Koalaty Cleaners Blog

Posts Tagged ‘garment

STEPPIN’ OUT

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Along with looking great in a freshly cleaned and pressed outfit, you’re shoes should look great as well. Are you guilty of putting on your nicest dress shoes, only to look down to find a scuff, or see that the shine has worn off? Have you ever covered up a scuff on your shoes with a magic marker, Sharpie, nail polish or liquid paper just because you didn’t have time or know how to polish your shoes?

If you are guilty of any of the above, take a quick look at this video from Esquire Magazine and follow these quick and easy tips to keep your shoes looking shiny and new.

KEEP YOUR COOL

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The weather is warming up already here in Texas, and we are just around the corner from summer!  We tend to have a very short spring, so getting geared up NOW for summer is essential!

I’m often asked what fabrics are best for hot weather.  Of course, we all know to stay away from dark colors as much as possible because they absorb heat…go with white or light pastels which will reflect the heat and sun.  Go for lighter weight fabrics for ventilation.  As far as fabric types, I’ve listed a few of my favorites and explain why they are good choices for summer, especially in hot climates.

Cotton – Cotton’s a natural fabric, breathes, wicks away moisture and is easy to clean.  Cotton comes in a wide variety of styles and weights, anywhere from sheer, gauzy type fabrics to heavy denim.  Cotton garments of course have to be pressed, but if you get a blend of cotton/bamboo, or even cotton and polyester (cotton being the dominant component) you’ll be able to avoid the ironing.

Bamboo – It’s also a natural fiber, great at wicking away moisture and keeping you cool.  Bamboo feels much like silk, and is very soft and versatile.  There are cotton/bamboo blended fabrics which hold up great for summer as well.  Bamboo is also very easy to clean.  Many designers are using bamboo for work out clothing as opposed to spandex because of its great ability to keep you dry and cool.

Linen – Linen is a great summer fabric, as it is breathable, soft, and absorbs moisture quickly.    Like cotton, linen comes in a variety of weights and is used for everything from lightweight blouses to heavier weight jackets.  Linen’s biggest drawback is the fact that it needs to be ironed.  To minimize the need for ironing you could select a cotton/linen blend which is a very luxurious fabric and is great for summer.

Try to stay away from synthetic fabrics such as polyester, spandex or nylon as much as possible.  These fabrics do not breathe or absorb moisture. Save these fabrics for your swim wear.

CARING FOR YOUR WINTER COAT

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Your winter coat is an investment, meant to be worn several years.

Below are a few tips to help you keep your coat in tip top shape:

  1. Scotch guard – Whether your coat is wool, leather, or another type of fabric, take a few minutes each season and spray your coat with a scotch guard spray.  This will help you avoid stains from spills that might occur.  Check the product label, but you should be able to spray it on leather and fabrics.
  2. Clean your coat at the beginning of the winter, and at the end of the season prior to storing.  Check the garment label for recommended cleaning method.
  3. Apply perfumes and let them dry prior to putting on your coat.  Do not spray perfume directly onto your coat, as this will cause it to stain.
  4. Wear a scarf around your neck.  This will cut down on soiling around the collar.
  5. Hang your coat on a well padded hanger.  This will prevent the shoulders of the coat or jacket from stretching out of shape.
  6. Should your coat become wet from rain/snow, be sure to let it air dry before hanging it up.
  7. If you should have a stain occur, be sure to have it cleaned quickly.  The quicker you clean the coat, the better your chances of removing the stain completely.
  8. Remove lint with a clothes roller or lint brush.
  9. When storing your coat in the off season, use a well padded hanger and place cedar blocks in the closet, or lavender sachets…this will ward off moths.  Do not store in a plastic clothing bag.  If you feel you must cover it, put it in a cloth garment bag.

By following these simple tips, your coat will look great for several seasons.

