We call it Executive Shirt Cleaning because you'll look so sharp you can walk into any boardroom, courtroom, ballroom or dining room and look like you own the place. But you don't have to spend a fortune to look like a million bucks.
Why are shirts laundered rather than dry cleaned?
Some folks who might not be that experienced with dry cleaners might think that it's a one-size-fits-all policy that we have - that anything that comes into the store, we dry clean, because we are after all a "dry cleaners." In truth, dry cleaning is only about half the business, from a numbers perspective. If you look at our main signage outside most of our stores, you will see that it actually highlights two things: dry cleaning and shirt laundering. And in fact, in terms of pure numbers, we actually do a higher quantity of laundered shirts in a given day than we have number of garments dry cleaned. So what's the difference? Well, as the term implies, dry cleaning is a process that doesn't involve water, whereas shirt laundering is predicated around a laundry machine - just like the one at your home, except ours are larger and more powerful. So why, then, would you bring your shirts to the cleaners when it's something that, seemingly, you can do at home? There are a couple of advantages to having your shirts done by a professional cleaner. The first is that we are quite simplyBattiston's University better at getting out stains. Our detergent is going to be more concentrated than the Tide or Cheer you get at the supermarket, and our spotting solutions - to get out specific stains or the most common enemy of shirts, perspiration and ring around the collar - are more potent than, for instance, Shout. Secondly, if you like starch in your shirts - we'll get into that issue later on down the line - it's a heck of a lot easier and better to get starch via our machines than via commercially available spray starch - it's going to be a lot cleaner and a lot more uniform. And finally, and most importantly, is our shirt pressing. Shirts are going to have a lot of wrinkles when they come out of the wash. Either you can iron them yourself, which is really time-consuming, or you can have us press them. Using a machine Shirts 101press is fast - it's the primary reason why shirt prices can be lower than dry cleaning prices - and a lot faster than if you were to have to iron all your shirts yourself. That doesn't even get into the free bonuses you get, like free replacement of any broken or missing buttons. So what does shirt laundering actually mean for you as a customer? Quite simply, laundered shirts are less expensive than if you were to dry clean the same shirt. And that's basically how the entire dry cleaning industry has always worked. Cleaners don't actually make much if any money on shirts - the margins are really low. Shirts are largely about getting customers in the door. We want to do good work on your shirts, but what we really want is to do good work on your shirts so that you also do your dry cleaning with us - because dry cleaned items are where all cleaners, us included, really make their money.
What shirts can be laundered, and what must be dry cleaned?
So, given that laundered shirts are much cheaper than dry cleaning the same garment, you want to launder all of your shirts, right? Well, to some extent. It really depends on the fabric. Most button-down shirts, from the most formal tuxedo shirt to a relatively casual short-sleeve button-down, are either going to be cotton, or a cotton-polyester blend. And those are what you principally launder. Drop any of those off at our counter, and we'll say, laundered shirt, no question. Once you get into other fabrics, then we'll have to start looking at care labels and trying to figure out what's actually best. - Rayon. Rayon is a man-made fiber. It's a fabric that is very soft and often shiny; if you see a button-down shirt that looks shiny, it's probably made of a high percentage of rayon or a related material like lyocell. These shirts will very often say on their label "extra soft." But if you press them, you are going to sacrifice a little bit of that softness. Presses use high heat, which slightly diminishes that softness. So ultimately, we try to leave that decision up to our customers: which is more important to you, saving money or keeping the shirt as soft as absolutely possible? - Linen. As with rayon, for the absolute best results, dry cleaning is recommended. But also as with rayon, we like to offer you the ability to launder linen shirts at less cost, just so long as you are aware that it is not necessarily ideal. First off, any dye in linen shirts fades in washing to a much greater extent than the coloring in cotton and polyester shirts. Second, linen wrinkles very easily, and it's tough to get linen shirts looking at their best on a press, even if we try to re-touch and manually iron out any wrinkles that emerge. And, finally, there's again a softness issue; to keep your shirt with the most similar feel to how it was originally, dry cleaning is generally preferable. - Lycra/Spandex. Shirts with a significant percentage of these man-made fabrics are a definite no-go; the high heat used in the process distorts their chemical structure. So women's shirts that are largely comprised of these materials absolutely must be dry cleaned - we'll get to the trouble with women's shirts in general in the next section. The current fashion trend toward slimmer cuts in men's shirts has some companies - notably Express and Banana Republic - utilizing a small amount of lycra or spandex. Just the littlest bit of elasticity - these shirts are generally 98 or 99% cotton and just 1 or 2% spandex or lycra - helps with the slim cut. We have found no evidence in our experience that shirts with this tiny amount of man-made material are adversely affected by laundering. Our customers launder these shirts regularly without any problems. - Wool. Wool shrinks badly in water, so it's generally a bad idea to launder wool shirts. - Silk. Never, under any circumstances, should you launder silk.
