Couture Cleaning & Care

Proper care for modern and vintage couture should be as unique as the item itself. The special combination of fibers, finishes, and construction that makes your ensemble so special demands expert attention in the cleaning and conservation process. At J. Scheer & Co., our knowledge of collection care is strengthened by our appreciation for couture construction and design. Our expert conservators brings the highest standards to each project employing methods developed from our professional cleaning expertise, ongoing training in new conservation techniques, and collaborative relationships with the custodians of the finest museum collections of 20th-century couture.

Each couture item undergoes an extensive examination that culminates in a detailed condition report and treatment plan. More than just cleaning, our conservators mend rips or tears, strengthen weak areas, and provide other intervention as needed so that every inch of fabric will fall just right. Our respect for the delicacy of fine fabric, for the art of design, and for the craftsmanship of construction ensure that your couture ensemble will receive the best, most appropriate care to protect its safety and integrity.

fabric with a measuring tape
“I completely trust J.Scheer & Co. to restore my finest gowns. They are unsurpassed in the art of gown preservation.”
Taking proper care of couture – modern or vintage – safeguards its beauty and value. If left untreated, even minimal soiling can compromise the integrity of fibers, making proper cleaning essential to the longevity of any textile. Our many years of collaboration with museum professionals and caring for extraordinary public collections of iconic clothing makes us a trusted source for conservation cleaning of your most exquisite attire.

Special Garments Have Special Needs

Our process begins with a complete examination and documentation of your garment. We analyze fibers, structures, and dyes, note the composition of any ornaments and fastenings, and document any damage. We use laboratory testing techniques to identify stains and spills because different substances affect fabric chemistry differently.

Using the condition report as a guide, our team will create a specialized plan for cleaning and repairs. While dry cleaning may be appropriate for some textiles, it is harmful to others. The array of luxurious fibers and finishes found in a couture garment require specialized cleansing agents. Standard dry-cleaning solvents cause glues and other common adherents to dissolve, and beads and buttons made of certain plastics to discolor. Aqueous, or water-based solutions can cause some dress fabrics or linings to shrink. Neighborhood dry cleaners rarely possess the expertise and training that conservation cleaning preservation demands. Our laboratory incorporates a full range of cleaning technologies and is outfitted with water based and organic solvent cleaning systems to meet the needs of the most complex and intricately made wearable textiles. In depth testing allows us to make informed decisions, which enables us to eliminate the risk of damage during cleaning. We consistently deliver successful outcomes.

women in pink jacket

More Than Just Cleaning

Cleaning is not the only element of caring for fine apparel. We return your items to you in the best condition possible. This includes having insect-damaged fabric rewoven if necessary and re-stitching open seams or loose embellishments. We hand iron each piece so that it looks exactly as it should. We offer both hanging and folded options for safe transportation and storage.

​At J. Scheer & Co., we know you are trusting us with your finest garments, and we take seriously our responsibility to provide the best and safest treatment. Our joy is supporting you in enjoying your couture wardrobe for years to come.