CARING FOR WOOL SWEATERS

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The weather is turning colder, even here in Texas.  And with that, out come the wool sweaters.  Have you ever pulled out a sweater from the closet to find it misshapen, musty smelling or maybe found a few little moth holes in it?  Here are a few tips to help you care for your wool sweater and keep it in tip top shape for years to come.

  1. Most importantly, follow the care label inside the garment
  2. Don’t “over clean” your wool sweater, as it can damage or break down the fibers
  3. Dry cleaning wool garments is best, but not necessary after every wearing unless it should become stained
  4. Don’t hang a wool sweater on a hanger.  Fold it and store it in a drawer during the winter season
  5. If your sweater can be machine washed – do so with cold water, on the gentle cycle, with mild detergent that is recommended for wool clothing; then lay it out flat on a towel to dry.
  6. When storing your wool sweater in the “off” season, you can put moth balls in a sock and place the sweater in a breathable container, or you can use Lavender – it smells better, yet moths don’t like it.
  7. If you should spill something on your wool sweater, dab it off with a damp, clean cloth; never rub the stain.  Then either launder the garment or take to the cleaners ASAP for easier stain removal.
  8. If you have a snag or hole in the sweater, you may be able to save it by taking it to someone who can repair knitted fabric/clothing.

*Images from Lands End

Written by koalatycleaners

December 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm

SUIT UP

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Guys, it’s that time of year.  Fall is here…time to get out the fall wardrobe.  You’ve gone to the closet and pulled out a few suits.  They look a little out of date, a little worn, and oh, maybe are a little snug.  You find yourself in need of a new suit or two.  Most men dread the process of picking out clothes, and a suit is the worst!

Going to buy a suit is a whipping for some because they have no idea what style looks best, what color to buy, cuff or not, etc.  A suit is an investment in your wardrobe and you want to get one that fits well, hangs well on you and makes you look like a million bucks!

Below are some great tips to keep in mind when shopping for your next suit:

Pick a classic style – not a trendy style; this way you’ll be able to wear the suit for several years and it won’t go out of style or look dated.

  • Consider the “cut” of the suit.  There are 3 basic cuts:
    • American cut – this is the industry standard, middle of the road cut.  This is the most popular cut for a man’s suit.
    • Full cut – this is a great suit for a fuller figured build.  It hangs straight down and does not taper at the waist, thus giving more room at the waist.  It generally has 2 vents.
    • European cut – This is the cut of suit you want if you are a trim, fit guy.  It tapers at the waist for a trim, fit look.
    • Your jacket should fit well.
      • The collar should lay flat in the back, across your neck without puckering or pulling.
      • The lapel notches should lay flat on your chest and not buckle or bulge out.
      • The sleeves should end at the point where your hand meets your wrist, allowing ¼” of your shirt sleeve to show.
      • Be sure the jacket is comfortable by stretching your arms out straight in front of you.  Sit in a chair and bring your arms up as though you might be resting your arms on your desk or writing.  You don’t want the jacket to bind you.
      • Vents – there are either none, one or two.  Any are OK; however, the men with a more rounded backside should select two vents.
      • Pants should not fit tightly.
      • Cuffs make the pants hang nicely, and should be reserved for taller men.  The cuff should be a standard 1”.
      • Pleats are excellent for fuller figured men.
      • In order to cut the perfect fit, your suit may need to be altered, and your pants may need to be hemmed.  Many department stores have alterations departments, as do many professional dry cleaners.

Accessorizing your suit is important as well, pulling your look together.

  • Your belt should match your shoes.  Select leather shoes with leather soles.
  • Your socks should match your pants and should be “dress” socks, not athletic socks.
  • Shirts – select white dress shirts or plain light blue.  Try to avoid patterned or striped shirts.
  • Ties – this is a place to add a pop of color or a little more “style” to your suit.  You should select a tie that matches your shirt.  If you’ve got a black suit and white shirt, don’t be afraid to add a red tie with a white and black pattern.
  • By changing your ties and shirts out, you can wear the same suit a couple of times each week, but give it a fresh look by changing out the accessories.