Why do women's shirts sometimes cost more than men's?
The idea of "gender-neutral pricing" is a big issue in the dry cleaning industry. This is the notion that a women's garment should always be the same price as an equivalent men's garment. And we at Battiston's hold very firmly to that belief. A two-piece women's suit is always going to be the same price as a two-piece men's suit. A women's coat is always going to be the same price as a men's coat. If you ever see a cleaner that doesn't follow that rule, don't go there. Run away. That's not a reputable business, and if they don't care about being reputable in that one area, what kind of service are you going to expect? The one very large asterisk in the realm of gender-neutral pricing, however, is in shirts. Women's shirts/blouses are often comprised of more elaborate fabrics that, as the last section described, should not or simply cannot be laundered and pressed. Also, blouses can have more elaborate cuts, styles and trims than their male shirt counterparts. Men's shirts are pretty much always the same shape; even if they have something a little more complex like epaulets or French cuffs, they're otherwise identically shaped. A machine press is geared toward that shape, and so we can handle any man's shirt without a problem. Women's blouses are not nearly so uniform. Oddly-shaped cuts are not going to fit on a shirt press, and thus they will need to be finished by hand. That's a lot more labor-intensive for a cleaner, and thus the cleaner is going to understandably have a hard time charging the same price. (Remember, the margins on shirt cleaning are very low to begin with, so if you must put significantly more labor into a shirt, then you're in a losing proposition.) Also, size matters. If a woman's shirt is too small and you try to put it on a press geared for men's body types, you run the risk of tearing. (It's one of the very few places in society where a lady is not rewarded for being thin.) Some cleaners won't let you make the call: any woman's shirt, they're going to dry clean, and charge you the higher dry cleaning price. We don't think that's fair at Battiston's. So if a woman's shirt can fit on a shirt press, we'll do it that way, at the lower price. That's what our trade industry, the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, recommends: "[W]omen should not be charged a higher price simply because they are a woman. If a woman's shirt can fit on the unit, then it should be finished that way unless she indicates otherwise." But ultimately, what we want to do is have a conversation with you, and make the decision in tandem. So just ask us the best way to do your ladies' shirts, and we'll work together to come up with the most cost-effective solution.
What's the value in putting a bar code on your shirts?
After we've determined which of your shirts may be laundered and which have to be dry cleaned, the first thing we do is make sure every laundered shirt has a bar code hidden on the inside, and if not, we'll use a heat seal machine to apply one. What does this do for us, and what does it do for you? Once a bar code is affixed to the inside of a shirt, we'll scan that bar code into the computer and input details about that shirt. This makes tracking your items much easier going forward. By scanning the bar code, we'll know that it's your shirt, how many times you've had the shirt cleaned with us, whether you've had starch or no starch on the shirt on previous orders, and any special finishing requests you have for your shirts, like creasing the sleeves or folding and boxing your shirts. (More on the art of what we in the dry cleaning industry call "finishing" in a later section.) Having scan-ready bar codes is an advantage for our employees because it allows us to process your orders faster, without having to input the fabric, style and brand of your shirt into our computer every time. And bar codes also add an element of security for you, because they reduce the possibility of user error. It's impossible for us to accidentally put your shirt in somebody else's order, because the bar code would tell us we're trying to assign it to the wrong customer. This process significantly reduces the odds of lost items.
What is starch, and should I get it on my shirts?
