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    National Clothesline



Scenes from a cleaners

Before becoming owners of Apthorp Cleaners of New York City, both Debra and Joel Kravet worked in the textile decorative industry — Debra in Atlanta and Joel in New York for his family’s longstanding business, Kravet Fabrics. As a textile salesperson who worked directly with architects and designers, Debra really had to learn about all of the fabrics inside and out.

DLI plans webinar on ERTC program update

The Drycleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI) will host a one-hour webinar called “Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) Update: Even More Available Through Non-Revenue Qualifiers.” It is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 15. While most business owners are well aware of the ERTC program and the benefits it provides, a large number of businesses are not taking full advantage of all the funds that could be made available to them through it

Deadline nears for Cleaners Showcase 2023

Next month, Dallas, TX, will play host to the drycleaning indsutry when the Southwest Drycleaners Association (SDA) hosts Cleaners Showcase 2023 at the Westin Irving Convention Center. For those planning on attending, that means time is quickly running out before the April 4 hotel reservation deadline at the Westin Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, the headquarters hotel for the event.

TCATA looks to Renew and Reconnect this June

The Textile Allied Care Trades Association (TCATA) will head to Scottdale, AZ, this June to host its 2023 Annual Management and Educational Conference. This year’s theme is “Renew and Reconnect.” “As your chairperson for the 2023 TCATA conference, I am privileged to have a front row seat to all of the hard work that is being done to make this conference the best that it can be,” said Rusty Smith, president of Forenta.

NCALC heads to Atlantic Beach this May

This Memorial Day weekend, the North Carolina Association of Launderers and Cleaners (NCALC) will host its annual convention in Atlantic Beach, NC. The event will begin on the evening of Friday, May 26 with a 6:30 p.m. informal welcome dinner and conclude on Sunday evening with a 6:30 p.m. informal closing dinner. Other plans on the schedule include a Saturday morning networking breakfast with exhibitors at 7:30 a.m. and NCALC board committee and general membership meetings will begin at 8 a.m.

A visual guide for improving pressing skills

by Don Derosiers

Don Derosiers

In my travels and during my interactions with plant owners and managers, there is one subject (at least) that I have never covered in this column. I’m not apologizing for that. It is a genuine challenge to teach someone how to improve their pressing skills by merely tapping keys on a laptop computer. However, with the help of photos and videos, I think that I can present a few tips that will make a significant difference. So, with the goal of teaching in mind, I got on my own shirt press and asked my customer service manager to play the role of cameraman and the following is what we came up with.

Monitoring your compressed air system IV

by Bruce Grossman

Bruce Grossman

Last month I covered the correct piping for compressed air systems. This month I’ll be talking about other components in the compressed air system that remove water from the air stream. First, a quick note about air and temperature: The hotter the air, the more water vapor it can hold. As the air cools, this water vapor condenses into liquid water. Liquid water in compressed air systems is a contaminant stripping away helpful lubricants, degrading rubber and plastic parts, and corroding and rusting metal components.

Five strategies to find your replacement

by Kermit Engh

Kermit Engh

I was making a presentation to a group last week, presenting the Eight drivers of Value from the Value Builders’ platform. The group had a large spread of ages with some looking for an exit strategy now, and other years away. The usual question came up: “What if I am not ready or interested in selling in the near term?”

My response was: “Then you will have a more valuable and profitable business in the meantime. Either way, it is a win/win.”

Bleeding dyes: preventions and cures

by Dan Eisen

Dan Eisen

There have been numerous bleeding dye problems reported with spandex-blended fabrics consisting of rayon and polyester. Spandex is an elastic yarn similar to rubber, but consists of polyurethane. It is used to give fabrics better fit and wearability. Spandex-blended fabrics may consist of rayon or polyester, or both. The dyes on polyester and rayon are usually stable to both drycleaning and wetcleaning when not blended with spandex.

The keys to making good hiring decisions

by Frank Kollman

Frank Kollman

It turns out that my firm is hiring right now for an upper level staff position. We had six interviews scheduled for this week based on hiring guidelines that appear below. Two cancelled, one did not show up, two seemed like possible candidates following their interviews (but for entirely different reasons), and the final interview is tomorrow. You have my sympathy. In the past, we have used recruitment agencies as well as undertaken the search ourselves, as we are doing now. While very useful, recruitment agencies typically charge more than 30% of the first-year salary for their services, and if the person leaves following the minimum length of service provided for in the recruitment agreement with the agency, there is no refund of that fee. Then again, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Take advantage of industry networking

by Peter Blake

Peter Blake

One of the keys to growing any business is effective networking. I think it is as important for me as an association executive as it is for you as an entrepreneur.

