How to care for a duvet

20 Nov

Considering our current temperature in Toronto, it’s probably safe to say that you’ve been snuggling underneath a warm duvet in bed at night (and sometimes on the couch while watching a movie) ever since the first leaves in High Park turned red. Maybe you’ve even had yours out all summer and just kicked it to the end of the bed when the evening was too hot.

Either way, is there any greater feeling than slipping into freshly washed bedding at night? As clothing and home textile care experts, we may have a small bias, but this simple luxury definitely sits at the top of our list of at-home comforts.

Whether you’ve just pulled your duvet out of storage for the cold months ahead or you keep it out year-round, here are some simple tips for keeping it at its best:

  1. Use a good duvet cover. Those duvet covers most of us use on a daily basis aren’t just for decoration. While they definitely do add to the aesthetic of a room, they also help protect your duvet from oils that can eventually break the fabric down and let filling escape.
  2. Clean regularly. Duvet covers handle the brunt of the dirty work and should be cleaned weekly if you don’t use a top sheet; they should go into the wash monthly if you do. As for the actual duvet, we recommend cleaning at least a couple of times a year. Your duvet can last a long time if you’re cleaning it regularly and properly. We suggest enlisting the help of a pro for this. *Ahem* We know someone!
  3. Dry properly. There are many people who launder their duvets at home and while this isn’t always bad, if your machines aren’t heavy duty enough, you might not be getting your items fully clean or, more importantly, fully dry. Just think about heading to bed with your comforter to find that some of the down is bunched in a corner and still damp! We have industrial-sized dryers to make sure that all of your bedding comes home as clean, dry, and fluffy as the day you bought it.
  4. Replace when needed. As long as you keep it clean, aired, and stored properly, your duvet or comforter should last you many years. Once you start noticing that you are losing stuffing regularly (down duvets, just like pillows, do tend to lose feathers with regular use, but you will notice a significant loss as the piece ages) and the cover gets flat, it may be time to consider investing in a new one.

We are, of course, strong advocates for getting your duvets, comforters, and quilts professionally cleaned. Our industrial-sized machines ensure that your bedding comes home to you perfectly cleaned, dried and ready to be snuggled up underneath for months to come!

As a side note: If you have summer duvets you’ll be storing during the winter, we suggest bringing them in to be cleaned before you do to keep them in good condition and help them last longer. We’ll even pack them in breathable storage bags for you to take home! Schedule a pick up here.

Sakiori Reduces, Re-uses and Recycles

14 Nov

We are pretty passionate here at Parkers about being eco-friendly clothing care specialists. We don’t think that taking care of your clothing and home textiles should mean you have to compromise your beliefs about taking care of the environment and are always on the lookout for other companies that share this belief.

When it comes to eco-fashion news, one of our favourite stops is www.ecouterre.com, which is where we first heard of Hana Mitsui.

The Royal College of Art student has come up with a way to transform waste materials and fabric scraps, of which Mitsui’s website states there is a “huge amount of,” into something truly remarkable. Mitsui bases the construction of her garments on the traditional Japanese method of rag-weaving known as sakiori. Japanese peasants used this method starting in the mid-18th century when resources were hard to come by and the need for conservation was great. Like these traditional artisans did, Mitsui shreds pieces of waste material into strips and then weaves them into entirely new pieces of fabric. Unlike her predecessors who used this method to create durable work-wear, Mitsui creates fantastic high-fashion garments.

“I innovated the way to utilize the waste materials and created original yarns out of waste,” she says. “These yarns can be used for both industrial-weaving loom and hand-weaving loom. Beautiful ikat patterns from waste textiles are born again as completely new and beautiful materials.” – Hana Mitsui

We love how Hana is inspired by the idea of reducing waste and reusing material to create something beautiful –  as well as responsible! Isn’t that piece in the photo up top just fantastic?! Check out the full article, by Jasmin Malik Chua over on Ecouterre.

Tell us what you think about Hana’s sustainable method of creating garments! Tweet us your thoughts: @ParkersCleaners.

Fellas, this one’s for you! – Men’s Outerwear

6 Nov

We are guessing that by now, you’ve pulled your fall jackets out of storage and are throwing on a few more layers than you were a month ago. While we’re still sitting in that sweet spot between the dead heat of summer and the cold winds of winter, it’s only going to get colder as the days go on (sorry!). Meaning, our sleeves are only going to get longer and our layers thicker.

Living in a city like Toronto, you quickly learn that you can’t totally avoid the practicality of a well-built winter coat. Luckily, cold-weather fashion isn’t just about that practicality anymore (at least where we live!); you can still build up your style portfolio while keeping yourself warm.

Rather than resisting the inevitable cold snap coming our way, we think it’s best to embrace it with well-covered arms wide open. So, today we have compiled a collection of some of our favourite fall/winter looks for men in hopes that you can find the inspiration to stay dry, keep warm, and be happy for the rest of this year.