If you're at all familiar with the word "starch," your first thought may be potatoes or pasta. So if we were to ask you whether or not you wanted starch on your shirts, you may get the image of us rubbing a potato all over your shirts. Rest assured, that's not the case. But it's also closer to the truth than you might think. Laundry starch is, in fact, based on a vegetable byproduct - most often corn - that's dried and then mixed with water to create a viscous liquid. When you launder your shirts at Battiston's, we separate all shirts that are going to receive starch from all shirts that aren't. Large commercial laundry machines like ours are equipped to perform a separate starch cycle that's different from a wash cycle. After these shirts are washed, they then are put through this separate cycle to receive starch. If that's what it is, then what does it do? Generally, the phrase we'll use is that starch "helps keep the form of the shirt" longer. In simple terms, you're less likely to develop wrinkles in your shirt while wearing it over the course of the day. And if you do have specific creases that you want in your shirt - some folks like to have their sleeves creased, for instance - then you'll want starch on your shirt to help keep those in place. We'll always recommend starch for anyone whose shirt will need special retouching beyond the regular mechanical shirt press, like if you want those creased sleeves or if you have a tuxedo shirt whose pleats need special attention. That tuxedo shirt idea is a hint on whether or not you might want starch: starch is traditionally associated with a more formal look. Stiff collars are an aristocratic conceit, from when the well-to-do could set themselves apart from commoners by how crisply tailored their clothes were. Think of a starched collar as a distant cousin of the corset or the riding jacket - stiff, rigid, and distinctly upper-class. While the corset has lost its place in modern society, the starched shirt lives on. Business professionals can still send a message by the way they look, and a well-pressed, wrinkle-free shirt does set a tone of being well put-together. But if those words "stiff" and "rigid" in the previous paragraph set you on edge, then you see why starch is a divisive concept. Some people feel a shirt is incomplete without it. Some people think a starched shirt feels like wearing cardboard. You'll only know for sure by trying out both styles and determining what feels comfortable and right for you, both physically comfortable and, in the spirit of the aesthetics of a starched shirt, perhaps also what feels psychologically comfortable to you. As a general rule, you may know which camp you fall in based on the composition of your shirts themselves. If your shirts are almost all 100% cotton, then those are the shirts that are most welcoming of starch in the first place. Starch isn't usually recommended on cotton-polyester blends, on the other hand (though it doesn't ruin or damage a shirt at all). These shirts are softer, more likely to be found in brighter and varied colors, and just generally less likely to be really formal. So if you own mostly cotton-poly blend shirts, you're probably less concerned with formality in the first place, and the aesthetics of a starched shirt probably don't matter to you. In either case, try things out and see what you like. There's no price difference between having your shirts done with starch or without it.
How do we remove those nasty collar stains from your shirts?
Most of the time, when you're really concerned about getting a shirt clean, it's not because of a specific spill. Occasionally you'll spill some coffee on yourself, or inadvertently swipe a pen mark across your sleeve. But the stains that you wind up with most commonly on shirts aren't accidental ones, but simply the product of everyday wear: perspiration stains, otherwise known as 'ring around the collar.' On blue and other colored shirts, sweat stains generally turn the color into a darker shade. On white shirts the damage is worse - the collar area will turn into an unsightly yellow as the perspiration builds up. Fighting perspiration stains is a part of the process for each and every shirt that comes into our store. Whereas it's really helpful when you point out a spot or stain on garments you bring in for dry cleaning, collar stains on shirts don't require "special" attention, because they receive that attention every time. The collar of every shirt will be inspected to see if it must be "pre-spotted," which is the application of a stain-fighting solution prior to washing. Whenever you're visiting our store, you should see employees working a spray bottle against the collar of some shirts. It's a part of the process for every single shirt, with no exception. It's important to get these collar stains removed, and not just for aesthetic reasons. Sweat stains weaken the fabric over time, and an untreated stain will expedite that. It's one of the reasons to get your shirts done at a professional cleaners rather than at home - unless you're willing to go to the effort of spot-treating your shirts yourself, you're not going to be sufficiently treating those stains, and that will lead to your shirts having a shorter lifespan.
What machinery is used in cleaning and pressing your shirts?
Shirts are laundered in a machine that's not too different from your home washing machine. But a commercial laundry machine like ours is the beneficiary of a paradox: it is at the same time both more powerful and more gentle than the machine you have at home. Our machines have the capacity to clean a large load of shirts, and clean them rigorously using a proprietary blend of cleaning agents developed and tested to provide the best results. But at the same time, the process is more gentle than you would expect of a home machine. Shirts can get beaten up very easily, and heavy friction shortens the life of the garment. So our laundering has to be gentle enough to keep friction minimal. Once shirts have been laundered, those that aren't going to receive any starch are pulled out of the machine, while those due to receive starch go through a second cycle in the machine that applies it. Then, while the shirts are still damp, they head to the presser. The shirt press has two separate stages, for the sleeves and the torso, to get them crisp and wrinkle-free. It's the mechanical shirt press, more so than any other element, more so even than our great big washers, that is the key to a shirt cleaning operation. The ability to use a machine press to get shirts crisp and wrinkle-free, as opposed to having to iron every shirt by hand, is what allows us to keep our costs low and in turn keep prices low. Most shirts are going to be in perfect shape right off the press. But some may need a little manual touch-up. Each and every shirt that comes off the press will have to be inspected to make sure there isn't a stray wrinkle. That's part of the inspection process, and it's the next step.
