Michael Norman dry cleaning (previously Press2Dress)

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*Michael now has a basic website with contact details at www.mnbespoke.com*

There are precious few dry cleaners out there that understand bespoke tailoring.

They are likely to clean suits in bulk, with everything going into the vat together and no attention to delicate materials.

The biggest issue is pressing though: they don't appreciate the 3D nature of a bespoke collar, shoulder and lapel, and will often press everything flat, ruining the glorious roll of that front edge.

This was my experience with Jeeves of Belgravia (despite being cleaners to the Royal family), and I hear it hasn't improved since they were acquired by Timpson's.

I have highlighted a few specialists over the years on Permanent Style, that do understand bespoke. One is Stephen Haughton of Burford Valet, the majority of whose work is valeting and who also does a lot of shoe polish and repair work.

And another, who I know has received a lot of work from Permanent Style readers over the years, is Michael Norman.

Michael used to run a dry cleaners called Press2Dress in south London.

Last year, he left the business and set out on his own, moving off the high street and putting his equipment in a new facility.

From here, he is now offering collection and appointment services.

Michael and Betty (pictured) deal only in high-end and luxury pieces such as bespoke tailoring for men, military dress, and designer pieces for women like Chanel. They also do bridal wear and upholstery.

As regards tailoring, Michael offers dry cleaning, which is all done individually and as lightly as possible, and a sponge and press service.

The latter is rarely offered by dry cleaners today, as it requires so much individual attention to the garment - examining it minutely and cleaning off light dirt, before pressing the item again.

Dry cleaning will always shorten the life of a garment, and is therefore worth avoiding wherever possible. I'm happy to leave this decision up to Michael on a piece-by-piece basis, but you can make your own requests.

In general I'd recommend dry cleaning a suit once a year (before it is put away for storage, if that is something you do).

Of course this depends on how and how frequently the suit is worn. Given the size of my wardrobe, a simple sponge and press might be all that is required each year, and at most one such treatment on top of the yearly clean.

Michael's prices are below. He is currently offering free collection and delivery within London.

There is no standard delivery service outside of London, but it is worth contacting him if you're interested.

His email is [email protected] and phone is 07941155277. He doesn't have a website.

I particularly like recommending good service people here on Permanent Style, so if anyone else has someone they'd recommend in any area, please let me know.

Others I have recommended (with links to relevant posts) are:

  • Tailoring alterations: Graham Browne
  • Shoe repairs: Kokos (East Finchley) and Tony's Shoe Repair (St James's)
  • Leather alterations and repairs: Cromford
  • Knitwear alterations and repairs: Love Cashmere

Michael Norman Dry cleaning

Two-piece suit……………………………    £45.00

Jacket……………………………………         £27.00

Trousers……………………………….          £22.00

Skirt ....................................................£20.00

Overcoat……………………………….          £50.00

Raincoat………………………………..         £60.00

Necktie…………………………………          £15.00

Knitwear……………………………….          £20.00

Waistcoat  ……………………………           £18.00

Day dress……………………………             £36.00

Evening dress………………………..          £60.00

Ski outfit……………………………….          £60.00

Cotton shirt…………………………...         £7.50

Silk shirt/blouse……………………           £17.50

Sponge & Press as above less 20%

                        

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Matt

Is it possible / advisable to try sponging and pressing a suit yourself?

I’m not sure I fancy a 7 hour round trip to London every time I need a suit cleaned!

John

Someone has to broach the subject of more invasive, last-resort, extreme cleaning techniques, so let it be me.

I’m talking of those accidents on the way home from a particularly convivial and fluid dinner. Unless you’re standing up and doubled over, you’re likely to get the stuff all over your short front, your tie and your lapels.

You can wait for it to dry and then scrape off the solid bits, but the only way to get rid of the rest (and the gagging smell) is to soak the front of the jacket. Wool is wool. It can be soaked and dried, and the fibres thoroughly cleaned.

