Reweaving: The Dying Art

American Drycleaner, December 1992

For the last six years our reweaver has been Without A Trace.
Yes, that’s the company name.

Without A Trace is located in Chicago and we recently talked with owner Michael Ehrlich. Before working with Leather Rich, Michael had dealt with several other large leather cleaners. Since affiliating with us, some of the things that impressed him the most were our organizational skills, plant layout, knowledgeable people and quality control. But above all, it was the fact that the owners were reinvesting in the company and had a long term outlook.

His firm currently employs eleven reweavers, but the skill is a dying art. “It’s hard to find good employees and there aren’t many young people looking to get into this business,” according to Michael. “In fact, there are probably only fifty reweaving firms left in the United States. My business comes in from all over the country.”

One of his key people is Linda Mrkvicka. Linda is a great coordinator and spends a lot of her time communicating directly with the customers while Michael is out on his routes.

Cigarette burns, tears, moth damage and dye spills are some of the more typical situations that they see.
“We work mostly on wools and silks, using either French Weaving (thread by thread) or In-Weaving (patch wove on top of fabric) techniques,” said Michael.
“Garment construction can also be a challenge in itself. Manufacturers are using less fabric in their seams and it is frequently difficult to find patches of fabric or enough fibers for larger repairs.”

We asked Michael if there is anything we could do to make his job easier.
“Sometimes we have questions about a repair order, so having the cleaner’s phone number would be a big help. Another helpful hint would be to pin or mark areas that require reweaving. Moth holes, for example, can be all over a garment. We don’t want to miss anything.”