23 August 2010

The Kent CR8

Years ago I was in a monthly staff meeting when a sales manager begged a group of us to trust him. My big mouth shot out, "I trust two people. Me and my wife." A crusty old timer sitting next to me laughed, "One outta two ain't bad."

Dry cleaning a two piece suit in Manhattan can run upwards of $20 and who's to know someone didn't just throw it on a hanger and cover it with, "Thank You For Your Business !" plastic. Hey, I'm not a trusting guy - - Certainly not in this town.

About ten years ago I started brushing my suits and coats with a brush. The idea is to knock the crap out of the fibers rather than sending them to be dry cleaned - - A brutal way to clean a suit and a great way to shorten a suit's life. Take a look in your trouser cuffs and you'll have a pretty good idea just how much dirt wool can pick up.

Any clothes brush will do but the Kent CR8 is such a beautiful piece of history and wood and it should last a couple generations. Beautiful to look at and to hold - it reminds me that sometimes all you need is a simple tool. Just like that sales manager.


WendyB said...

I'm desperately looking for a new dry cleaner in NYC...someone I can trust! And it definitely isn't Madame Paulette. She and I don't have a good relationship.

Family Man said...

I have my great-grandfather's hat brush, given to me by his son, my grandfather. In addition to using it to clean my hats with, I also use it as a clothes brush. An indispensible part of personal haberdashery.

Cheaper than cleaning, and less time-consuming, too.

Of course, it doesn't have the appeal of the brushes sold at "The Brush Project." Their ergonomic handles are made of exotic woods like mahogany, striped ebony, koa, and curly maple, and their bristles are made of rare meerkat whiskers. They say their brushes are "heirloom quality"; for the price, they'd better be.

tintin said...

Wendy B-
I know what you mean. I've had decent luck with J's Cleaners. High end for a fair price. I'm betting Alice Olive knows a decent dry cleaner - she may wanna chime in here.

Family Man- Sounds like a beautiful brush. Head and shoulders over The Brush Project.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Brushing is a perfect act of suit maintanence. If we lived in a different era we would have a Valet to do it for us...but alas...

Unknown said...

Hi Wendy,
Do you accept advertising on your site? If so, can you get back to me with rates info when you are available?


Brummagem Joe said...

Taking suits to the dry cleaner is a sentence of death for them. A steamer and a good brush are all you need. My brush came from Taylors in Jermyn street and I've been using it for years. It doesn't look quite nice as the Kent one but has exactly the same silk hanging cord.

tintin said...

Main Line- Cheap too. Which is what really appeals to me.

Helena- What are you advertising?

Joe-The steamer and trouser press to follow here.

Anonymous said...

The worst thing about dry cleaning is the chemical used in the process. It's called "perc" which is an abbreviation for word I can't spell and don't need to. What I can spell is C-A-N-C-E-R, which has been tied to exposure to perc. The California EPA lists it as one of the 10 most toxic chemicals posing a threat to the environment. It is baaaad stuff. So avoid it at all costs, and when you do need to have something dry cleaned (commercial wet cleaning is better and available) immediately remove the plastic bag when you get home and air out your duds before putting 'em in your closet. Oh, yeah, love the brush.