Watch for wear.

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By brightleaf

Dress shirts, especially often-worn favorites, can show signs of aging after twenty or thirty wearings. Check your cuffs and collars for signs of wear. If you see darkness at the edges, you’re seeing the interfacing through worn fabric. Don’t forget the elbows. Thinning fabric that’s been stressed by elbow bending can tear or burst, never at a convenient time. You can trust our shirt laundry to keep your business wear working for you as long as possible.

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From:: Watch for wear.

Club soda, pros and cons.

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By brightleaf

The stain removing “magic” of club soda works part of the time for part of the stains. It never works on grease or oil. Greasy stains look absorbed and have no “ring.” Never use club soda on fine fabrics like silks. The dyes may bleed and run. Splashing club soda on wine, coffee or colored sodas will loosen and dilute the stain. Blot – never rub – to prevent the stain from bleeding into surrounding areas. And bring the garment to us as soon as possible.

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Women dress for work.

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By brightleaf

In our lifetimes, we’ve seen women’s workplace attire move from conservative jacketed suits to denim and t-shirts. For a pictorial history showing how fashion has changed since women started office work, Mashable’s photo story shows the shift from crinoline hoops to thumb rings and tattoos. One thing will never change and that’s a woman’s desire to look her best, whether she’s chairing the board or changing the oil. You can count on us to help with everything from loose buttons to changing hemlines, coffee stains to crisp pleats. When you look good, so do we.

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From:: Women dress for work.

The jean jacket.

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By brightleaf

The denim coat was first seen on 19th century Japanese firemen, marked with bold indigo symbols. By the end of the century, Industrial Revolution factory workers wore blue jackets, source of the phrase “blue collar.” In 1905, Levi’s “Type I” was the choice for rugged workwear. By the 1950’s, Brando, Presley and those crazy beatniks made denim cool. And denim jackets continue to be casual favorites, made better by age and wear. Our care experts can recommend cleaning options that won’t remove the patina.

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From:: The jean jacket.

Science to the rescue.

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By brightleaf

It’s not your imagination that some workout clothes reek after ten minutes while old-school all-cotton stays relatively sweet. NPR reports that researchers have found there are certain malodorous microbes that only thrive on polyester. The traditional solutions for stinky gym clothes like vinegar or baking soda just can’t fight the tenacious Micrococcus bacteria. Impregnating polyester fabrics with silver particles or triclosan antimicrobial pesticide have serious side effects. Scientists think the best answer might found by using good bacteria to fight the bad. Probiotic deodorant? We’ll rely on professional laundry products until then.

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From:: Science to the rescue.

The gender politics of buttons.

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By brightleaf

Why left handed buttons for women? In Victorian times, right handed maids did most of the buttoning for fashionable women. Left-handed buttons indicated wealth (you had enough to pay a maid to do the tedious work). As with everything, there’s an answer on the Internet. By the time sewing machines and patterns became popular in the 1850’s, right over left buttoning for women’s wear became standard, likely for economic reasons more than male-domineering political ones. We’re not even going to start thinking about how zippers and Velcro could have influenced women’s rights. We clean ‘em all, and no matter what direction, if your button is missing, we’re going to replace it. Without charge.

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From:: The gender politics of buttons.

Save the memories.

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By brightleaf

Everyone has an heirloom item made of fabric. Wedding gowns are such popular heirlooms we offer special preservation services. But the same careful cleaning and archival storage can benefit any textile. Grandmother’s lace tablecloth, Dad’s letter jacket or uniform, antique tapestries or christening gowns. We’ve seen it all and can recommend the right procedures and products to preserve your treasure.

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From:: Save the memories.

Hanger humps.

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By brightleaf

We’ve all seen sweaters with humped shoulders from incorrect hanging. Sweaters and knits should be folded and hung over the padded hanger bar. Better yet, stored flat on a shelf or in a cedar-lined drawer. The weight of the fabric pulls and stretches, even while wearing. Hump not: we can get garments blocked back into shape as part of cleaning.

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Out, out darned spot

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By brightleaf

Our dry cleaning service would be incomplete without our expert spotters. They know how to treat stains without damaging the fabric, the color or the texture. Home cleaning might work on jeans or a golf shirt, but bring your valued garments to us for prompt treatment when there’s a spill. Silk just can’t be treated with home products. Can’t. Wool pills with friction, so blot the stain –don’t rub— before bringing it to us. Ink stains are the worst: sometimes we can’t even lift the ink. Real Simple magazine recommends sprinkling salt on the stain, then wipe it up, repeat and apply vodka (to the spot). Blot and repeat. Then bring it to us and we’ll see if we can remove what’s left.

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From:: Out, out darned spot