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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Caring for Silk

According to Chinese legend, Empress Hsi Ling Shi, wife of Emperor Huang Ti, was the first person to accidentally discover silk for its ability to be woven as a fiber.  The story goes that one day, the empress was having tea under a mulberry tree, and a cocoon fell into her cup and began to unravel.  As she watched the threads, she discovered their source and then began cultivating silkworms and invented the reel and loom.

Today, silk is a soft, luxurious fabric that is versatile, practical, and durable.  Some benefits of silk garments include breathability, regulating body temperature, moisture wicking, doesn’t irritate your skin, no static cling, and can come in a variety of weights.  But with all its advantages, silk can sometimes be temperamental to care for.  Because of that, we’ve assembled a list of tips to help you keep your silk garments looking their best.
  • Always blot, never rub a spill – especially on silk.  Silk chafes easily.
  • Apply perfume, cologne, and hairspray before dressing to avoid color loss and staining. 
  • Make sure your deodorant is completely dry before putting on a silk garment.
  • Use great care when handling household cleaners (especially products containing bleach, alcohol, and chlorine) and products (like hand sanitizer, moisturizer, toothpaste, face cleansers, dish detergent) when wearing silk.  If left on silk untreated, it could lead to color loss or color distortion.
  • Never use bleach or products containing chlorine when cleaning silk.  They can permanently change the color.
  • Store silk garments in a dark area.  Prolonged exposure to sunlight or artificial light can cause the color to streak or fade.
  • Wash or clean all pieces of a matching ensemble at the same time so they continue to look uniform.
  • When it comes to cleaning silk garments, they respond well to dry cleaning.  Washing silk at home could cause shrinkage, chafing, and color loss.
  • But if you decide to care for your silk garments at home, we recommend that you follow the directions on the care label and check for colorfastness before cleaning.
If you are apprehensive about caring for your silk at home, our staff is trained to handle delicate garments, remove difficult stains, and solve problems.  Simply drop your silk garments off at any one of our three locations, and we’ll be happy to take care of it from there.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Caring for Sweaters

I’m always cold.  To combat that, I wear lots of layers, in both the winter and the summer, and those layers typically involve some sort of sweater.  Because my sweaters see lots of use, I make sure to give them the best care possible.

Here’s how I go about keeping my sweaters looking like new:
  • I care for a number of my sweaters at home, but if I ever have a doubt, I immediately discuss it with one of our store managers.  If you are unclear about how to properly care for a sweater, please call or stop by one of our locations.
  • Address stains immediately.  If you spill something, just blot it with a clean, white cloth and then leave it alone until you can get home and address it properly.  If you are dropping it off at one of our stores, point out the stain and let us know what it is.
  • Follow the care label to avoid shrinking or stretching.  Many sweaters are hand-wash only, which doesn’t mean wash in the washing machine on the hand-wash cycle.  Hand-wash means using a very small amount of a mild detergent, gently swirling the sweater around in water in a sink or basin, carefully rinsing, and gently squeezing out the water.
  • Avoid drying your sweaters in the dryer; instead lay sweaters flat to dry.
  • Never hang your sweaters on a hanger from the shoulders.  The weight of the sweater will cause it to stretch, leaving those golf ball dimples in the shoulders.  It is best to fold your sweaters and place them in a drawer.  If your drawer space is limited, then fold them over a strut hanger and hang in your closet.
  • Avoid washing wool sweaters in your home washing machine because wool is especially prone to shrinkage.  If you have a wool sweater that gets wet, let it dry at room temperature away from heat and then brush with the nap.
  • Make note of unraveling and fraying and be sure to secure any loose yarns to prevent further unraveling.
  • I have a couple sweaters that have decorative trims and embellishments, and I do not care for them at home.  Remember that delicate fabrics can stretch, shrink, and pull, while items with decorative trims require special attention.  In these cases, it might be better to trust those items to a professional.
Our managers at Shores are always available to answer any questions you might have, whether it’s related to sweater care or other garments.  Simply stop by or call one of our three locations, and we will make sure you are taken care of.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Real Bride Spotlight – Michelle Smith

Even though Nathan and Michelle attended, both majoring in Business Administration, and graduated from Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, the only interaction they had with each other while there was a few classes together.  It wasn’t until an Alumni Ski weekend at Beech Mountain in February of 2015 that the pair connected and started dating the following month even though Michelle lived in Winston-Salem, and Nathan lived in Crossnore.  However, it seems that fate was on their side because Nathan soon learned he was receiving a promotion and relocating to Clemmons.  But the best part of the story is the reaction from Michelle’s dad.  “I knew Nathan was the one from the moment we reconnected,” she shared.  “He is such a genuine man.  My father immediately knew he was the one, and when dad knows he’s a good one, you trust your heart and run with it!”

