Keeping up appearances12 April 2022
Belgrave Premium Dry Cleaning believes a delicate touch is the magic ingredient for cleaning expensive items
With three branches based in London, Belgrave Premium Dry Cleaning knows a lot about professionally cleaning premium garments and textiles. Set up as a family busines in 1991 and now owned and managed by Jafar Alfouadi, Belgrave sets high standards, both in terms of cleaning and service, going the extra mile to show customers they really do care about each individual garment.
Appearance really is everything for this launderer, where Alfouadi and his team believe customers’ clothes represent their character, their ambitions and their self-worth.
Consideration for the environment is also a high priority and earlier this year Alfouadi converted one of his drycleaning machines to HiGlo, as an alternative to Perc. The main factor being that it’s a more environmentally-friendly solvent but also that is allows improved safe cleaning of delicate items.
“Ninety per cent of the garments and items we handle are delicate,” says Alfouadi. “Most are expensive, designer items such as Burberry, Christian Dior, Channel as we cater to a wealthy clientele that includes many celebrities. We need to be confident that the chemicals we are using are safe and that the end result is the best it can be.”
Out of the three branches, in Belgravia, Blackfriars and Westminster, the Belgravia shop is the busiest. There is also a central laundry facility that handles items from all branches which, over the period of a month, processes around 280 machine loads of dry cleaning. Along with clothing, they also treat shoes, bags and other leather goods and hand finish most items.
The laundry offers wetcleaning, pressing and a tailoring service, dealing mainly with private customers for whom they offer a pickup and delivery service. It also handles garment testing work for famous designer brands.
“HiGlo is softer on garments, providing you use the correct detergents and know what you are doing. Hemant Zavery from Cole & Wilson spent three days training my staff. Training is key to the success of our business, my team are all highly trained and experienced in dealing with every type of fabric. Attention to detail is crucial.”
HiGlo leaves textiles with a smooth, soft touch, due to limited pilling and roughening and an added fullness along with a neutral smell. It is essentially a gentle solvent that is tough on stains but not on the fabric itself and works well on delicate garments with beads, sequins and trimmings, making it a very versatile option for the modern dry cleaner. Handling process times are also reduced, less time required for finishing means more garments can be turned around in a day.
"The garment industry is changing," comments Alfouadi. "It is becoming more complex in many ways. Textiles, chemicals, meeting environmental goals. Sadly, there are people out there who don’t necessarily have the experience and know-how and give the industry a bad name.”