Cleaning a corduroy jacket
November 1, 2010 1:45 AM   Subscribe

Drycleaning - what do I need to know?

I've never used drycleaning before but I have a 40+ (I'm pretty sure my mother was wearing in it the taxi on the way to giving birth to me) year old corduroy jacket (lined) that hasn't been washed in the 20 years it's been in my possession. I'd like to give it to my daughter, after it's cleaned, so what do I tell the cleaner?
Oh, locationwise: Gold Coast Queensland Australia
posted by b33j to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Since you're only going to dry-clean one item, I recommend splurging and going to a high-end dry cleaner. If the dry cleaner doesn't change out their chemicals often enough, your clothes can come out smelling pretty awful, and a cheaper dry cleaner is more likely to over-use their chemicals.

You could ask the cleaner if they have experience cleaning very old pieces; some cleaners may even specialize in this. Otherwise, I don't know of anything that you'd need to tell the cleaner, unless you know of specific stains or weak spots (like tears or places where the fabric is fraying).
posted by neushoorn at 2:00 AM on November 1, 2010

Really, there's nothing you need to know. That's pretty much the point of dry cleaning; they are professionals and take care of your clothes. For a jacket that's so special to you and so old, I'd make the effort to find the fanciest dry cleaners you can find (fancy places often advertise themselves as "French" in the US) and tell them about the jacket's age and that it's been sitting around for 20+ years. Beyond that, they'll take your name, perhaps give you a claim check, and tell you when to come back. In a day or two, you come back and pick it up. That's really all there is to it.
posted by zachlipton at 2:03 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Resisting the urge to reply "What", I will second the advice of "Take to dry cleaner and let them deal with it." - That's precisely what they're for.
posted by Biru at 4:09 AM on November 1, 2010

You could check your dry cleaner by using online services to determine how many small claims suits they have won/lost. Also, check with the local Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, etc.

I've had one bad experience with a place that utterly destroyed a garment, and when I went to complain, there where two people with destroyed garments in line ahead of me.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:52 AM on November 1, 2010

As I have learned through experience, unfortunately you can't assume that a dry cleaner will treat a piece of vintage clothing (even corduroy) as it should be treated. I would recommend asking a local vintage clothing store which dry cleaner they use.

Good luck!
posted by suki at 6:13 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you don't know a good dry cleaner, ask around. For something like this, ask wealthy friends/acquaintances where they bring their nice stuff. Most people I know have a regular every-day dry cleaner then a fancy place where they bring special items.
posted by radioamy at 8:01 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

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