Fortunately, this industry’s organizations and associations offer a multitude of programs to allow cleaners to connect, and they have been a tremendous resource for both membership and leadership.

What to do when the c-word creeps in

by James Peuster

Peter Blake

It’s 2023 and I think we all are sick of the C-word. For the past two years, we couldn’t get past saying it in any part of our conversation. However, now it had led to the newest pandemic of all: complacency. From your front counter to your route driver to production, as well as management — we all have gotten a little too loose in our drive to build the business. Instead, many decisions are being made based on employees wants, not company’s needs.


Remind your customers how far laundry has come

Most drycleaners probably do not need to be reminded that National Drycleaning Day takes place this month — a day set aside to celebrate a science that was discovered 202 years ago when Thomas L. Jennings was granted a patent (Patent x3306) on March 3, 1821 for his process called “dry scouring.” Jennings was the first African-American ever to be awarded a patent; he had been born a free man in New York three decades prior, making it possible. He apprenticed with one of the city’s finest tailors at a young age before opening his own shop at the age of 19.

Digital Flipbook Version



Obituary - Bill Luse, former president of TCATA

William “Bill” Luse, a past president of the Textile Care Allied Trades Association, passed away at his home on Feb. 24. He was 95 years old. Luse was born on Aug. 7, 1927, in Springfield, OH, and was a graduate of Harding High School, before he attended the Ohio State University. He also served in the Navy during World War II before he married Donna Ruth Clark in 1949. Luse was the owner and operator of the first laundromat in Marion County – Half Hour Laundry.

Seitz celebrates its 25th anniversary in North America

Seitz, The Fresher Company, celebrates its 25th anniversary in North America this month. It was on March 28, 1998 when Seitz GmbH opened its first subsidiary in Tampa, FL.

The company recently announced, “As we celebrate our 25th anniversary in North America, we would like to thank our customers, distributors, industry partners and the Seitz team members for their loyalty and support.”

ABC announces certification of Charleston Prestige Cleaners

America’s Best Cleaners (ABC) recently announced the official national certification of new affiliate Charleston Prestige Cleaners of South Carolina, a business originally founded in 1967 that has long prided itself on excellent cleaning quality and preservation expertise.

M&B Hangers announces promotions

M&B Hangers recently announced a pair of promotions: Mack Magnus now becomes president and John Thomas is now vice president.

IPDL to host March Education Extravaganza

In March, the Illinois Professional Drycleaners and Launderers (IPDL) will host a new event — “Education Extravaganza 2023” — at Sankosha’s facilities located in Elk Grove Village, IL. It will be the first educational event presented by the association since 2019.

Obituary - Paul Osterhage, co-founder of Fabritec

Paul “Oz” Osterhage, co-founder of Fabritec International, passed away at the age of 71 on Jan. 1, 2023, following a seven-month battle with esophageal cancer. “Paul started with my dad, Al Jordan, in founding Fabritec in 1977,” noted John “J.J.” Jordan, president of Fabritec International. “For over 45 years, he served as chief accountant and office leader. Paul was a key part of the success of Fabritec and the Sanitone division.”

Obituary - Joel Hardy Dampier of Phenix Supply

Joel Hardy Dampier of Fayetteville, GA, passed away on Nov. 22, 2022, at the age of 86. Early in life, he attended Riverdale First Baptist Church and then Harps Crossing Baptist Church of Fayetteville. He was also a U.S. Army veteran and a member of the Riverdale Masonic Lodge #709.

Obituary - Mark Watkins

Born in 1947 to Tommy and Betty Watkins, Mark Watkins hailed from the city of Birmingham, AL.

He went on to start Mark’s Quality Cleaners there in 1981 and serve as a long-time board member of the South Eastern Fabricare Association (SEFA) and the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI).

Stites announces retirement from Unipress

After 37 years with Unipress, Tom Stites has decided to retire.

Jury awards $60m in Modesto verdicts against Dow Chemicals

Since 1998, the city of Modesto, California, has engaged in a series of lawsuits against Dow Chemical and PPG Industries for selling tetrachloroethylene (perc) to drycleaners across the city – a product attributed to causing the contamination of the soil and groundwater at 23 former plant locations. In mid-October, the 24-year-old case took a step forward when a 12-member jury hit Dow Chemicals and PPG Industries with a $4 million verdict in damages to Modesto for cleanup costs of one site at 409 Seventh St.

SDA Cleaners Showcase 2023 announces exhibitor perks

Exhibitors still have until the end of the year to reserve a booth price at 20% off for the Southwest Drycleaners Association’s (SDA) Cleaners Showcase, which will take place at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, TX, from April 28 to 30, 2023.