Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grey Dress: Drycleaning Frustration!

Yesterday and today I tried to take my grey dress in to be cleaned, and I encountered two, completely different but equally frustrating problems:
  1. Yesterday, I took the dress to my local cleaners and asked if they would clean but not press it.  This is not so unusual a request, though I hadn't made it at this particular cleaners before.  Generally, the price of this is much lower since there is so little labor...the labor is in the pressing or steaming.  However, the cleaner said that he would send it and "tell them not to press it but..." and I said I would take it somewhere else.  This is the kind of place that charges the highest prices but does not offer anything in the way of stain removal or personal service.  The only redeeming feature of it is that it is close to my house.
  2. So I looked for good cleaners on Yelp.  I found great reviews for another place near me.  I had taken some laundry there long ago, and was shocked at how high the prices were...they were double the price of the same service in New York City, which was my only point of reference.  Yes, believe it or not, there are things that are cheaper in New York.  Laundry, clothes, fabric, jewelry, pearls and beads, and just about any kind of personal service (eyebrow threading or waxing, hair cuts, etc.).  I'm sure you can find all of the above for much more than DC, as well, but the average price for a high quality product can be MUCH lower.  Anyway, I took my dress back to the highly reviewed place and was told that she wouldn't take the dress because of a) the crystals. She seemed to think they were glued on, but they're not.  The crystals are set like jewelry is in metal settings, and then those are sewn onto the dress straps. b) the hem is overcast and let out so that I can re-sew it once the stains are out, not rolled.  I am not doing a rolled hem on this dress, case closed. and c) the seam allowances are catch-stitched to the underlining, not overlocked or bound.  Again, not doing that to my poor seam allowances.  I was practicing couture techniques and I am not about to throw that all away for the drycleaner.  I asked if the dress could be put in a lingerie bag for cleaning and she said no.  I said I did not know how to remove the stains myself and she did not care.  She said that I should have gotten a tag when I bought the fabric saying whether it was to be washed or dry cleaned, but anyone who knows silk or has bought silk fabric knows that that is a bunch of baloney.  So, I left again.
  3. So, now I will ask around amongst people who know what they're talking about.  Should I wash it? Should I try to find some Dryel and "dry clean" it myself?  How do I get the stains out?  They are mud/dirt stains, by the way.

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