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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

6 Ways to Transition Your Summer Wardrobe into Fall

A woman in a dark denim jacket, white under-shirt and flowing black skirt
A year ago, we posted a blog with a very similar title, but the topic was geared toward properly storing away your summer clothing to make room for your fall and winter items.  In the post, I mentioned that I like summer clothes far better than winter clothes, and that got me to thinking that I should figure out a way to get more use out of my favorite summer items.

I’ve never been one of those super-trendy people; I tend to migrate toward good-quality classic pieces.  Plus following every trend can be difficult on your pocketbook.  These tips can work with whatever your style – trendy or classic.
    A woman in a black horizontally-striped dress in black leggings and boots
  1. Get more wear out of your favorite sleeveless dresses by adding a cardigan or blazer and pair of closed-toed shoes.  Another great trick is to wear a ¾ length or long sleeve blouse or top under your sleeveless dress.
  2. The same thing holds true for your maxi dresses; keep them out a bit longer and pair them with a chunky sweater or a chambray shirt.
  3. Adding tights or leggings to your summer skirts, dresses, and tunics will extend their wearable life as well.
  4. Mix a bright bottom, like a pair of hot pink pants, with a white blouse and black blazer.
  5. Boots are a fantastic way to make summer pieces functional and fit the season. 
  6. A leather or jean jacket goes with any outfit and can help as the weather gets cooler.
It would be tons of fun to purchase a new wardrobe every season, but taking existing pieces from your current wardrobe and mixing and matching to create new looks could be lots of fun and will allow you to save a bit so that you could perhaps purchase a few special things.
What tips do you have to help transition into a new season?  Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, or G+

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Selecting and Caring for your Dress Shirt

A man buttoning the final button in a white button-down
The dress shirt is an important staple in every man’s wardrobe, and every guy has his preference on what he likes.  For instance, my husband is incredibly picky about his dress shirts, especially when it comes to the amount of starch; he likes his shirts to be able to stand up on their own, but in order for his shirts to do that, he needs to purchase a shirt that’s 100% cotton.  Given that he was purchasing a poly blend and was unhappy with how little starch they held, I thought it might be a good time to share some information so that you can both choose and care for your perfect shirt.

Fabric and structure: 
  • If you are like Matt and like your shirts to be rather stiff, then 100% heavyweight cotton is the way to go.  The thickness and weight of the fabric determines how much starch the shirt will hold, and heavyweight 100% cotton shirts are the only shirts that can be heavily starched.  In addition, oxford weaves allow for heavier starching than finer pinpoints.       
  • If you are a hot-natured person, choose natural fibers like cotton and silk because they breathe well.  Keep in mind that silk is more difficult to care for than cotton, and of course, there is no starching with silk. 
  • Finally, when purchasing, check for quality.  Look for things like a symmetrical, straight collar; removable collar stays; a split yoke; neat, tight side stitching; cleanly finished button holes, tightly sewn buttons, and spare buttons; hand-sewn cuffs; patterns that match; and a small button at the sleeve placket.   
Caring for your perfect shirt:         
An array of dress shirts in order from darkest to lightest

  • Rotate your dress shirts regularly to reduce the amount of wear they receive.
  • Wash your dress shirt after each wearing to avoid perspiration and deodorant stains, cologne stains, ring around the collar, and overall dull looking shirts.
  • Keep in mind that heavy use of starch can impact the life of your shirts over time because the starch residue settles in the shirts, which eventually causes the threads to break and fray.
  • A beard or five o’clock shadow rubbing on the collar can reduce the life of your dress shirt.
  • Watches and jewelry can cause fraying, especially along the cuff area.
If you feel like your dress shirts need a bit of extra attention, just drop them off at any A Cleaner World location.  We’ll gladly give them the care and attention they deserve to look like new again.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Life Expectancy Guide for Household Textiles

A clean yellow and white bed with matching bedside lamps
The American National Standards Institute, Inc. approved the Fair Claims Guide for Consumer Textile Products. Not only does the standard provide guidelines for determining liability for claims adjustments for textile products, it also provides a life expectancy chart for household textiles.  Please keep in mind that these are general guidelines; the life expectancy can vary depending on the durability of the material, if the material is preshrunk or pretreated for stains, if the material is resistant to light fading, and how much care is provided to the item. 