What kind of quality control measures are in place for shirts?
Few things would be more annoying than going to put on a clean shirt in the morning, buttoning it up almost all the way, and then noticing that you can't wear the shirt after all because it's missing the last button to hold it together. So you have no choice but to start unbuttoning the shirt to put on a new one, all the while muttering in disgust at that damn dry cleaners who failed to replace a button they should have. Obviously, we at Battiston's never want you muttering in disgust at us. That's bad for repeat business. So how do we make sure to get your shirts right every time? That's the part of the process we call the inspection stage. Every garment, both shirts and dry cleaning, must pass inspection before it is cleared to the next stage, the assembly stage (where items are matched to a ticket). We have employees in our shirt cleaning unit and our dry cleaning unit whose primary responsibility is to go over every item that passes by them and go through a checklist - there is an actual physical checklist that our employees are trained with when they begin, though in regular duty they'll just be rattling off that checklist mentally - of possible problems to make sure everything is right. In the shirt inspection process, our folks are looking for a few things. First, they're going to have to scan over the shirt to make sure that there aren't any stains that got left behind after the first cleaning and pressing - if there are, we'll have to make a decision at that point, based on how much time we have left before the item is due: Do we have time to simply spot-treat the item once more and try to clean it again? Would this stain come out at all, or is it something unlikely to ever fully come out? Might we be able to get the spot out via dry cleaning instead of laundering? After making a decision here, we'll either immediately re-clean the item or attach a note, both to our front counter employees and to you our customer, apologizing for not being able to remove the stain initially and suggesting what might be done next. While checking for stains, we're also checking for wrinkles. The mechanical press used for shirts is quite effective, but a shirt may still come out with a wrinkle that needs to be manually ironed out. We'll specifically check the collars and cuffs, since those are the areas most likely to end up with something uneven. And then it's on to the buttons. We have to check every single one to make sure it's present, tight, and not chipped or broken. If any buttons are missing, loose, or cracked, we have to replace them before the shirt can pass inspection. The inspection process might be the most interesting element of our work to an economist. Economists love talking about incentive structures. We've already discussed, way back at the beginning of this series, the incentive structure of shirts: we want to do good work on your shirts, a low-margin item, so that you'll also do your dry cleaning with us, because that's where we make more money. But there's an even more obvious and direct incentive structure in regard to the inspection process: how well they do on inspection helps determine how much our employees make. See, every once in a while Battiston's management makes unannounced visits to all of our stores to do their own inspections. They will, in effect, inspect the inspectors, taking that original physical checklist of all the things to look for in a completed garment and checking finished shirts or dry cleaned items that have already passed the inspector. They'll deduct points off the maximum grade for any checklist items that are inadequate, and then assign a numerical grade to the inspector's work. If our inspectors are judged to have done excellent work based on this grade, they'll be eligible for pay raises or bonuses. If they get a failing grade... well, there are negative incentives too. It's the cleanest type of incentive structure you can create: do good work and you'll be recognized and rewarded for it; do inadequate work and you'll be penalized. And that, in the end, is the same strategy we hope to pursue writ large: we want to do good work so that you'll reward us with your regular business. Inspections are a vital part of making sure that's the case.
What is "finishing," and what does it mean in regard to shirts?
