The special dresses that you wear for the most special occasions deserve special treatment.
Battiston's offers "Fashion Craft," a special tier of cleaning for those items that require close attention. The most common garments to require this specialized cleaning are fancy gowns: prom dresses, evening gowns, quinceanera dresses, and sometimes bridesmaids' dresses. What makes an item require special care is not the purpose it'll be used for, of course, but rather the construction of the dress itself and the materials it is made of. The biggest tipoff that an item will require special attention is if it has special trim on it like beads, sequins or jewels.
Whenever we ticket an item as being under the Fashion Craft category, it means that it'll require more delicate attention. There are particular risks inherent in cleaning items like these, which will be noted in the next section. Because of these risks, we want you as a customer to be informed in advance. We'll provide a waiver form for you to read and sign.
Beads & Sequins
Any item with special trims or decorations like beads, sequins and jewels will require special care; this is true even of items beyond the aforementioned prom gowns, evening gowns, etc. If you own a sweater or blouse with this type of trim, it will also be destined for Fashion Craft treatment and you'll be asked to acknolwedge this waiver:
Any item containing beads or sequins will be tested prior to cleaning, but no guarantee can be made that all beads and sequins will be safe from discoloration, cracking, melting or falling off.
By Federal Trade Commission law, if a garment’s care label recommends drycleaning, then that recommendation must be applicable to the entire garment, including any trims or accessories. If a problem occurs during drycleaning, it is therefore a manufacturer’s defect.
We pledge to treat your garment with the utmost care, including hand-treating especially delicate sections.
Here's the tricky thing. It may be your mindset that you'll only want to wear a prom gown or a bridesmaid dress once. Your daughter would rather die than wear the same dress to senior prom that she wore to the junior prom. Still, it's nice to have the option available to reuse the dress in the future at another special event, to preserve it as a family keepsake, or to keep it in nice condition so that it may be donated to a less fortunate family.
Manufacturers, however, are able to take advantage of that initial mindset, and in so doing they can construct a dress that is intended to be worn only once. Check the care label when you're buying a dress. If a dress's care label recommneds dry cleaning, then we can work with that, even if there are special addendums requiring us to take precautions like removing certain embellishments or only using certain types of solvents. Be aware that the dress is going to require professional cleaning, and don't try any ad-hoc stain removal tactics like flushing the area with water or club soda, which will almost certainly make the stain even harder to get out. But if the care label says to dry clean, we'll be happy to work with you.
If a dress's care label says "spot clean only," that's a major red flag. "Spot clean only" means the manufacturer is absolving itself of any responsibility for how the dress may be cleaned. What that means is that any conventional cleaning method, whether washing with water or cleaning with any dry cleaning solvent, no matter how gentle that solvent is claimed to be, may damage the item. "Spot cleaning" is when our professionals treat only a small area of your item using steam, a chemical spot-treater, and air to vacuum-dry the spot. Because we cannot submerge the item in any solvent, however, the stain and the chemicals are not going to completely flush out, and discoloration may occur.
We can only touch a "spot clean only" item with your complete understanding and acknowledgment that there is no guarantee how the garment will turn out. We pledge to use our decades of experience to figure out the best way of handling your item, but we still cannot be certain how the garment will look.
Before Cleaning and After Cleaning
Again, she may not think she'll ever want to wear that prom dress again. But you still want to make sure to get it cleaned as soon as possible, before stains have set in for so long that it'll be much harder to remove them.
You don't have to make a decision just yet as to whether you'll want to preserve the dress as a family keepsake, keep it clean and in your closet so that it can be re-worn to another event, or donated to charity. But you do want to make a decision in advance about getting it cleaned so that you'll have all of those options later. First things first, again, it's a good idea to check the care label when you're buying the dress. During the day it's being worn, keep a mental note of anything that might be spilled on it so that you can be specific when telling us what to look for. And immediately after it's been worn, don't assume that just because you don't see a stain that there aren't any to be worried about. Food and beverage stains, makeup, body oils, perfumes and antiperspirants can cause stains that aren't always immediately apparent, but will discolor the fabric when left untreated. Come see us shortly after the event and be specific about what types of stains we may be looking at. Our customer service representatives are happy to spend the time with you documenting any trouble spots.
You may also be interested in our heirloom preservation service. Most folks who have their wedding gowns cleaned with us opt to have them returned in a vacuum-sealed, acid-free box that ensures the dress will be cleaned and safe from yellowing and decay for generations to come. Heirloom preservation is also available for christening gowns, military uniforms, prom and quinceanera dresses, and more.