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9 Delicate Items You Should Always Bring to a Professional Cleaner

As everyone's summer event calendar kicks into gear, you might be starting to think about the outfits you need for the special occasions in your diary. Along with the excitement of planning summer garden parties, making restaurant reservations for birthdays and attending weddings, this also comes with a certain amount of trepidation!

Not just about whether the weather will hold (fingers crossed), but also about getting the outfit spot on - whether it's buying something new, renting or rejuvenating one of your favourite combinations!

Silk vest on a hanger

At BLANC, we know that the most beautiful clothes are not always the most practical to care for... When garments feature some complexities, intricacies or simply have a great sentimental value to you, it isn’t ever a good idea to try it yourself and we highly recommend bringing them to a professional cleaner. It may sound simple and obvious, but sometimes it's not that easy to spot garments that you should leave out of the laundry load - so just follow the guide for the 9 things you should always bring to a professional cleaner!

1. Items with manufactured pleating

Pleats need more help in the 'finishing' stage than the washing phase, to ensure the pleats stay crisp, fresh and defined. Washing should always be done on a low heat and a gentle cycle - but to avoid pleats falling flat and altering the structure, a professional is wise!

2. Structured pieces like neckties & blazers with shoulder pads

The fabric of these garments often appear as though you can throw them in the washing machine, but the heat of the water, coupled with the cleaning cycle itself can distort these items - softening the structural qualities, meaning that the garments shape can be altered entirely.

Green Dress with Back Tie

3. Items including non-washable suede or leather patches

It is no secret that suede and leather do not like water! If they are stained or marked, spot cleaning is the safest way to go around this - use a stain bar or soft, damp cloth. If the whole garment needs cleaning or you have a set-in stain, your trusted aftercare specialist is the way to go.

4. Pieces featuring decorative beading, flocking and sequins

Check to see if the embellishments are sewn or stuck on - if it's the former, and the material is wash-friendly, you could get away with a delicate hand wash. If not, it's best to dry clean.

Silver Sequin Material

5. Tailored suits, jackets and coats

They should never be washed, as they contain a mix of different fabrics in the facings and linings that could shrink at different rates and cause the garments to lose their shape.

6. Items made of acetate, triacetate, or rayon

Some may advise that you can wash these fabrics on a cold setting or hand wash them, to gain a similar outcome. However, the fibres that make up these clothes are highly prone to shrinking - which is impossible to reverse. So, it's wise to be careful here and air on the side of caution with a professional cleaner.

7. Pieces with a risk of colour run

As well as risking the colour of the original garment, you are also risking anything that goes in the wash with this garment. If you're unsure if your garment is colourfast or not, having it professionally cleaned will ensure a much higher quality outcome with bright colours and brilliant whites. Thanks to the low operating temperature, our liquid CO2 cleaning technology is particularly good to minimise the risk of colour run.

Grey Silk

8. Clothes with stains that you don't know how to treat

If you have stains or set-in marks that you are unsure how to get rid of, it's best to avoid the urge to throw them in the washing machine. Along with rubbing a stain too much, this can actually have the opposite effect and set the stain into the garment. All of the above makes it much harder to remove, so consulting an aftercare specialist is wise.

9. Anything very expensive or special to you!

The sentimental pieces are a no brainer here - just to be sure, if nothing else. A substantial amount of damage that can happen in the washing machine is irreversible - so outsourcing is strongly encouraged here! If you are still worried, check your dry cleaner’s policies on damages incurred to the garment. All quality aftercare providers should also compensate for any damage that should unlikely occur to your garment.

What are the benefits of having your delicates professionally cleaned at BLANC?

Lace trimming

Our artisans are experts in luxury and designer fabrics

For all designer or luxury labels, not only can the fabric and features be more complex to treat, but they also represent a significant investment you have made in the item. It's therefore understandable that however difficult to clean, you would like to keep wearing it time and time again! That's why at BLANC our store consultants are highly trained at recognising and understanding the various types of fabrics and how they behave.

We clean gently, at low temperatures

The term 'dry cleaning’ doesn’t mean that your garment will not get wet - it is actually, far from it. What it really means is that your clothes are coated in liquid toxic chemicals, usually PERC, which are then evaporated or 'dried' out at very high temperatures. This not only leaves (toxic) residue; it often damages embellishments such as beads, special fastenings or decorations that get melted or misshapen, too. At BLANC, we treat every garment as if it were our own - we know that occasion wear often has many special memories and moments attached to it, as well as all the pretty beading!

Floral dress on hanger

We take our time - and lots of it

Our eco-cleaning process involves more hand treatment and specialist technology than conventional dry cleaners, and so it's natural that with special items we take even longer to care for each item. This does not necessarily mean returning it to you later - it just means that our artisans in the BLANC atelier will spend whatever time is required while it is in our care! We strongly believe that great results and craft take time, effort and care - and this shouldn't be rushed.

For example, de-staining a specific area only when the whole garment is too delicate to clean, ironing in folds and ruffles, removing and reattaching sewed-on embellishments, or precisely and gently reshaping clothes... All so you can have your best moments, in your best attire - time and time again.

We have talented tailors to ensure the perfect fit

An outfit that fits you perfectly, feels like a second skin - comfortable and flattering, in all the right places. The perfect outfit might happen in-store, but often the perfect fit is just missing something! Whether it involves letting seams out, taking them in, lengthening or shortening cuffs, reworking the neckline… Our tailors can perform some small miracles and make your outfit feel like haute couture!

So, whether you're splashing out on a new evening gown or shirt, want your linen suit or silk dress to look as effortlessly elegant as it used to when you first bought it, or want your favourite party shoes re-heeled to complete your chic summer look - you can leave it with us to give them the special treatment. Leaving you to concentrate on making special memories.

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