Caring for your suit is easy.

  • Never put it in a washing machine or dryer at home.
  • Always take it to a professional dry cleaners for proper cleaning and pressing.  There’s nothing worse than a wrinkled suit!

It’s been said many times before, clothes make the man.  By selecting the proper cut of suit, having a great fitting suit, and proper cleaning/pressing of your garments, you’ll look and feel like a million bucks!

Written by koalatycleaners

November 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm

WHEN THE SEASONS CHANGE – HOW TO STORE YOUR CLOTHING

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It’s time to pack away the summer clothing and roll out your fall wardrobe.  When doing so, you should carefully store your clothing to ensure that it will be in good shape for next Spring and Sumer.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when storing your clothing:

  1. Always clean your clothing before storing it.  Stained clothing is harder to clean the longer the stain remains, and stains also attract insects that will destroy your clothing.
  2. Store your clothing in a breathable container such as a rattan trunk.  This will allow air to circulate.
  3. Never store clothing in hot attics or cold basements.  Clothing is best stored in a dark, well ventilated, temperature controlled closet.
  4. If using mothballs in a storage area, be sure to put them in a white sock so they do not directly touch the clothing.
  5. Never store clothing in plastic or vinyl clothing bags.  Instead, cover the garments with a white cotton sheet or white muslin.
  6. When hanging leather or suede garments, use a sturdy wooden hanger in order to preserve the shape of the coat or jacket.
  7. Rayon, knitted and silk fabrics should be stored flat, with layers of tissue between each garment.  If you must hang them, pad well with tissue.
  8. Linen clothing should be rolled in order to keep the fabric from becoming permanently creased.
  9. Fur garments should be stored in a cool, dry place and covered with a white cloth (as mentioned above).  However, cold storage especially for furs is best.
  10. Wool clothing should be cleaned prior to storage.  Wrap the item in white tissue and add mothballs to the storage area.

By taking just a few extra minutes while packing your wardrobe away, you can add seasons of wear to your clothing.

Written by koalatycleaners

November 2, 2010 at 11:38 am

DRY CLEANING – IT’S NOT REALLY “DRY”

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Dry cleaning is really a “wet” process used to clean clothing by using a chemical solvent instead of water.

Dry cleaning was discovered in the mid 19th century by Jean Baptiste Jolly when is maid spilled kerosene on his tablecloth.  He noticed that it was cleaner after that.  He soon created a service to clean clothing with this process, and called it dry cleaning.

In those early years, dry cleaners used petroleum based solvents such as gasoline and kerosene.  Due to the flammability issues, an alternate, less flammable solvent was created by William Joseph Stoddard, an Atlanta dry cleaner.

After World War I, chlorinated solvents were used.  These solvents were much less flammable than the earlier solvents and cleaned much better.  By 1935, tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene or “perc”) was invented.  This solvent was nonflammable, stable and gentle to clothing.  There has been much controversy in the industry regarding perc, and it is now being replaced with other chemicals and/or methods for cleaning.  Koalaty Cleaners does not use perc and we are environmentally friendly in our cleaning process.

A dry cleaning machine is a combination of a washing machine and clothes dryer in one.  The garments are loaded into the machine and washed with dry cleaning solvent.  During the process, the solvent is collected, filtered, purified and reused.  After the garments are washed, they are rinsed with clean solvent and spun to remove all traces of solvent and cleaning fluids.

Once the spin cycle is completed, the machine starts the drying process.  The air is heated and circulated through the machine, removing any last traces of solvent.  After the drying cycle is complete, a last cycle cools the garments and deodorizes them by passing the air through a filter containing carbon and polymer resins.

Once the garments are cleaned, they are ready for finishing, pressing/ironing.

Dry cleaning can be used on virtually every type of fabric….the label does not have to say “dry clean” only.  However, if you are unsure whether a garment can be dry cleaned, please ask us when you drop off your order.