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Fashion vs. Fabricare (Part 2 of 4)

Ian P. Murphy |

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.

LOOK #2: MILITARY
The year’s most structured silhouette pairs olive and khaki drabs with leopard prints and skinny cargo pants for a striking-but-serviceable look. “Clean them according to the care labels,” says Alan Spielvogel, garment analyst with the National Cleaners Association (NCA). “If they are cotton, they can often be wetcleaned with a sizing agent and come out well.”
Problems can arise when designers embellish military looks with baroque decorations such as embroidery or metallic threads. “All embroidery is not created equal,” says Chris Allsbrooks, director of training operations for ZIPS Dry Cleaners. “Some is nice and secure, and some is easily snagged. Embroidery can actually bleed when you dryclean it.”
The problems worsen when metallics are involved—painted metallics can be ruined on the press or separate from the base fabric in cleaning; threaded metallics can destroy it. “Metal yarns shrink and cut through the other fibers,” Spielvogel says.
“Threaded metallics are serviceable, even though they are delicate,” says Joseph Hallak Jr., vice president of Hallak Cleaners in New York, N.Y. “Don’t overload the machine or put them in net bags. If they bend, they’re difficult to bend back.”
And all those pockets make even high-class cargo pants a presser’s nightmare, Allsbrooks adds. “Make sure your press padding is good and use a felt to prevent impressions.”Please check back Wednesday, Nov. 10 for Part 3 of this story.Click here to read Part 1 of this story.

About the author

Ian P. Murphy

American Drycleaner

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.

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