How did Nathan propose?

A few weeks prior to New Year’s Day, I heard that the thing to do to ring in the New Year was to go hiking.  New Year’s morning I woke up at 6:00, and we loaded up the car and headed out on an adventure.  But first we had to stop at my favorite breakfast spot – in fact the only place I will eat breakfast – Cracker Barrel.  After we enjoyed our breakfast, having the sweetest and most energetic waitress for it to be New Year’s Day, we headed toward Pilot Mountain.  During our hike, Nathan asked me to reach into his book bag to find his camera case, and the entire time I was looking, I was saying “I didn’t even know you had a camera.”  He told me to open the case and inside was a very fancy little burgundy box.  I started crying and immediately started saying “YES. YES. YES.”  After a hug, I realize he hadn’t actually even asked, so he got down on one knee and asked me properly.  Of course, I said yes. 

What was the date of your wedding?

October 22, 2016

Will you tell us a little bit about it?

We got married at the Overlook Barn on Beech Mountain, North Carolina. We chose this venue because we both have a dear love and connection for the mountains of North Carolina, and we chose fall because we both love that season.  Unfortunately, it ended up being 30 degrees with 40-50 mph wind gusts, so it felt more like the dead of winter without snow.  We planned on having an outside ceremony, but with the crazy weather, we moved it inside the barn that morning, which made everything a bit hectic but it turned out just beautiful and no one froze or blew away.

My bridesmaids wore plum dresses with nude shoes. The groom and groomsmen wore navy tuxes with a raspberry bow tie and brown wingtip shoes. I love deep, bold colors and wanted to blend, but stand out from the beautiful fall leaves.  Nathan's father sang and played guitar for our first dance. Our song is "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sherran. 


Will you tell us about your gown?

My gown came from Southern Bride in Yadkinville, North Carolina.  I purchased both of my prom dresses from Southern Bride, so I didn’t even think about going anywhere else.  The dress I chose is actually the very last of 4 dresses I tried on and not even one that I picked out myself.  Being a southern girl, I love lace so that is what I thought I wanted; however, the prom dress I wore my senior year of high school was just magical.  Anna, my consultant at Southern Bride, after showing her a picture of my dress went and picked out the dress that I purchased. It was an absolutely perfect mermaid style and as soon as it was all laced up, and I turned to look in the mirror with tears of joy in my eyes.  I knew it was the one for me!

Why did you choose Shores to clean and press your gown?

I met Brian at the Marry Me wedding show in Greensboro this past year. Being a first time bride I knew nothing about what to do with my dress after the wedding. Brian was so informative and easy going that I knew I was set on Shores based off their wonderful customer service, easy going employees, past customer reviews, ratings and accreditation within the wedding society.

Are you planning on cleaning and preserving your gown now that the wedding is over? Will you keep your gown or resell it?

Yes, I am having my dressed cleaned and preserved. I am planning to keep it.

Photography - Ben Hill Photography, Falls Church, Virginia
Cake - Hazel's Treats & Such, Clemmons, North Carolina
Wedding Dress - Southern Bride, Yadkinville, North Carolina
Bridesmaids Dresses - David's Bridal, Winston Salem, North Carolina
Flower Girl Dresses - Handmade by Michelle’s cousin Stephenie Thomas
Catering - Gadabouts Catering, Banner Elk, North Carolina
Flowers - Arrangements by Angela, Mocksville, North Carolina
Coordinators - Austin Wright & Cortney Morgan (friends)
Videography - Eyez N-The-Skyz, Newland, North Carolina
DJ - Carl Griewisch, Banner Elk, North Carolina

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Inspect Your Cleaned Wedding Gown

One week after Kayla got married, her mother-in-law kindly took her wedding gown to a local cleaner to have it cleaned, repaired, and preserved.  It was a big deal to her mother-in-law to have this done, and she took Kayla’s dress to the same cleaners she had used 30 years ago for her own wedding gown.