In the dry cleaning industry, "finishing" is the term for what happens after an item is cleaned to get it ready to present back to a customer. That includes ironing or pressing an item, perhaps folding it a certain way, and packaging it. For the most part, we at Battiston's like to keep things pretty simple in regard to packaging and presentation - we want to use as few materials as possible, both for time reasons and more importantly for ecological ones. We've seen other cleaners who will put tissue paper in finished shirts, or place a paper covering over the shoulders of a shirt. And we've even tried doing things like that in the past, but we've ultimately found them unnecessary and a waste of paper. Still, there are lots of ways in which you can get special finishing on your shirts. The most common special request is for us to have your shirts folded and "boxed." This way, instead of having your shirts come back pressed and on a hanger, your shirts will be folded in much the same way you'd buy them new from a store. Usually, people request this when they know they're going to be traveling - it's the most convenient way of packing your shirts in a suitcase. But lots of people request folded shirts even if they're not going anywhere. Maybe you have more dresser space at home than you have closet space, and a folded shirt is the best fit for the space you have. Or maybe (!) you actually enjoy ironing. In which case, have you thought about applying for a job at Battiston's? No Clamp MarksThe other fairly common finishing request we get is when people request to have the clamp mark at the bottom of a shirt pressed out. As we noted in an earlier section, our machine presses enable us to get shirts done quickly. But the one cosmetic issue that some people don't like is the clamp mark that is found at the bottom. It's a mark that lies below the belt line, so if you wear your shirts tucked in like most people, it'll never be seen. But some people wear their shirts untucked. Nothing wrong with that. At that point, people are going to ask to have us iron out that clamp mark so that the bottom of the shirt is just as flat as the rest. And that's absolutely OK. And then there's the issue of creased sleeves. The standard appearance of a shirt after being done on a press is to have no creases down the sleeves. Around here, people generally consider that normal and don't even think about whether or not their sleeves should be creased. The exceptions are generally current or former members of the military, where sharp lines on a uniform are drilled into people from the beginning. So we rarely hear anybody request creased sleeves unless it's on a military shirt, a police or firefighter uniform shirt, or a military man's street clothes. But then, that could all be an issue of geography - if we were downstate in the Groton-New London area, the whole culture might be different and many more people would wear creases in the shirts they wear to the office. It's a cultural matter. And like we said, few people in our area request it. But whether you're a transplant from outside the area, or you just like the way it looks, we can put creases down the center of your sleeves. All you have to do is ask.
What's the expected lifespan of a shirt, and how can I prolong it?
Unless it's being specially preserved, no article of clothing is going to last forever. Fabrics weaken and fade over time if they're subjected to regular everyday wear and tear. Nobody's ever happy to hear that a piece of clothing might someday pass on to the garment graveyard, but it's true. And different types of garments have a different expected shelf life. Shirts have the shortest life cycle of your outerwear, for a couple of reasons. First, they're comprised of lighter materials than the rest of your outerwear, so naturally they're more susceptible to the fabric getting weaker. Secondly, they're subjected to a greater degree of wear and tear - shirts feature concentrated regions where sweat builds up, and greater friction from how much you move around compared to other garments. The industry standard, as backed by the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute and the Better Business Bureau, is that a shirt's expected life span can't really be guaranteed beyond two years if you're wearing the shirt regularly. But that's not a great measuring stick - you might have shirts you wear almost every week and then others you only wear once every couple of months. A more precise standard than calendar time is the number of times a shirt is washed - in which case the expected life span of a shirt should be somewhere between 35 and 50 washings. Even that standard is going to fluctuate based on certain conditions, like how much abrasion or friction you're subjecting the shirt to, how much strain is placed on the shirt (if a shirt is tight and you're stretching it out regularly in parts), and the stains that may develop on an item, even if that item is washed shortly thereafter. And that doesn't even get into the construction of the shirt itself. Theoretically, the more well-made a shirt is, the longer it should last ... theoretically. A custom-made shirt from a bespoke tailor should presumably be more built-to-last than something off the rack, but then again it's not subject to the same consumer product testing. And a shirt from a higher-priced retailer or higher-priced label should be a better-constructed shirt than one from a discount department store - but that's not necessarily always the case. In the fashion industry, there's always the risk of paying through the nose just for a fancy label. A complicating factor here is that people who purchase higher-priced shirts tend to prefer those shirts be starched - and while starching your shirts is for the most part fine, if you stiffen something up over and over eventually it'll become brittle. For instance, consider two common types of woven shirt fabrics. Somewhat counterintuitively, we often see cheaper lightweight cotton-poly weave shirts that last forever and ever while oxford cotton weave shirts - which feel heavy and super-strong to the touch - are the ones we see blow out most commonly, largely because people tend to starch them to death. The starch issue is one of several ways to prolong the life of a shirt: If you prefer starch on your shirts, that's great. But you should probably mix it up and take no starch from time to time so that you don't stiffen the shirt up too badly and make it likely to tear. Sweat stains are bad for the life of a shirt. Keeping them untreated exacerbates that. Don't wait several weeks to see us. Do you wear a watch? How bulky is it? If you wear a bulky watch on one wrist all the time, don't be surprised to see the cuff on that side start to fray. Again, mixing up your style will help. If a shirt gets wet, whether due to rain or a lot of perspiration, don't just crumple it into a ball and throw it in a hamper. It's better to hang the shirt and let it air out at that point, then in the case of significant sweat stains bring it in to us within a few short days. Wearing a t-shirt underneath will soak up sweat, keeping those perspiration stains away from your outer garment.
