CTDA Houston

I just returned from Houston and a gathering of the Custom Tailors and Designers Association. It’s the oldest trade organization in the United States and Top Shelf has been a member for decades.

It was a great experience to share knowledge with many of the finest custom clothiers and suppliers to the trade. The conference included a trip to one of the largest dry cleaning operations in North America (MW Cleaners), and a keynote presentation by Christopher White, executive director of America’s Best Cleaners. The global view of dry cleaning trends, changes in chemical processing, and the implications for care of ultra fine fabrics was something that every seller of fine custom clothing should be mandated to understand to assist the end users in finding a quality cleaner, and taking care of their clothing investments. Many of the most prestigious mills and manufacturers in the world invite Mr. White and his company to visit and test the newest fabrics and advise on the care labels and special instructions necessary to successfully clean their materials.

The implications of Green Clean marketing and other new cleaning agents, the fragmentation and now consolidation of the dry cleaning business was discussed. The trends in how frequently garments were being cleaned. Surprisingly, the nation wide efforts that have banned smoking in restaurants and public places have had a lot of impact on people needed to clean suits and jackets more often.

Developing more cooperation between tailors and dry cleaners was a much discussed topic, instead of the adversarial finger pointing that occurs when a problem occurs during the cleaning process.

More to follow…