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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Caring for Your New Year’s Eve Dress

I look for any excuse to purchase a new dress, and a new dress for a New Year’s Eve party is an absolute must.  The things I love about New Year’s Eve dresses – specialty fabrics, sequins, embellishments -- are the things that make them so difficult to care for.  In thinking about where we will wear our party dresses – a crowded gathering that includes food, drinks, and dancing – it is likely that a spill will occur, and the last thing you want is for something like that to put a damper on your evening.  So Shores has put together a few tips to help little mishaps not turn into catastrophes. 

•    If you’ve not yet purchased your dress, consider purchasing one made of synthetic fibers (say polyester) instead of one made of natural fibers (say silk).  Water-based stains like beer and wine stand a better chance of coming out of synthetic fibers.

•    Make sure you know what fabric your dress is made of; this will tell you whether you can perform an emergency do-it-yourself treatment.  If your dress is silk, then leave the spill be.  Anything you try to use on silk to remove a stain will more than likely leave a ring.

•    No matter what, never rub a stain.  Instead, gently blot the area with a dry, clean white cloth or napkin.  Rubbing will cause the components to go deeper into the fabric’s fibers, will make the stain larger, and many times make it more difficult to remove.

•    For water-based stains from things like coffee and tea, simply blot the area with a clean, white cloth and let it dry.  It should come out when it is cleaned per the care label’s instructions.

•    Use water and club soda sparingly on spills, and never use either on oily spills from things like greasy foods, salad dressings, and makeup.  Water and club soda can cause stains to spread and dyes to sometimes bleed.  Simply blot the area and then let it be.  Oily stains are easily removed during the dry cleaning process. 

•    If you carry a stain remover pen in your purse, make sure you know what fabric your dress is made of before using it.  While these many times work safely on washable clothing, they should not be used on dry clean-only clothing or certain fabrics.

As with any garment, we recommend you deal with any stains and spills as soon as possible.  The longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove.  If you are dropping the dress off at Shores, be sure to point out the stain and let us know what it is.  We’ve also mentioned many times about not putting garments away without first being cleaned.  This is especially true with a party dress.  Even if you didn’t notice, it is likely that something was dribbled or brushed on it somewhere, plus it probably has a bit of perspiration on it if you enjoyed a little dancing. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Sweaters

Best I can tell, Christmas sweaters became popular in the 1980’s, but over the years they have continued to grow in popularity.  In fact, Amazon reported an increase in sales of 600% in 2011, and it seems that no one is immune to this trend.  In fact, celebrities have even been caught on camera wearing them.

These days Christmas sweaters come with all kinds of bells and whistles – literally.  Besides those with jingle bells, there are some where you can have your picture placed in a frame sewn on your sweater; with Christmas lights that actually light up; with ornate buttons; with pompoms, sequins, and ribbons; and even garland and tinsel.

We always advise that you never store a garment without cleaning it first.  Even if it looks clean, things like body oils, perspiration, and invisible stains are there and will attract moths and other insects.  That advice applies to Christmas sweaters too.  Just think about where you are wearing them – to parties where you can spill food or drink down the front, while cooking a holiday meal, or out shopping.  All these environments will provide an excellent meal for insects.  But perhaps because of all the embellishments on your sweater, you are hesitant to clean it on your own.

That’s where Shores comes in.  When you drop off your Christmas sweater, a qualified member of our staff will inspect it, looking for tears, broken buttons or embellishments, and stains.  They will also determine which method of cleaning will be best for your sweater.

Since it is the beginning of December, you’ve probably already pulled your Christmas sweater out so that you can get plenty of wear out of it this season.  But after Christmas, when you are ready to store it away, drop it off at one of our Shores locations so that we can give it a good cleaning.  That way, you’re sure to be able to enjoy it for years to come.