So far, so good. The tricky bit is reshaping the affected parts of the jacket. Here’s where careful pressing comes in. The fibres are likely to have stretched after your soaking and drying (cold water only, but you know this). You need to apply dry heat so they shrink again in the right places. You should be able to restore the roll of the lapel.

It can be done. Is the jacket damaged irreparably? Possibly. But the same would happen if you were caught out in the monsoon rain or something.

Fergus

I use a steam cleaner. My wife got one for her clothes (women’s clothes are often tricky to iron), and it turns out to be incredibly useful for anything linen, wool, silk.. Brush off the dirt/dust, spot clean if necessary and then stream it flat.

https://www.philips.co.uk/c-p/GC524_66/easytouch-plus-garment-steamer

Hristo

Hello Fergus,

steam cleaners can ruin the form that is acchieved thorugh shrinking and stretchning pressing procedures in bespoke tailoring.
You can check this post for further information:
http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.de/2008/11/vital-importance-of-pressing.html
Best regards
Hristo

P.S. On the topic of tips for maintaining clothes. I am still unable to find a good place for shoe repairment in Munich. I have tried both Münchener Schuhwerkstätten GmbH and Schuhmanufaktur Danis and I am not particularly satisfied with the results (sole replacements). If somebody has some tips, please comment.

Fergus

thanks Hristo, that’s quite an eye opener!

Anonymous

Send shoes back to the original manufacturer for resolves…

Dave Carter

I understand that when you give your shoes to the original manufacturer in London they typically use Koko’s rather than their own factory.

Adam Jones

There is some truth to this. Several Northampton brands use them for minor repairs, toe taps etc but usually full re-crafts go back to the factory (although Kokos do excellent re soles) I know Crockett and Jones & church did use them among others, and probably still do. I use Tony’s in crown passage now but have used Kokos before. Their work is excellent and at quite a reasonable price too.

Hristo

Well sending shoes from Germany to USA for example would add high shipping costs to the equation and would prolong the procedure. 🙁

S

Simon,

I see you mentioning Jeeves of Belgravia providing their services to the Royal Family. Presumably they are only providing to the Royal Household (servants etc) and the Family themselves have valets taking care of this? I am fairly sure that the generations from Charles and upwards do at least.

S

HRH stalker

If one of HRH’s servants must press out toothpaste on the HRH toothbrush every morning,
HRH were not about to ruin
his suit jackets by letting Jeeves iron out their collar roll.

Anonymous

On the subject of alteration I thought I remembered you mentioning atelier colpani. how does there service compare to Graham Browne’s ?

Andy

Hi Simon….. or any readers that can help,

Any recommendations on Leather specialist cleaning?

Thanks

Scott

I instruct my dry cleaners to steam my suit or jacket,unless stains are noticed, and then use a soft press. This has worked very well, but finding a quality cleaner that is willing to do this is tricky.

Anonymous

Simon,
I tend to get spare pairs of trousers when I buy a suit.
If you’re having a suit dry cleaned would you always clean the second pair of trousers at the same time (if you have one)? Is that necessary to avoid differences in colour or wear even if one pair of trousers doesn’t obviously need it?

Anonymous

A very good alteration service in Richmond Upon Thames is (the always busy) New Stitches, the tailor Adam is a trained tailor from a family of tailors. One of the regular readers (Inkster or Rabster) mentioned Classic Shoe Repairs in Islington – reccomended by Manolo Blahnik, and servicing McQueen, Blahnik, Jimmy Choo etc. Roberts of Surbiton is also an excellent dry cleaners – unlike many Robert will not flatten jackets but finish with a lapel roll – discuss when depositing suit. P.S. Thanks for opening this up Simon…not on topic but it would be fun to further it to reccomendations re. barbers and other personal service providers (many of which seem to be around St James, Jermyn St etc.).

Steven Yi

Does any one know of a good specialty dry cleaner in the San Francisco/East Bay area?

Myk Ynion

Peninou does a good job.