Kayla received word that her gown was ready, so she picked it up and took it home.  Because her gown needed a small repair, she decided to open the box to check out the work.  Thankfully she did because inside that box wasn’t a gown that was meticulously cleaned and preserved – no, while it was her gown, it was just as dirty as the day her mother-in-law had dropped it off.  She immediately took the gown back to the cleaners and asked that they refund her money.  The owner said it looked like it had been placed in the box completely untouched.  She said he apologized and offered to clean it, but she was too upset.  She took the dirty gown and started looking for another cleaners, but this time she ‘Googled’ ‘wedding gown cleaners’, and Shores popped up.  She immediately felt the difference when she walked through the doors of the Winston-Salem Shores location.

“I met with Brian, who explained the process Shores would use to clean the gown,” she shared.  “Then he suggested that I come back and look at the gown after it was cleaned but before it was preserved and boxed.”  “That’s something we offer all brides when they drop off their gown to be cleaned and preserved,” explained Brian Harrell, General Manager of Shores Cleaners.  “We want them to take a look at the gown to make sure they are happy with the results, and if they aren’t, we’ll address their concerns right then.”

Kayla shared her story with us because she doesn’t want other brides to go through what she went through.  Her parting words of advice are:
  1. Don’t just look at the cost involved in having your gown cleaned.  Spend the extra money and take it to someone that specializes in cleaning wedding gowns as opposed to any dry cleaner.
  2. Be sure to look in the box before they seal it.
  3. Don’t be afraid to take it back if you’re not happy with the results.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Shores Fine Dry Cleaning for Charity

Shores Fine Dry Cleaning has supported numerous local charities and non-profits during its 60+ years in business.  Most recently, our staff has been manning coat checks at many of the fundraising black tie events in the Piedmont Triad.  Working these events and interacting with other volunteers has provided our team an up close view of the important work that these organizations provide to our local community, which is why we are so excited about our Cleaning for Charity program.

We developed the Cleaning for Charity program to help give a little extra boost to the fundraising efforts of a few of the local charities we are partnered with.  Our partner charities for 2017 are:
  • Winterlark, a Cancer Patient Support Program that helps patients and their families manage the distress and symptoms, navigate treatments, and develop and maintain a positive and healing outlook from diagnosis through survivorship.
  • JDRF – Piedmont Triad Chapter, an organization that seeks life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat Type 1 Diabetes and its complications.
  • Family Services of Greensboro, an organization that empowers individuals and families to restore hope, achieve stability, and thrive through quality support services, advocacy, and education.
The way it works is very simple.
  1. New and current customers assign a charity to their account.  To set up a new account or assign a charity to an existing account, please email us at CleaningForCharity@ShoresCleaners.com, call, or speak to a customer service rep any of our 3 locations and clearly state which charity to assign to your account.
  2. During the Cleaning for Charity season, January 1 - February 28, 2017, 10% of the gross cleaning charges will be donated to the charity of choice.  Gift cards redeemed during the program period will be included as purchases and eligible for the 10% donation.
Reporting and monetary disbursements will be made at the close of the business month following the conclusion of the program.  All customer information including purchases made during this program will be handled by our point of sales system.  Amounts raised will be shared on our social media outlets after the program concludes.

Our Cleaning for Charity program has the potential to raise thousands of dollars for three fantastic organizations that do so much to help those in our community.  Please consider getting in touch with us to get started raising money for your favorite charity.  If you don't already, please follow Shores on our social media outlets for updates and share information with your friends and family regarding these worthwhile causes.

Facebook @ShoresFineDryCleaning
Twitter @ShoresCleaners
Instagram @Shores_Cleaners
Include the hashtag #CleaningforCharity

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Caring for your Table Linens

The fun part of a holiday dinner is the planning and preparation.  I love choosing a menu, finding special linens and table d├ęcor, preparing the food, and getting all dressed up.  But sadly all good things must come to an end, and after everyone leaves, I stand in the kitchen looking at all the dirty dishes to be washed and the pile of table linens that must be cleaned.  I always attack the dishes right away because I don’t want to wake up to a messy kitchen, but I will admit that I throw the soiled table linens in a basket in the laundry room to deal with later.  And many times, it’s a week or more later.

