clean matching items together. To avoid shrinkage and dye bleeds, don’t overheat the solvent and “don’t use too much moisture,” says Alan Spielvogel, garment analyst with the National Cleaners Association (NCA). “Cable knits are prone to stretching and distortion. Clean them on a short cycle in net bags.”
The heavier the knit, the more likely it will pose problems. “You have to be careful with dry times and be sure not to overload the machine,” says Joseph Hallak Jr., vice president of Hallak Cleaners in New York, N.Y. “You don’t want to give anything back with an odor.”
Careful operators will premeasure knits, and use only bottom steam on the press to avoid stretching. “A chunky knit will be very heavy,” says Chris Allsbrooks, director of training operations for Greenbelt, Md.-based ZIPS Dry Cleaners and former garment analyst for the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI). “The weight of the material itself can cause them to elongate, which will cause that ‘droopy’ look.”Please check back Friday, Nov. 5 for Part 2 of this story.

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected] .