Winot

I have to say that I haven’t had any problems with Jeeves of Belgravia (apart from a hole in a shirt once). I use their shirt service which is expensive but very good, and I have also started getting them to store my suits off season. They pick up and deliver to my office so it’s all pretty convenient.

Winot

Yes they clean and press suits before storing them. No problems to date with flattening roll on lapels etc.

Sartorius

My experience has been that their pick up and delivery service is hopeless outside central London. I live in SW13 and although they cover my area they only have one driver, who is very inflexible – he will only pick up and drop off within a 1 – 2 hour window on the same (one) day each week. It seems this is because he is covering the whole of west London on his own and so has to follow a specific route each day. I’ve asked Jeeves if they plan to offer more flexibility but it seems not. (And as a sidebar, they are also now refusing to dry clean certain brands, such as Loro Piana.)

Matthew Brown

In terms of other service providers, I strongly recommend British Invisble Mending, in Thayer Street W1. They have fixed a couple of snags etc. on jackets for me in the past, and recently fixed a very challenging inch-wide hole in a complex tweed jacket for me – 100% invisible and, frankly, miraculous.

Karsten

Hi Simon,

it’s right that maintenance can easily become an issue. Since it doesn’t seem to be easy to find specialists even in London you’d probably can imagine how difficult this is in much smaller cities, especially in Germany where I live. I was facing unbelievable problems with cleaners, starting from putting creases in trousers right next to the original creases over the well known flat pressing of jacket fronts up to ironing linen suits without using a layer between the iron and the fabric which results with a nice shiny linen surface. It’s a real bother! In particular when one spent some time and money to get dressed properly and the garments get damaged or ruined by “maintainers”. Over the time I got tired of such surprises and gave up to look for a proper cleaning service or tell them how to do their work. I rather started to learn how to press jackets and suits in order to do this on my own and letting them do only the dry cleaning.

Karsten

marilyn berk

Hi Simon,

For shoe repairs I’ve found Brodie’s , 88A Cleveland Street, brilliant!

Juan Manuel

Hi, Simon and all of you, gentlemen!
Funny you mention Jeeves of Belgravia.. I was.. disappointed the first (and only) time I tried them time ago. Really sad…

Glad to know there are better options…

Cheers!

Anonymous

Recently used JoB (St Paul’s branch) to dry clean a suit. Didn’t want to give it to my local high dry cleaner as this was one of my better suits, albeit MTM. It was a of a fine Loro Piana cloth which needed delicate hands. It was pressed well enough but in certain light I can now see that the fabric appears to have minute scuff marks which are noticeable under certain lighting conditions. Difficult to prove if this was a result of their service but in any case, I had not noticed this during my inspection of the suit before I handed it in.

I’m sure that Michael’s customers probably service multiple garments in one go but just wondering if he has a minimum order for his collection service? I suspect my wardrobe is not as extensive as some PS readers’.

Max

Simon,

Very helpful post for those that dread the dry cleaners. Do you have any tips for bringing a lapel that has been flattened like a pancake back to life?

Regards

Max

Michael Norman

I can do that for you Max,
No lapel should be flat but only rolled I see this time and time again frankly it’s a discrace

Philip Kitley

Dear Simon, thanks for your blog which I enjoy reading. Your post about dry cleaning made me reflect on how you care for your extensive wardrobe. How do you protect your beautiful woollen suits from dust and insect damage? Do you sir your clothes regularly? Do you rely on chemical protection? I’m sure many of us would appreciate information on how to care and store our clothing.

Sartorius

I’ve used Michael a couple of times recently, for dry cleaning and some repairs and alterations, and I can heartily recommend him. The service has been excellent and pick up and delivery very flexible (including evenings and weekends).

So thank you, Michael (and also to Simon, for a great find and recommendation).

ANM

A book I read upon entering the professional world suggested that an hour long steam on a good hanger was 95% of what most suits/jackets required.

