discoloration

BE SPOT SAVVY!

Wine on Raw Silk
Wine on Raw Silk

It is holiday party time!

Let’s face it, juggling a drink and buffet plate is no easy feat. Add to that the jostling and maneuvering inherent at any party, and the chances of a spill or stain increase dramatically.

Spilled wine on silk dress
Spilled wine on silk dress

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: what do you do when your favorite outfit gets a wine, soda or dipping sauce stain?  As little as possible.

Water, club soda and even ‘miracle’ stain removal products will generally do more harm than good.  They will disturb sizings, cause rings and in some cases pull the color in dyes.  Rubbing a stain creates friction which will abrade the fibers and cause irreparable harm.  The fact is we can probably remove the stain safely, but there’s little we can do about dye disturbance, rings and fiber damage from abrasion.  So, what should you do?

Follow these simple, non-destructive steps –

– gently remove any excess

– place a clean white cloth UNDER the stained fabric and blot from the top with a clean white cloth

– NEVER RUB a stain

 – bring the item in promptly for cleaning

Tablecloth with wine spill
Tablecloth with wine spill

Stains will oxidize and set if left untreated for any length of time.  The alcohol in liquors and wines can pull color.  So in the case of spots and stains, haste does not make waste.  The quicker you bring the item in for cleaning, the more likely the stain removal treatment will have a favorable outcome.

As always, if you have any questions about stain removal or garment care, ask us.  We are happy to share our expertise with you.

 

Are you ready for Fall?

Fall and cooler temps are arriving sooner than you think. Here is some advice on getting your closest ready for the new season.

Take some quality time with your clothes and accessories. Open your closest, be honest with yourself and before you go shopping follow the steps below to make room for your fall wardrobe purchases.

What do I do?
What do I do?

Preparing your closest for the new season

Label six bags as follow: Toss, Donate, Consign, Store, Repair and Clean

These bags are ready!
These bags are ready!

Toss anything with holes that cannot be repaired or have permanent stains.
If it doesn’t fit or flatter and you have stopped wearing them, donate. Please do not donate items that should be tossed.
Garments that are still great but you haven’t worn in over a year can go to a consignment shop.

You can use your earnings to fill in with new pieces!

Now start trying on what is left. Be honest, if it makes you look and feel great, keep it, if not, donate or consign.

It is always fun to invite a friend to help with this.
Place items that you just cannot part with, because of sentimental reasons, in boxes designed for long-term storage and always keep at room temperature, not the attic or garage.

Store your sentimental items.
Store your sentimental items.

Organize
Put like pieces together, separate items that need cleaning, have missing buttons or loose hems.
Cleaning and repairing your garments will help them look fresh for fall.
The experts at Oakwood Cleaners can repair and clean your items to achieve a “look like new” outcome.

Go Shopping! 
Make a list of the items you need to fill in the missing pieces in your closet. Have fun, hit your favorite stores or try out a new one.

Five Tips for Swimwear Care

sink

Your swimwear takes a beating – sun, sand, chlorine, salt, sunscreen lotions…. and it needs proper, tender loving care if it is going to look good all season long.  Here are a few tips to help you make that happen:

  1.  Have more than one swimsuit, and never wear the same suit two days in a row.  Spandex is a memory fiber, so your suit needs time to dry naturally and remember its original shape.
  2.  Thoroughly rinse your suit immediately after each use to remove the chlorine, salt, sand, skin and tanning lotions and other harmful things it has been exposed to.
  3. Do not wring your swimsuit of excess water. Wrap your suit in a towel, gently squeeze to remove water and then remove from wet towel.
  4.  When you get home, promptly hand wash your swimsuit using tepid water and a mild or gentle soap.  If you use hand soap, use one without moisturizers in it.  Again, place in towel and squeeze excess water.  DO NOT use a washing machine for your swimwear!
  5.  DO NOT place your swimsuit in a clothing dryer. Shape to size and lay flat on a towel to dry.  DO NOT hang it on a line to dry in the sun or shade.  The weight of the water settling at the bottom of the suit will distort the shape.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask us.                             

 

SHOULD I USE CHLORINE BLEACH?

Easter

ENJOY your time with friends and family this Easter! 

Do you ever wonder what to do when it is all over? The grass and dirt stains from the Easter egg hunt are a mess. What about those juice spills? Then of course there are the table linens!!!

table linen spots

Keeping your white linens WHITE!

Despite what you think, the use of chlorine bleach is NOT the answer.  Yes, chlorine can be an amazing whitening product, but only when used under the right conditions.

If you’ve ever wondered why your freshly washed and bleached cotton table linens yellowed or became dingy looking during storage, chances are the reason is you added chlorine bleach to the wash.  If you’re distressed by a brown stain in a spot where you ‘pre-treated’ a food stain with chlorine bleach, the likely culprit is the dab of chlorine you thought would solve the problem!

Unfortunately, no amount of hot, cool or cold water rinsing will completely remove all the residual chlorine from a fabric.  A chlorine free condition can only be achieved through the use of an ‘anti-chlor’; a product that is not routinely available to consumers and can ONLY be purchased by professional cleaners.

