Woolens

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

Our Production Manager

OPERATIONS • PRODUCTION • SPOTTING
Aubrey does it all!
If you were to come to the Oakwood Cleaners plant in Hermitage, on any given day, you would find Aubrey doing a plethora of tasks.

Aubrey at desk

If he is at the computer you can bet he is researching the most up-to-date equipment or the best way to tackle a stubborn stain to make sure we get your items back to you as good as new if not better.

Aubrey SpotterAubrey spotting

We call him the “Spot Master”! Aubrey works directly with the production team before and after cleaning to address delicate issues. He is always testing our spotting agents to figure out the best solution for the most difficult of jobs.

Aubrey at boiler

Plant operations is of the up-most importance to the safety and consistency of production. Aubrey is on top of our machinery, computer systems and production flow to ensure a quality work environment for the production team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attack of the Clothes Moth!

Clothes moths do not attack your favorite garments just because they want to.

Some facts about the “clothes moth”.
Some facts about the “clothes moth”. Scientific name: Tineola bisselliella

They are attracted to left over particles of protein-laced food residue that get imbedded in the fibers. Most damage can be found around “spill” or “splash” zones including the chest and stomach areas, lap, sleeves and cuffs. Perspiration residue under the arms attract moths as well. When our little winged pests find those areas they not only eat at the goodies, they make a comfy little nest to lay eggs. It is hard to see this without a microscope. The moth larvae imbed in the chewed up area and actually cover the holes, thus masking the damage. The area may look a bit rough but most people have no reason to assume anything is wrong. Washing or cleaning the sweater rinses away the larvae along with the damaged fibers thus exposing the moth holes.

Webbing-Clothes-Mothhole in coat

So…you bring your favorite sweater in for cleaning and it comes back with holes. This is most likely due to moth damage that you didn’t even know existed. Let’s say you bring something in that has existing holes – guess what – there are probably more that are not visible yet.

What can be done about the damage? Sometimes darning will work, but for more extensive damage re-weaving could be the answer. It is common for your dry cleaner to suggest cleaning the garment first before ever suggesting repairs to make sure no more holes appear. Beware that re-weaving could end up costing more than a new garment!

reweave

The best way to prevent moth damage is by washing or dry cleaning your favorite woolens or garments made of natural fibers. Do not store these items over the summer thinking you will clean them right before you want to wear them. Always store seasonable garments clean. A cedar closet is great for keeping moths away. If you do not have one, there are cedar chips available that you can put in your drawers and closets that will help to deter them. Be cautious of mothballs as they can be harmful to pets and children.

FALL IS HERE!

The weather is getting cooler and that means sweater season! YES, get out those warm, cuddly, sweaters.

A group of Sweaters
I need freshening!

Oh my, you forgot to clean them so they would be ready? If you are like me handwashing is not what you want to be doing with your spare time. Not only that, where in the world do you have space to let them dry–FLAT! Oakwood Cleaners can help you out. Bring us your favorite sweaters and in no time have them back as good as new. Our GreenEarth process is gentle, non toxic and actually good for your clothing as it adds moisture instead of drying out. Please make sure the label is still present with fabric content and cleaning instructions so we make sure to handle them properly.

Packaged Sweaters
Ready to be worn

Packaging of your clean sweaters can be hanging or in a sweater bag, which ever you choose.

Remember, we are NOW OPEN in Cool Springs for your convienence and as always offer FREE Pick-up and Delivery right to your home or work place.

Our new Cool Springs address is: 2000 Mallory Lane, Suite 170

Franklin, TN 37067    615.764.0222