Run the shower (to get the water aerated and raise the humidity), fill the tub, and let the water sit, with the suit(s) hung on the curtain rack. Close the door, don’t run the fan, and leave for an hour.

I have been doing this for years and my suits appear “fresh”. The original form even returns (creases removed, and a great collar – roll is restored)

Jay

Will Boehlke, Alex Kabbaz, Kirby Anderson, me, etc, all use, reccommend Stu Bloom, of RAVE FabriCARE in Scottsdale, AZ, who serves folk world-wide who only trust RAVE to clean textiles, refurbish leather handbags, shoes, gloves:
http://ravefabricare.com/
They do it all, if you want the best–even by mail, pkg shippers, RAVE does special pkging to keep garments nice in return to you.
Though I personally know Stu, I have have no material interest in his business, nor get any compensation for this endorsement. I pay full $ like everyone else, but it’s worth it if you want proper cleaning, finishing of your stuff.

JAY

In re-reading comments to your Dry Cleaning post, I find I mis-cited one of the vendors in mine–ie, one s/be Kirby ALLISON,
( https://www.hangerproject.com/ ), not as I cited initially. If you can edit that, or post this revision, it’d be appreciated. In fact, here he is doing a YouTube review of RAVE:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml5hqowNc5U
If you want to update the URL for RAVE that I cited, maybe this link is better-keeping w/the bespoke, MTM ideas expressed:
http://ravefabricare.com/services/bespoke-made-to-measure-garments/
RAVE can be used toclean, restore garment @end-of-season, & do sponge & press during, as needed.
Thx, Mr Crompton.

Omar

Thanks so much for this recommendation, particularly since it can frequently be so difficult to find reliable people in London. Michael cleaned three suits for me last week and delivered them on Saturday. He’s really easy to deal with, very knowledgeable, and you can tell that he cares a lot about what he’s doing. That’s all you can ask for, I think.

Anonymous

How do they treat the shirts? Is it with a flat press, which we know doesn’t work for floating collars?

Michael Norman

By hand only nicer on a flat press or shirt machine

Edward

Hi, Simon. Do you have some recommendation fro jeans alteration in London? I know a tailor named Denim Doctor in Manchester, it’s just good, but I prefer tailors in London.

Bill

Pardon my limited knowledge, but I wonder what is the difference between dry clean and Sponge&Press. Moreover, I have a British warm overcoat with an obvious stain on it at the moment, I wonder if it is better to sponge & press or dry clean.
Many thanks, Bill

MIWH

Off the back of this article, I was encouraged to ask Michael to take care of two of my suits – one that had never seen the inside of a drycleaners, such is my paranoia of the havoc they can wreak.

Happy to report that the results were excellent – in particular my Fox Flannel chalk-stripe, restored to almost as-new condition. Michael picked up the suits from Canary Wharf, and return them back to me one week later – all included in the price. He clearly loves his work and provides a very good service.

Oliver in Sutton

Michael’s service is outstanding. His attention to detail and practice knowledge is brilliant – he knows exactly how to deal with my most valuable items. In a world of dry cleaners that simply bung your suits and shirts in a machine and then press them at an overly-high heat without a second thought, Michael is a refreshing experience – I have absolute faith that he will always take care of my clothes.

An absolute gem – thanks to Simon for the recommendation.

Tony

I am looking at water based cleaning offerd by https://blancliving.co/pages/eco-friendly-dry-cleaning?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3_iy48qC3AIV7bvtCh3NPwW7EAAYASAAEgJ9U_D_BwE
They say that they can clean all garments including wool suits

Michael Norman

I would not be recommending a Bespoke Suit in the wet clean system

Michael Norman

Personally I would not use Wet Cleaning for a Bespoke Suit, being a relatively new concept, special tension finishing equipment is required to ensure that the operative pulls the garment back into shape. While wet cleaning does have it’s place in the industry not every item benefits using this process.

