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Fashion vs. Fabricare (Part 4 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 #4: EXTREME TRIM
The posh wintertime preference for furs, faux furs, mohairs and shearlings has expanded from only trims and outerwear to form the bulk of garments typically made of fabric, such as skirts, blouses and dresses.
Counter inspection is crucial on garments that use exotic, textured elements as a base, says Chris Allsbrooks, director of training operations for ZIPS Dry Cleaners. “If you have a faux-fur skirt, for example, the user is going to abrade it and cause bald spots.”
If the garment includes real fur and you know how, “clean it like any other fur,” says Joseph Hallak Jr., vice president of Hallak Cleaners. “Don’t tackle it if you don’t know how.” Clean faux furs and mohairs on a gentle cycle, using clear solvent to avoid matting, adds Alan Spielvogel, garment analyst with the National Cleaners Association (NCA).
“Decide what’s best for the garment,” Hallak says. “Know what you need and program the machine accordingly—don’t just count on the factory settings.”
But there are limits to what a drycleaner can do. “A lot of fashions are wearable art, which is unfortunate,” Allsbrooks says. “It’s fun until you realize that a $700 shearling skirt can’t be cleaned.”
Click here to read Part 3 of this story.
Click here to read Part 2 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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