News from Canvas Dry Cleaning in Shaftesbury, Dorset

Canvas Dry Cleaning Shaftesbury Newsletter

Fur-Get Me Not

Sad to say but we don't clean leather or fur - for the simple reason I can't find a supplier who's up to our standards.

To be fair a lot of the modern skins coming in from the Far East are rubbish - and that's even before we get to the dyeing. Fact is these poorly produced garments don't clean well and often come back brittle with bad colour run- not the Canvas way.

Another factor is that we simply don't wear fur anymore - and without the demand the specialist cleaners have shut up shop and long gone home.

That said we are constantly being reminded of the post-war generation's love affair with Mink, Sable and Beaver - mostly by mid life daughters seeking advice after discovering their late Mother's fur coat in some far flung attic.

The prognosis is not good. These days - irrespective of the cleaning issue - it would be a brave girl who dared to venture out wearing real fur - and quite rightly so.

And yet it is an unpalatable truth that women do look great in fur.
I re-call going to Zurich with a stunning red-head and visiting a fur supermarket by the Lake. She tried on a full length mink coat and stopped the shop. We left empty handed - both for economic and political reasons - but there was no denying the effect.

And perhaps therein lies the solution . Maybe yesterday's fur coats should be kept in today's bedrooms - to be worn for secret moments - and like Hollywoods glamorous sirens - with very little else.

Love your teddy

And now for something different. Do you know a teddy who's looking a bit jaded and faded (not the one sitting opposite reading the paper) I mean a proper teddy - one that goes down to the woods for picnics and who could do with a wash and brush up.

Well now you can treat the little fellow to a pamper session at the Canvas Teddy Bear Spa (how cool is that). Apart from having his fur brushed and fluffed your special one will also receive a pedicure and manicure to make sure everything is still in the right place. And if his waistline is looking a tad undernourished well plump him up with a high fibre diet guaranteed to put the stuffing back into him.

Go to Repairs

Delighted our shop at 17 Bell St next to the arts centre has become Shaftesbury's go-to place for repairs and alternations. Taking up taking in letting out or letting in - we do it all . We also undertake more complex jobs like zip replacement, re-modelling and relining. And if you're unsure about your measurements we're always happy to pin you in our fitting room for added accuracy.

Bridal Happiness

Don't forget wedding dresses are another Canvas speciality. I have to say some gowns arrive looking like they've been on an SAS training course - mud ,grass you name it. And that's before we start on the left over wine and champagne. But the best bit is watching our brides eyes light up when they see the finished result - the most important dress of their lives returned as beautiful as before . Top tip - the sooner we have your dress the better. Leave it too long and the marks will oxidise - meaning temporary just became permanent.

Laundry Plus

A big thanks to so many of you for telling me how much you like our newly re- vamped laundry service. The quality is bang on with one holiday let client memorably describing her recent delivery as " country house standard." Once again we only press by hand which means your poppers and buttons don't get smashed by an industrial ironing machine. Do give it a try if you're looking for a luxury edge.

Curtain Up on
Spring Cleaning

Pleased to see our curtain service doing so well with a number of new customers choosing Canvas - including a well know film director who sent us an exquisite set featuring material by Armani. Remember we only hand press - because it's much more gentle on delicate interlinings and black out facings. So if your planning your spring cleaning do bear us in mind. As you would expect the Canvas service also includes a free repair check for sun damage or loose hems to ensure your curtains stay in tip top condition.

I hope to welcome you to our Shaftesbury shop soon - Teddy included. Christopher

On your marks...

No doubt about it - summer is a fab time to be running a dry cleaning business. All that
Al fresco eating and drinking - why the opportunities for flying food and drenching drinks are endless!

Fact is the next few months of outdoor living can be a tricky obstacle course for our favourite clothes, so let me pass on a few tips to ease the pain.

First up -watch out! The average garden is packed with fiendish traps just waiting to leave their mark. -including of course wet grass and slimy mud.

And that's before we enter the catering horror zone where BBQ sauce and other mischievous mixes can wreck havoc on a crisp linen suit quicker than you can say ooops!

So time to chant the Canvas mantra. If you are unlucky enough to experience a spill mop up the residue with some kitchen roll and bring the item to us as soon as possible.

Never dab the mark with water. If you do two things will happen. The stain will spread and likely set. But more importantly the material will usually water mark - and that can be a nightmare to remove later.