“That’s a bad idea,” Brian Harrell, General Manager of Shores, once told me.  “The longer a stain is left untreated, the harder it is to remove.”  Brian went on to explain that if a stain is left untreated for an extended period of time, it becomes part of the fabric.  That means it can react with the fabric causing the fabric itself to change colors, so when you finally get around to cleaning it and are able to remove the initial stain, the fabric where the stain once was will now be a different color.

Our advice is to either wash your table linens or have them professionally cleaned and finished within 2-3 days of your party.  For fabrics like polyester, pre-treat any stains, machine wash them in cold water, and while they are likely safe to dry on a low heat setting, we’d recommend that you line dry them.  But if your table linens are after a holiday dinner, then it is likely that they are part of your finer collection.  If that is the case, then we suggest you drop them off at one of our three locations where we will carefully inspect your linens, pre-treat the stains by hand, and use the latest in dry-cleaning and wet-cleaning technologies to restore them to the condition they were in prior to your big event.  After cleaning, we will then iron them, hang them with tissue in the folds to reduce creases or hand-roll them if you choose, and can also mend any holes or tears or repair any loose or missing embroidering.

For additional tips on how to care for your table linens, please click here.  For specific questions about your table linens, please contact one of our store managers.  They are always here to help.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Real Bride Spotlight – Mackenzie’s Gown

Every Monday night, a group of girls at NC State would gather around the television to watch The Bachelor, but one night, several guys decided to join in, and that’s where Mackenzie met Logan.  Some mutual friends introduced them, and they quickly became friends thanks to a few group road trips for spring break and basketball games.  It was during one particular basketball road trip to Pittsburgh that Mackenzie realized there was something really special about Logan, and shortly after that trip, they started dating.  “We ended up only dating for 8 months before Logan proposed,” said Mackenzie.  “Graduation was less than six months away, and I was moving to Alabama for Optometry School in the fall, so we decided to have a summer wedding.  Even though we didn’t date all that long, we both knew we wanted to get married and start our lives in Alabama together.”

How did Logan propose?

“The day after Christmas, Logan was at my house and had planned a scavenger hunt for the day.  I had no idea about anything and was woken up by my mom who had a letter from Logan telling me where I needed to go first.  There were 8 different stops throughout the day, and I was surprised by friends and family members who gave me letters with the next clue.  The last stop was at my house where I found Logan standing on the pathway to the lake, which is where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!"

Will you tell us a little bit about your wedding?

“We got married on July 30, 2016 at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, North Carolina.  It was an outdoor ceremony with the reception inside. The main color of our wedding was mint, and the bridesmaids wore long chiffon mint dresses with different necklines.  The groomsmen wore gray tuxes ordered online from Xedo and had mint vests with the matching tie.  One special touch that I had at the wedding was my bouquet.  Wrapped around the stems of the flowers was lace from my mom’s wedding dress and attached was a pin my great-grandmother wore.”

What made you decide your gown was ‘the one’? 

“My gown was trumpet shaped with lace 3/4 of the way down.  The top was strapless and the back was low cut with buttons down the back. I also added a belt to my dress that was lace with pearls and some beading. I had been to four different stores before I picked mine and probably tried on around fifty dresses.  I chose my dress because it was elegant, it had lace, and I felt beautiful in it. I thought the shape was flattering and would go well with the vineyard theme of my wedding.”

Why did you choose Shores to clean and press your gown?

“I chose Shores to clean and press my gown because they are professional and dependable. They are also members of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists so I know they have high standards and will take care of my gown.”

Are you planning on cleaning and preserving your gown now that the wedding is over? 

“Yes, I am planning to get my gown cleaned and preserved because it is sentimental, and one day, I will be able to show my daughter my dress, and I want it to look as good as new in case she would want to wear it on her big day.”

Wedding photos taken by Anna Varnedoe at Anna Paschal Photography.  List of vendors includes: venue and catering by Childress Vineyards, cake by Maxie B's, videography by Adam Carroll, flowers by Simply the Best, hair and makeup by FaceForward, wedding gown from Elegant Bridal, tuxes provided by Xedo, and bridesmaid dresses from NY Bride and Groom.