Chevy Chase, MD: America’s Best Cleaners’ Washington, DC affiliate, Parkway Custom Drycleaning, recently teamed up with Textiles Conservation Services to clean and conserve two of America’s most celebrated sports textile treasures for the newly opened Sports Legends Museum and The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore.
Parkway Custom Drycleaning, located at 8402 Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, MD, meticulously hand cleaned both the silk kimono given to baseball icon Babe Ruth during the 1934 American All-Star tour in Japan, as well as a handmade Baltimore Orioles banner that dates back to 1895. The banner was a gift to the team from a fan after the Orioles won the championship that year.
“What an exciting opportunity to be able to work on Babe Ruth’s favorite kimono and an 1895 Orioles Banner in my on-going collaboration with Textiles Conservation Services,” said the owner of Parkway Custom
Drycleaning and an American’s Best Cleaners Advisory Board Member Jon Simon. “Both pieces were carefully hand cleaned and hand finished due to their delicate condition and the exacting procedure required in the treatment of such fragile one-of-a-kind artifacts. We had to treat each piece in different phases, color testing the dyes and different fabrics, working on them for hours and then allowing them to air dry completely.”
Parkway Custom Drycleaning worked in conjunction with Julia Brennan of Textile Conservation Services, www.caringfortextiles.com, on the project. Brennan, an internationally recognized textile conservator,
oversaw the cleaning and then skillfully executed all the repairs to both the kimono and the banner. In total, the testing, cleaning and restoration of these celebrated American artifacts took more than two
months to complete.
“Julia brought her expertise in conservation treatments, while Parkway provided the wet and dry cleaning capability. Through our combined skills and efforts, we brought life back into these important artifacts
so that they can be appreciated by generations to come,” said Simon.
“Again Parkway proves they are the best of the best,” said Brennan. “Jon’s meticulous care, his understanding of fragile irreplaceable textiles and his wealth of technical knowledge, gives me the confidence
to entrust him with some of the most challenging conservation projects I ever work on.”
America’s Best Cleaners is a national organization that strives to locate and recognize the best dry-cleaning establishments in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States. Affiliates are the
top-performers in the areas of fabric and stain identification, garment construction, and color fastness.
Members of this organization know how to properly clean and finish garments, no matter what type of fabric, stains, dyes, construction, or establishment they may have. After being properly cleaned, every garment is expertly finished and pressed, thoroughly inspected, and carefully packaged to ensure a safe return to its client’s closet.
Before a dry cleaner can become a member of the exclusive America’s Best Cleaners group, it has to meet a number of specific criteria such as being able to clean and preserve wedding gowns, offer fine apparel storage, be a full-service cleaner, offer hand-finished service, provide pick-up and delivery services to home and/or office, have the capacity to ship anywhere, and offer emergency service.
There are currently 25 accredited America’s Best Cleaners (www.americasbestcleaners.com) in the country located in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Boston. There’s also an international
affiliate in Paris. In the immediate future, America’s Best Cleaners hopes to have at least 50 to 60 major Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) represented.