September in the northern hemisphere is the time to begin the semi-annual chore of having the spring/summer clothing cleaned and pressed before it is bagged and put away for the season, because even invisible dirt can attract moths. You see, 18 months ago I stopped sending my tailored clothing out as the best cleaning service I have been able to find in the San Francisco area was pressing my jacket lapels incorrectly. Collars would no longer lie down properly and lapel rolls came back looking like nothing the tailor who made them had ever imagined. So I stopped.
Of course, one thing led to another and I did not begin sending my stuff out again until this summer. After all, my clothing is bagged for half the year and I would spot clean, steam, and do a little pressing of my own so things looked all right while they were in the active rotation. But after testing RAVE Fabricare on a few items I resolved to rotate my wardrobe through there at the rate of a couple garments a week.
So last week I sent in the first of the fall/winter things, a chalk striped navy flannel that is an old favorite, and I will bet that some readers have already guessed the punch line. I promptly had email from Stu, the CEO of RAVE, letting me know that there was evidence of moth larvae in no fewer than five places (larvae don't necessarily create holes but they do weaken the cloth and create the possibility that holes will appear during cleaning or wear). Lesson learned. I hope the damage is limited to one or two suits but I am not optimistic.
In conclusion, the voice of experience says that every item in the seasonal wardrobe should be first repaired and then cleaned and pressed before it is put away from the season. Deviate at your own risk.
Image: Austin Neon