Proper care is important when it comes to extending the attractiveness of our textiles.  Be sure to follow these guidelines when caring for your items:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations.
  • Just as you do with your garments, be sure to also clean all household textiles before storing them away.
  • Be sure to address stains and spills as soon as they occur to ensure a greater likelihood that they will be removed.
  • Don’t allow items to become extremely soiled before cleaning.  The heavier the soil, the less likely it is that it can all be removed.
  • Repair tears and damage immediately.
  • Protect textiles (and furniture) from sunlight.
Life Expectancy Guide

A clean stack of white towels with grey accentsBedspreads: 6 years
Blankets - Heavy wool & synthetic fibers: 10 years
Blankets - Lightweight: 5 years
Blankets - Electric: 5 years
Comforters: 5 years
Comforters - Down: 5 years
Curtains - Sheer: 3 years
Curtains - Glass fiber: 3 years
Draperies - Lined: 5 years
Draperies - Unlined: 4 years
Draperies - Sheer: 3 years
Draperies - Glass fiber: 4 years
Sheets and pillow cases: 2 years
Slipcovers: 3 years
Table linens - Fancy: 5 years
Table linens - Other: 2 years
Towels: 3 years
Upholstery fabrics: 5 years
Articles coated or flocked: 2 years

The information in this post was provided by Drycleaning & Laundry Institute’s Consumer News You Can Use.  If you have questions about a particular item of yours, please feel free to contact us via e-mail at wildwednesday@acleanerworld.com or stop by or call one of our locations and speak with a manager.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Flattening Out a New Rug

An office rug, below a couch, large window's light and built-in desk with chair
Recently, Matt and I redecorated and refurnished my home office.  It’s something I’d been wanting to do for a long time given that I work from home, had a desk that was entirely too small, and hated looking up only to see the circuit breaker boxes right above me as I typed.  I wanted a ‘girl cave’; a place where I could escape not only to work but to also read and have alone time.  Thankfully, I am married to a very gifted craftsman, and he built me a custom desk with built-in shelving, not only so that I could spread out while I work but to also cover those hideous boxes with something both useful and cute.

Within my new digs, I also decided to put in a loveseat, make a window seat, and add a new rug.  As I was wrapping up the work on my new space, the new rug was giving me fits.  First, I was placing it on top of carpet; Matt drew the line at pulling out the carpet and putting in hardwood floors, so I was not only dealing with the creases and rolls but also having it bunch up under items.

A close-up of a brown striped rug's corner folded under

If you’ve added a new rug to your home, you know what I’m talking about.  You have a vision of your redesigned room in your head, but the rug won’t lay flat, has folds in the middle or curls at the end.  Of course, you could always show some patience and let everything relax on its own, but if you want things to move along a bit faster, try these 4 tips to help new rugs flatten out faster:
  1. Try laying the rug outside in the sun, if the temperature is between 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit, for a couple hours to allow the fibers to relax a bit.
  2. If the rug is still curling after sitting in the sun, you could reverse roll or reverse fold it, while it’s still warm.
  3. If the first two steps don’t work, you could spread the rug out and place heavy items or furniture on the rug to try and speed up the process.
  4. Finally, if all else fails, call A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning at 336-804-0045, to see if it is possible to have the rug steamed to help with relaxing the fibers.  This will also give our professional staff the opportunity to examine the rug to see if there might be an underlying reason as to why the wrinkles, folds, or curls might not come out.
As always, please feel free to contact A Cleaner World Carpet Cleaning if you have any rug related questions.  We are happy to help.
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