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A Long Tradition of Garment Preservation

We all know Widmer’s as your friendly, high-quality neighborhood dry cleaner with over 100 years of history in Cincinnati. But did you know that every day, Widmer’s helps to preserve the nation’s history with its expertise in garment restoration?

It is not only local families trusting Widmer’s with heirloom garments such as Grandmother’s wedding gown. Museums and archivists from all over the country send fragile, decades-old and sometimes even centuries-old garments to the experts at Widmer’s for cleaning, repair, and preservation. In fact, Widmer’s has actually restored garments over 200 years old! Widmer’s has the distinction of having worked on the garments of notable figures in American history, as well.

So, how do they do it?

Each Piece Handled with the Utmost Care

Once an historical garment has arrived at Widmer’s huge restoration and storage facility (one of the largest in the country), the Widmer’s restoration team begins with a meticulous inspection process. Each antique garment is inspected for strength, stains, and overall condition. Because of the intricate detail required in the restoration process, it can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks before the garment is ready to be returned to its owner.

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A Gentle Clean for Irreplaceable Treasures

After inspection, the cleaning process begins. Water and different cleaning agents are used to gently remove soil, fluids, and stains without damaging the delicate natural fibers of an antique piece of clothing. Depending on the type of fabric (historical garments do not contain synthetics), be it wool, cotton, muslin, or silk, the right cleaning process is selected. All garments are left to air dry, and are never subjected to tumble dry or other modern drying methods. This ensures the fibers, shape, and integrity of the garment remains intact.

Repairs to Restore and Keep the Original Look

Next on the list is garment repair. Loose threads, holes, moth-eaten sections, and tears are addressed by Widmer’s expert repair team. Antique garments are hand-sewn for detail, and to preserve the look and feel of their original method of manufacture. When complete, each garment is packaged in acid-free paper, without its material coming in contact with itself, to prevent rubbing and potential fraying. At this point, the garment is on its way back to its owner or ready to be picked up.

Garment Storage Down to a Science

For the garments that are stored at Widmer’s, the temperature is kept constant and moisture away to keep clothing in pristine condition. Many Widmer’s customers choose to store either antique garments or seasonal fur at Widmer’s, especially during the summer months, to ensure their longevity and safekeeping away from sunlight, damp, temperature changes, and moths.

Widmer’s Continues a Long, Distinctive Tradition

Widmer’s is proud to offer garment restoration services for museums, living history exhibits, and its local customers down the street. Whether it is a coat worn by a former president, or your own wedding gown you want preserved, Widmer’s handles each garment gingerly, with precision and expertise. By never cutting corners in its garment restoration process, Widmer’s ensures its customers the finest version of your antique clothing to enjoy for many years to come.

Widmer’s Cleaners has over 100 years of gown preservation experience. Our unique preservation process ensures your gown’s beauty and integrity for many years to come. 

PICK-UP AND DELIVERY – Call (513) 321-5100 – OR – Bring Your Clothing (or Wedding Dress)  to Any of Our Locations!