 
 

  
Style Zeitgeist, The Wow Style

1. Wool – full stop
For starters, a good wool coat will not and cannot go out of style. We believe firmly in a good investment piece like this and nowadays with so many cuts and colours available, you should have no trouble finding one that you will want to wear for years to come.

 
 

  
Aigle, Nobis

2. Anoraks
Anoraks have been a staple in winter wardrobes for decades, and for good reason. There is an anorak out there for every kind of day – and for every kind of style.

 
 
  
Classy Girls Wear Pearls, Jabong

3. Quilted Transition Pieces
This may not be great come December, but during the sweet spots of fall and spring, we think this look is fantastic. A quilted jacket, layered with tweed or wool underneath keeps the heat in and gives you tons of opportunity to add your own twists of style.

 
 
    
Famous Outfits

4. Vests
Remember when vests were everywhere for a while and then one day they were gone? This year, we couldn’t be happier to see them back! They’re perfect for when you need that little bit of extra warmth. After seeing the photo above, we are definitely going to encourage the men in our lives to rock one over their best quilted jacket and button-up shirt this weekend.

What is your favourite men’s outerwear look this fall and winter? Tweet us your best vest, jacket and otherwise cold weather wear photos: @ParkersCleaners. We are always in the market for more inspiration on how to stay styled and warm.

And as always, if you need someone to keep your outerwear looking sharp and ready to take on any future storms, bring it to us at Parkers. We are dry cleaners and custom clothing care specialists in Toronto.

 

White, Way Past Labour Day

30 Oct

You know that old saying, that you shouldn’t wear any white after Labour Day? It’s one of fashion’s most well known adages, but is anyone really buying it anymore? Probably some people, but the blogging research we conducted this week shows that those of us who are asking why now greatly outnumber the people who seem to know why.

And so, out with the old and in with the new, we say! We feel that regardless of where the old rule came from, if anyone is left this month wondering whether to shelve that cream cover-up, hear us enthusiastically suggest: No! While there is an absolute summery appeal to white, the shade is actually, rather quintessentially wintery. After all, whenever you’re in doubt about what season white belongs in, all you have to do is look at a picture of the snow and there’s your answer!

In all of its shades and seasons, white works and we are willing to fight for its right to brighten up our winters. For the next few months, join us in throwing caution to the wind and making up the rules as we go!

Here are some of the looks that are inspiring us to stay on the lighter side this coming fall and winter:

worldinapapercup.jpg  colormecourtney.png
World in a Paper CupColor Me Courtney

 

  
Paris for the Day, How I Wear

 


A Plane Ride Away

 


Senor Tyrone

 

Now, it’s possible that people stopped wearing so much white after Labour Day because the weather changes mean that things can get dirty just by walking down the street. Rainy days may mean mud spraying up on your legs and slushy sidewalks can be hard to navigate. However, what we have now that they didn’t have back then are convenient ways to clean that clothing.

Don’t let the mud scare you away from wearing something really great this fall or winter.  At Parkers Custom Clothing Care, we can help keep your whites looking, well, white!

If you’re interested in the origins of the old rule, check out this article from TIME online magazine. It offers some interesting and unique perspectives on where this saying may have come from.

Are you following Parkers Cleaners on Twitter yet? Make sure you say hi!

What is Wet Cleaning?

24 Oct

It isn’t too uncommon in our line of work to run into people who are unsure about how to best care for their garments. We get it; because truthfully, those little laundry care tags are not the easiest things for most people to interpret. Since we have made it our business to make sure clothing and textiles are well taken care of, we thought that every once in a while, we would do a little bit of decoding and simplifying for you here on the blog. In other words, we want to help to explain what those little symbols mean – and then what to do with your clothing once you know.

Today, our sponsor is the letter “W”. More precisely, the letter “W” with a circle around it. We chose this symbol first because, well, because it selfishly ties directly to us and most people wouldn’t even know it. This, friends, is the universal laundry symbol for wet cleaning – which is not, contrary to popular belief, what you are already doing in your home washing machine.

Wet cleaning is a method of garment cleaning that is environmentally friendly and safe for your most delicate garments. In fact, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, wet cleaning is the safest professional method for garment cleaning. Using water and non-toxic bio-degradable detergents, it is much gentler than home washing and even gentler than hand-washing. Often those garments that specify “hand wash only” are actually better off being wet cleaned than wrung out in your sink at home!

And the great news is that we aren’t only your friendly neighbourhood Toronto dry cleaners; we are also your friendly neighbourhood Toronto wet cleaners!

The detergents we use in our wet cleaning process are incredibly mild, meaning that they are easy both on your clothes and on the environment. At Parkers, the drying process we use includes special moisture sensitive dryers, making sure your clothes are still soft to the touch and safe for sensitive skin. Depending on the fabric type, special equipment is then used to press and maintain your garment’s original shape.

Now you know that when you see the “W”, you have a more delicate fabric on your hands and there’s no reason to risk it losing its lustre or shape by treating it the wrong way. Bring that “W” to us and we promise your clothing will be kept looking its very best. Find a Parkers location near you or schedule a pick up!