Anonymous

Michael recently dry cleaned several suits of mine, including an Anderson and Sheppard flannel which came back with more evenly pressed trousers than when originally pressed. Details like this are why it’s so great to work with Michael, whom I cannot recommend highly enough.

M

I’ve had a couple of people recommend Michael and I wanted to add my very positive experience to the conversation.

My suits came back perfectly dry cleaned. My acid test is whether a dry cleaner can deal with a 3-roll-2 suit and, not surprisingly, when Michael returned it, it was pressed perfectly. I can’t say the same for most other dry cleaners in London.

Michael also very conveniently picks up and delivers in London. I can’t recommend his service enough – it is convenient, perfectly executed and reasonably priced.

As a comparison, Jeeves of Belgravia charges a similar price, returned my suit with creases on the shoulder and lost my suit hanger. When I asked them if I could have my suit hanger returned, they literally asked me why I would leave it with them … because they never gave it back to me when I dropped it off.

Jason

I have known Michael for a couple of years now and he is extremely reliable both as a person and a dry cleaner. He truly cares about the clothes he works with and the service he provides. Can’t recommend him highly enough.

shem

hi simon have you experienced cotton trousers shrinking from dry cleaning? I never really had issues with dry cleaning cotton trousers but recently noted that a pair of olive cotton trousers faded significantly (almost like garment washed rtw chinos with faded seams) and shrank in length and in the hips and through the leg that it was too snug to wear anymore.

Michael Norman

To Shem, they were washed or wet cleaned.
Dry cleaning does not cause shrinkage or colour loss in any form.

George Curzon

I sent my Cifonelli jacket from Germany to Michael. Made of delicate flower-shy silk velvet, it was hit by my wife’s red wine glass during a dinner. Ruined – I thought. Then I came across Michael (internet research), was allowed to send him the jacket and shortly afterwards I received news that he would take up the challenge. 48€ (plus shipping costs) later I got my jacket back: unchanged the special shoulders, the soft roll and also – amazingly – the peculiar colour. The wine had disappeared without a trace. By the way, the bill was not enclosed but reached me after I thanked Michael and wrote about my enthusiasm. Conclusion: Not ONE part of my wardrobe will ever be cleaned again here in my home country. The last Attolini suit, ruined here by ironing, will be sent to Michael next. I will report…

Robin Basu

Can you do an episode on
1) Ironing and cleaning your silk ties/or delicate ties at home especially when they have been badly mis shapen by the dry cleaners machines
2)How to home shampoo Shearling coats, the ideal products,or places in london who can do this well for shearling jackets/coats
3) what items can be waxed and places that can do this or how to do it by yourself.

In general any self maintenance of items videos would be appreciated

Let me know
Many thanks

michael Norman

Reply to Robin Basu
1, A silk tie should never be attempted to be done at home you will ruin it putting water on any part of the tie, If a dry cleaner has flattened the tie only using a professional can rectify by blowing steam and puff air to achieve the soft edging roll. Any home iron will shine and scorch it. 2, Sheepskin can only be dry cleaned ideally shampooing it will cause it matting and will lose the soft feel of it. 3, Wax jackets and coats should only be sent to Barbour or a agent of theirs attempting to do it yourself will result in uneven waxed area’s and this will transfer onto clothing creating more problems.

Robin Basu

Thnx Simon,FYI.I asked Cromford a while back about shearling cleaning services and they said they do not offer this and can not recommend.

Cromford Leather
Fri, Aug 9, 2019, 12:20 PM

Hi Robin

Thanks for your enquiry, unfortunately we do not offer any cleaning services and can’t recommend anywhere as we are not affiliated with any cleaning service suppliers.

Sorry we couldn’t help on this occasion.

Kind regards
Sarah

Cromford Leather Company
020 7935 1041
http://www.cromfordleather.co.uk

Charlie P

Simon how do you approach trousers like flannels and cottons that require regular pressing? Do you take them into a dry cleaners between outings for a press (without cleaning), or do you press them yourself at home? Many thanks