Wedding Gown Cleaning and Preservation
Your 'Once in a Lifetime' gown should last a lifetime! Wasn't it simply too beautiful, too precious, and too memorable to be worn just once? Now you can preserve it for the next generation with our exclusive "MuseumStyle" Heirloom Preservation. When you bring your wedding gown to Battiston's, you're entrusting us with one of the most personally meaningful - not to mention the most costly - garments you or a beloved family member will ever put on. We understand just how valuable your wedding gown is, and we will do everything in our ability to help you get the proper cleaning and preservation that such an item deserves. Through our partners Hudson Services and Prestige Preservation, we will provide first-class treatment of your bridal gown, while also ensuring that you receive the great value you have come to expect from Battiston's. We know that many brides have been planning their wedding day since they were little girls. From the church to the venue and all of the care you put into the detail to make your day memorable, your gown is more than just a dress. It holds the memories of the most important day for you and the groom. With that in mind, we take special care in preserving your gown. We know how important your dress is to you and we feel the same about gowns as you do. That is why each and every gown is processed by our experts using our guaranteed Prestige Preservation method.
While a gown may be worn just one day, and may not appear soiled, it will require careful cleaning. Hidden soiling includes perspiration and body oils. Long gowns will pick up soil along the hemline and train. There may be food and beverage spills. Some stains, which are not immediately visible, will develop through oxidation causing discoloration, fabric weakness and damage to the gown. Our wedding gown specialists carefully examine every gown, establishing the most suitable method of cleaning and using proprietary pre-spotting techniques. Inspections are made at every stage of the cleaning and preservation process. Each wedding gown receives special and individual handling, with attention given to every detail.
Battiston's offers you two options: standard cleaning, in which your gown is then returned to you on a hanger, or cleaning plus preservation, in which your gown is air-sealed, bagged and boxed, and guaranteed to last for generations. Most of our customers elect to have their gowns preserved, because you receive great value and assurance for just a small additional cost. Prestige Preservation is a national consortium of experts specializing in bridal gown cleaning and care. Battiston's is linked to Prestige Preservation through our local partner Hudson Services, a contractor with special expertise in wedding gowns and other specialty items. So when you bring a gown to Battiston's, you're taking advantage of Prestige Preservation's state-of-the-art technology. The trademarked process is called MuseumStyle Preservation. MuseumStyle storage boxes feature state-of-the-art moisture and oxygen control technology. Traditional wedding gown storage boxes do not protect or guarantee against oxidation or "yellowing" of the gown. Our advanced system guarantees that your gown will be as good as the day you wore it down the aisle. Your dress is carefully sealed in an acid-free inner box that controls humidity. The oxygen is purged and replaced with an inert gas, virtually making oxidation impossible. Our sealed packaging allows viewing of your gown and veil at any time, while protecting your gown from mold, mildew, insect damage and oxidation. The inner box is placed in a durable long-term storage chest for additional safety. For an up-close look at how your gown appears in a MuseumStyle storage box, stop by and see a display stand, currently featured at Battiston's of Glastonbury or Battiston's of Farmington Ave in West Hartford. While you're there, ask for our current wedding gown discount offers.
Prom Gowns, Quinceanera Dresses, Evening Gowns and More
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.
Bedding & Household Items
Whether it's a handmade heirloom or store-bought, whether it's Dry Clean Only or something that's simply too darn big to fit in your home washer, Battiston's is here to serve your needs for cleaning all bedding and household items. Comforters, Bedspreads, Coverlets, Blankets, Afghans, Duvet Covers, Pillow Shams, Feather Beds, Sleeping Bags. Tablecloths, Table Runners, Placemats and Napkins. Area and Oriental Rugs. Curtains & Drapes
Free Seasonal Storage
Don't have a lot of room at your place for the bedding you need to swap in and out with the seasons? We offer free seasonal storage on items once they're cleaned with us.
Every Day is Flag Day at Battiston's
We are proud to clean the U.S. flag, for free, every day of the year. We'll treat the flag with the great care and reverence that it deserves. In addition to cleaning the stars and stripes for free, we're proud to be able to clean other flags, whether they are of other nations, other patriotic designs, or just a great seasonal design. Ask us for pricing today.