In addition, chlorine should never  be used on silk or woolen fabrics, or any synthetic fabrics such as polyester or nylon, since it will chemically degenerate the fabric, causing brown or yellow discolorations.  If a white cotton fabric contains a fluorescent-based optical brightener, the chlorine will often break down the optical brightener, causing the fabric to develop a yellow or pink hue.

So, the safest way to care for your table linens, or those holiday clothes at home is to avoid the use of chlorine bleach, or better yet, if you want them to look their pristine best, bring them in for professional care.  Not only will they be clean, white and chlorine free after processing, you won’t have to stand at the ironing board and iron them!

TALE OF A NAVY PEA COAT

Nancy brought in her father’s vintage navy pea coat hoping that we could restore it for her son Alex to wear. Below are some pictures of how it looked when we first received it.

Torn up inside lining before restoration
Torn up inside lining before restoration

Front and Back before restoration

Front and Back before restoration

As you can see it had definately seen better days.

George A. Love
George A. Love

George A. Love served in the Seabees in World War II and in the Navy in the Korean War.

In WWII, he was assigned to the Seabee Construction Battalion Maintenance
Unit No. 623 as a Machinist Mate Second class (MM2C).

Construction Battalion Maintence Unit 623
Construction Battalion
Maintence Unit 623

They were sent to Guiuan, Samar in the Leyte Gulf (Philippines) to build an airstrip and infrastructure.

They arrived on December 23, 1944 on a Dutch cargo ship, the M.S. Sommelsdikj.

The H.M.S. Sommelsdijk
The H.M.S. Sommelsdijk

On December 25, Tokyo Rose, a radio broadcaster of Japanese propaganda, promised the Navy boys a Christmas present.  On the morning of December 26, a Japanese plane appeared and dropped two torpedoes.  The plane then crashed into the sea when its wing tip caught the water.  One torpedo hit the ship in Hold #1 starting a fire which quickly spread to Hold #2 where most of the men were staying.  Since the ship was in a bay, the ship was purposely run aground and the men either swam to shore or were able to evacuate to another ship.  The unit was allowed to stay in the Church of the Immaculate Conception until a camp site could be built.  Many were wounded but only six men lost their lives in this attack.

Map

George safely returned from this war and went back to high school where he met
and married Nancy’s mother, Martha E. Cathey.
He was re-drafted to the Korean War and claimed this was a sightseeing tour compared to WWII.

George and Martha Love
George and Martha Love

When he returned home, he and my mother had three daughters.
He never spoke of his service to our country.

I don’t know why – possibly he thought his “girls” would not want to hear about it.

When Desert Storm began in 1990, he and I were watching it on TV and he started talking about his service.  I became fascinated and wanted to hear all about it to preserve his story.

His pea coat was passed down to 2 sisters, but passed Nancy. Nancy’s sister Cathey, found the pea coat in her closet and passed it on to Alex the younger of Nancy’s two sons. Alex is a history buff especially about World War II and Classic Rock (but that’s another story…).  By now the coat was beginning to show wear and tear.  The lining was deteriorating, the buttons kept falling off and it was dirty and musty.

I wondered if it could be restored.  I posted the question on social media and Oakwood Cleaners came highly recommended as being very good at restoring vintage wedding gowns.  I gave them a call, met with Rhonda and her seamstress and I am very happy to say the pea coat looks brand new.

Front and Back after restoration
Front and Back after restoration
Inside after restoration
Inside after restoration

Alex is beyond Proud to continue to wear his grandfather’s Navy Pea Coat in honor of not only his grandfather but of our military and the sacrifices made for our country

Alex wearing George's  Navy Pea Coat
Alex wearing George’s
Navy Pea Coat

Life at Oakwood Post 8

Do you have a vintage wedding gown?

One of the best things about life at Oakwood is definitely our family of customers and hearing their special stories. We see all kinds of vintage clothing including wedding gowns. Rita came in months ago and told me about her gown which was over 40 years old. I had been waiting for her to bring it in which she did just recently.

A vintage preservation
What’s in the metal chest?

Rita walked in on a chilly November day with the metal chest pictured above in hand. Of course I was curious as to what this was. Well, this was the chest that her mother had her wedding gown preserved in. It was wrapped in a sheet and placed in the chest. Have you ever seen anything like this before? I had not.

Vintage Metal Preservation Chest
Vintage Metal Preservation Chest

This was a special gown hand-made by her mother down to hand sewing every bead and pearl and piece of lace!

40 year old gown detail
Handmade Wedding Gown Detail
40 year old wedding gown
Handmade Wedding Gown Front
40 year old wedding gown
Handmade Wedding Gown Back View

Rita was so proud of her wedding gown and could not say enough about the time and effort her mother spent creating this spectacular gown. She described how she took several different patterns and then added her own ideas while doing fittings with Rita for a perfect fit. Every pearl and piece of lace were sewn on by hand with love and care.

Due to the age, the delicacy of the tulle and the strength of the lace and pearls, the tulle layer has begun to deteriorate. We cannot restore the gown as is, but we talked about cleaning the lining, which was in great shape and the lace applique’s so they would be available for future use.

We at Oakwood Cleaners are so privileged to hear your stories and be able to see your vintage items. Thank you Rita for sharing this with us.