By The Clothes Doctor

“Mom It’s My Wedding Day – I Do Not Remember Those Stains”

Spring has certainly sprung-weather is changing, Cardinals baseball is in full swing, pollen count is on the rise, and those children once “terrible twos” have now grown up and are getting married.

Wedding gowns are being chosen—a task which often separates those involved from sanity—the choices are innumerable.

Heirloom or contemporary? Custom veil or Grandma’s lace? “Mom who’s wedding gown is this, yours or mine? Dad just signs the checks and refuses to look at the amounts.

Now comes the fitting of “THE” dress and questions arise:

Do we clean the dress, if heirloom or previously worn, before the alterations or after? The seamstress says she will be careful and has some stain remover should something such as fingerprints or machine

oil get on “THE” dress.

I can’t tell you the number of times in my forty six plus years as a dry cleaner, a distraught, tearful, bride comes in the day before the wedding having noticed stains which were—“not there before” and it may be too late to correct the problem.

The correct answer to the initial question is—examine “THE” dress carefully in good lighting, before you purchase the dress. If there are any stains, particularly around the hem or fabric discoloration—bring it to Marquard’s for a professional evaluation before buying.

The bride has but one chance to get this right- be sure the emotion of “but it is so beautiful, except for a few stains” does not override common sense.

A beautiful dress with just a few noticeable stains may be just that—on your wedding day—let us evaluate prior to a potential disaster.

If there are any stains on “THE” dress initially, insist they be evaluated and perhaps the dress cleaned before purchasing -as you will be able to see the “look” of the finished product. If the dress is new, still examine carefully, as often “new” dresses have some stains from shipping or construction. Insist that any staining be professionally evaluated for removal.

 If there are no visible stains, be sure and check after alterations—the sooner we discover a problem the easier it is to correct—and a reputable seamstress will concur.

Careful examination of the dress each step of the way ensures the bride has on less concern on her special day.


By The Clothes Doctor

Good Intentions Can be Costly

Recently, I had an opportunity to restore some heirloom doll clothing circa 1900… 

The items required restoration as someone with honorable and good intentions attempted to clean by hand washing. The results of home hand washing – blue dye from a silk dress “bled” on some of the clothing. Upon close examination, all items contained multiple stains, some needed sewing repairs.


After discussing the risks in attempting restoration, I proceeded with painstaking care using restoration techniques passed down over the past 80+ years, the doll clothing was deemed a “beautiful restoration job.”



When dealing with heirloom items it is best to consult a professional – Good intentions can prove to be costly.














By The Clothes Doctor

Check Your Outdoor Furniture

As spring moves to summer, sitting around the pool will soon be the order of the day.

Caution: Check outdoor cushion covers and furniture for mold and mildew.

After or during winter storage if any residual moisture was or is on items, as temperatures rise it promotes growth of these noxious pests. It is incredible how quickly problems develop. And the bad news is -unless the problem is discovered quickly the damage can be irreversible. What appears to be discoloration is often mold and/or mildew.

Note: drycleaning will NOT correct the problem— Wet-cleaning using oxidizing agents is the only answer and unfortunately, can cause color fade.

Check often and early for signs of these very visible enemies.

Multicolored clothes on wooden hangersI just returned from short trips to Naples, Florida and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While away I noticed the spring fashions seem to embrace a plethora of colors and designs. It seems colors are bold and designs literally “jump off” the fabrics. One of the most interesting trends I observed was that while  name brands are considered “O.K.” it stilled seemed more fashionable to mix and match small boutique apparel with little known names.

So for those of you into the style mix; a warning: watch the care labels, be sure consult professional before cleaning. Dyes in bold colors are notorious for color bleeding.

By The Clothes Doctor

Be Prepared- Better Safe than Sorry

Spring has come and so has the possibility for severe weather.

Hopefully, you never face the need for restoration services because of storm damage. However, it is never a bad idea to be prepared. Marquard’s has been in Disaster Restoration since 1969.

One key piece of advice; video record, describe, and price items throughout your home. Keep the video in safety deposit box. This will be invaluable should the unthinkable occur. Insurance companies are easier to work with if you have accurate records.

Also, your cost totals will tell you whether or not you have sufficient content coverage.


Restoring Vintage Gowns

Cleaning and restoring vintage gowns provides an opportunity to preserve a piece of family history-or if handled improperly, create a heartache.  So ask questions!

How will the piece be processed? What are the risks in processing? Will fabric be damaged in cleaning? If “yellowed” can this be corrected? How will the item be packaged?

By the way, here are answers to the last two: If my gown is yellowed, can it be corrected? – Yes, but not by dry cleaning. Wet cleaning is required to correct yellowing. How will my gown be packaged? – Only with acid free paper, and perhaps a lignin free (archival) box. (Lingin is a natural substance found in wood pulp that gives off acids as it deteriorates).

As in any restoration project communication is the key- Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

By The Clothes Doctor

New “Green” Home

A customer recently shared this picture of his cat refusing to let him recycle a shirt packaging box. Deciding instead to “Go Green,” the cat now uses the box for housing! The owner says, “Though other boxes are available, the cat prefers this size and style.” Too Funny.








Vacation Fading
Be Prepared- Better Safe than Sorry
Restoring Vintage Gowns
New “Green” Home