Dry Cleaning Kills Bedbugs
Fortunately, we haven't been hit with the bedbug epidemic in central Connecticut to the extent that other parts in the country have. Fortunately, you have Battiston's if you ever do suspect that bedbugs have invaded your home. Great drycleaners such as Battiston's are equipped to handle this nasty problem. Drycleaning is your best option for treating bedbug-infested items, as the heat used in the drycleaning process is proven to eradicate bedbugs and their eggs.
Battiston's Drapery Division
Battiston's cleans curtains and drapes of all kinds, including valances, swags and jabots.
Whether handmade or store-purchased, your window treatments add an air of class to your home, and they deserve high-class cleaning to match.
To keep looking their best, drapes should be cleaned regularly, typically every six months or so if you're not rotating different window treatments in.
Regular cleaning can help guard against your curtains getting too much sun damage and losing their luster. And there are health reasons for cleaning, not just aesthetic reasons - drapes collect and trap dust, pollen, smoke and bacteria.
After dry cleaning (in most cases, though depending on the material wetcleaning may be an alternative), drapes are finished using the nationally renowned Adjust-a-Drape process.
The Adjust-a-Drape machine offers the best finishing available, enabling us to guarantee the length of hemlines. There's no shrinkage, no warping of the hems, and square and beautifully uniform folds in your pleated drapes.
Home Care of Curtains and Drapes
The biggest threat to draperies? Mother Nature. Sun damage and water damage can ruin your drapes, and while good quality cleaning like that you get from Battiston's can help restore a lot of your drapes' luster, we may not always be able to completely reverse the effects of sun and rain. So here are some home care tips, provided by the National Cleaners Association:
Find a way to incorporate shades and blinds into your decorating scheme.
Blinds and shades take the brunt of the sun's rays, and in the process protect your draperies, which otherwise would be the first line of defense.
Fully closing blinds or lowering shades when the draperies are drawn will protect them further.
If you're out for the day, make it a practice to close the blinds before you leave.
Lined draperies have a longer useful life than unlined draperies; the lining will succumb to the sun's effects before the face fabric.
Often the lining can be removed or replaced, thereby extending the life of the drapery.
Rotate your draperies.
If possible rotate draperies that are exposed to direct sunlight with draperies that are either protected by walls or have a different exposure.
Avoid purchasing draperies in the same fabric as upholstered pieces.
The fact is that no matter how many precautions you take, a certain amount of sun fading is inevitable. But as long as the patterns aren't identical, a slight color loss won't be noticeable.
Be sure to close your windows when the sun isn't shining or rain is forecasted.
Watermarks are among the most difficult to remove stains on draperies.
If your windows sweat (build up condensation) take measures to keep your draperies away from them.
The condensation will cause water rings, the nemesis of draperies.
If you're thinking about window replacements, consider UV-filtering glass.
It will help prevent ultraviolet rays from wreaking havoc on your home furnishings.
Finally, when the heating or cooling season is upon you, make sure your draperies are not in front of the air intake or discharge vents.
You don't want your draperies acting as an air filter.
Area & Oriental Rugs
Battiston's is proud to offer great-quality area rug and oriental rug cleaning.
We clean all kinds of rugs - oriental rugs, tufted and braided rugs, and wool rugs, from simple mats to the most intricate handmade designs. We can take rugs as large as 12' by 9', but no matter how large or small your rug is, Battiston's is the place for high-quality performance.
We're proud to work with rug professionals who've proven to do excellent work.
We'll take the time and effort to get your rug looking and smelling great.
All rugs are dusted, examined and treated for spots, washed, rinsed and dried in a temperature-controlled room.
We'll inspect any pre-existing stains and keep working to get them out. Additionally, all fringes are gone over by hand.
Cleaning is only part of the job, though.
We're proud to also offer deodorizing, moth repellent, expert repairs, and a special Scotchgard-type stain blocker to help prevent future stains.
Once rugs are clean, they are dried and then wrapped in a clear packaging so that you can see the difference for yourself when you pick up.
Stop by today and give your rugs the treatment they deserve.
A great-looking rug is a surefire way to keep your home looking classy, and Battiston's is here to help.
Leather and Suede Cleaning
Clean your leather and suede jackets, coats and more with Battiston's.
From motorcycle jackets to varsity jackets to suede vests, there's a leather look that'll suit everyone.
Great quality leather and suede cleaning doesn't just clean your prized leathers; it also rejuvenates them, restoring the luster they may have lost through wear or through other cleaning processes.
Leather and suede garments can be major investments.
We know they can be pricy and that you care for them greatly, so we're sure to give them extra special care.
Leather cleaning is different from and more difficult than standard dry cleaning.
Leathers are animal hides, and that poses unique challenges because no two skins are exactly alike. So you really need to make sure you're entrusting your prized leathers to an expert. Battiston's is proud to work with reputable, award-winning leather specialists. Visit this page to learn more about our relationship to the Professional Leather Cleaners Association.
Because of the unpredictable nature of how animal skins will react to cleaning, we insist that our customers are educated prior to cleaning.
We know that we produce great results in our leather cleaning, but there are always risks. Therefore, we require customers to read and sign this consent form prior to cleaning any leather or suede items.
We clean Ugg boots - and more importantly, we clean them well. We know that these boots can be expensive, so you shouldn't trust them to just anybody. We work with specialists - experts whose day-to-day job is to focus on these kinds of garments - rather than just having these boots done by our regular cleaners. Think about it. Which would you rather entrust your expensive boots to - somebody who cleans these kinds of boots every day, or somebody who spends the rest of their day cleaning pants and sweaters and then, maybe once a week, cleans a pair of boots and is learning on the job? Trust the experts. We do. Because we go to the experts, we provide all of the following, all free of charge as part of the cleaning price. Do other cleaners in town provide all of these features? Ask them. And then come see us. Our customers always say 'wow!' when they see their old boots looking brand-new after cleaning. Clean your Uggs with us, and see the difference for yourself.
In case you haven't noticed, Connecticut winters can be kind of wet and gross. But we offer water repellent, giving you a lot more freedom to walk around amongst snow and slush and not worry that your feet are going to be soaked.
Salt Stain Removal
Those weird wavy white lines that appear on your boots, pants and jackets are salt stains, another byproduct of the nasty winter weather. They're going to be the most obvious stains that keep your Uggs from looking their best, but our experts are great at getting them out.
Inside and Outside Cleaning
It's not just the outside of your boots that get dirty. The nice, soft sheepskin on the inside gets dirty too, which can ruin the soft luxurious feel. We'll give your boots a thorough inside-out cleaning.
It's one thing to get your items cleaned. It's another thing entirely to have your items come back looking better than they were even before you got them dirty. But that's exactly what you'll get with our Uggs cleaning, since we provide fresh dye to the outside of the boot, giving them the rich color you haven't seen since your boots were brand-new.
On-Site Tailoring at Battiston's
At select Battiston's locations, you'll find a network of independently-owned-and-operated tailoring shops. These experienced tailors can perform major and minor repairs or alterations to keep your clothes in tidy shape and custom-fit to your needs.
Repairs including replacing zippers and sewing pockets, waistbands, cuffs and hemlines
Alterations including shortening and lengthening, taking in and letting out
Tailoring can be performed alone or in conjunction with dry cleaning
Leather repair and shoe repair (select locations only)
Custom-made gowns and formalwear (select locations only)
Please note that our tailors are independent contractors within Battiston's locations, and as such may have different hours and separate billing from the Battiston's store.
1245 Farmington Ave, West Hartford; 860-521-1550; Mon-Thurs 9-6, Fri 9-12:30 and 2:30-6, Sat 9-1
Gazi's The Fitting Place
610 Silas Deane Hwy, Wethersfield; 860-529-8283; Mon-Fri 8-5:30, Sat 8-2
George's Tailor Shop
369 West Main St, Avon; 860-674-8740; Mon-Fri 9-6:30, Sat 7:30-3:30
2799 Main St, Glastonbury; 860-659-2039; Tues-Fri 9-1 and 1:30-5, Sat 9-1
760 Sullivan Ave, South Windsor; 860-289-0216; Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-1
441 West Middle Tpke, Manchester; 860-643-4877; Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30, Sat 8:30-2:30
179 Talcottville Rd, Vernon; 860-870-9662; Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30, Sat 8:30-2:30
608 Windsor Ave, Windsor; 860-683-0330; Mon-Fri 8:30-5:30, Sat 8:30-2
disclaimer:pricing and availability subject to change.
Customers agree: Battiston's provides the finest drycleaning value in Connecticut. Our drycleaning, wetcleaning and shirt laundering are all of the highest quality, backed by Battiston's expert staff and our value guarantee.