And of course never throw white wine onto red - your hangover will go - the stain won't.

For better or worse

Which neatly brings me to one of our specialities - wedding dresses...

Canvas top tip - get your gown cleaned as soon after the event as possible. The longer you leave it the greater the chance marks will oxidise. And once that happens we're no longer talking stains but permanent momentos.

Also give some thought to storage - for example we only use ph neutral boxes to prevent the fabric yellowing. The same with our special acid free tissue paper which we insert carefully between the bodice and then each folded layer of the gown for extra protection. It takes more time but well worth the effort.

Red wine or food spillage - what to do!

Nuke your moths

Meanwhile I've been packing away the winter wardrobe ready for the sunny days ahead. If you love your Mohair do get it dry cleaned first - it's the most effective way to nuke any lurking moth larvae. And will prevent much loved woollens turning into a lunch box over the summer.

Waist not

This year I have been easing up on the pies and pints and was amazed to find my summer jeans a bit loose. After I had stopped laughing and the paramedics had left I gave both pairs to our fabulous resident seamstress who has skillfully re-built the waistlines to match my new (and dare I smugly say) slimmer silhouette.

A timely reminder that if you have anything that needs taking up, taking down, letting in or letting out - our lovely Shaftesbury shop at 17 Bell St next to the Arts Centre is the must-go-to place. We also have a changing room so we can precision pin any items to guarantee a perfect fit.

Lovely laundry

Pleased to report our laundry and shirt service has had another bumper quarter. Remember we can hang your shirts on hangers or fold and hand pack them for an extra touch of luxury - especially convenient when travelling. By the way if you run a holiday let business or similar we would be delighted to talk to you about opening a trade account and how our new free door-to-door delivery service could work for you.

Clean curtains

Finally - Don't forget curtains are another big Canvas speciality. And with the winter months behind us now's the perfect time to gather up your drapes for a specialist dry clean. We'll also give them a free check-over to make sure the linings aren't damaged or the hems loose.

Hope to see you in our Shaftesbury shop soon.

Spring Clean

Nothing's so cheering as the first batch of daffodils catching the morning sunlight. And the promise that Spring is about to kick Winter into touch. Of course now's the time when thoughts turn to Spring cleaning. And as ever the Canvas shops in Shaftesbury and Warminster are ready to help.

Top of the list are curtains and covers where we can either launder or dry clean depending on manufacture's instructions. Curtains are expensive and deserve skilled attention - especially if they have been hanging for some time. The sun has a habit of damaging the linings and there is always a risk they could deteriorate further during the cleaning process. We are also seeing more pre- made curtains with rubberised black-out backings that are notorious for disintegrating once they come into contact with dry cleaning fluid.

It's for these type of reasons we always like to carefully examine every curtain brought to us. That way we can discuss with you the best cleaning options.

Blank Check

Now - hands up all those who check the cleaning instructions before handing over cash for a new outfit. Hmmm - as I suspected - not many of you.

I say this because you would be amazed at the number of clothing items that prohibit both dry cleaning and even washing. Anoraks seem to be the worst offenders where the manufacturer doesn't want anyone messing with exotic linings or fillings -let alone the outer shell. The only permissible treatment often given on the label is "spot" cleaning - fine for a small blemish but not so good when someone douses you in cappuccino.

And beware evening wear and wedding gowns. The label may say safe to dry clean - but look out for any small print that excludes embellishments, such as sequins and beads. Sure our super seamstresses can often remove and then re-stitch these items - but it's extra money you shouldn't have to spend.

Another Canvas top tip- if you are having a wedding gown made always check with the dress maker if the fabric and linings can be dry cleaned, and if the answer is yes, have it recorded on your receipt. Also grab any off cuts - we can use them as testers before moving to the real thing.

Spring Cleaning

Laundry Record

Delighted to report the Canvas Laundry Service has just had its best month ever. Our secret - we only hand press which means the poppers and buttons on your duvet covers don't get smashed by an industrial ironing machine.

Meanwhile with Spring beckoning don't forget another of our specialties - Duvets. Experts say the average duvet is home to at least 20,000 mites. They munch on your dead skin then say thank you with a giant poo. As the faeces rot down you breathe in the fumes. Lovely.

As you would expect the Canvas method of cleaning is especially thorough .We always wash to the highest temperature recommended by the manufacturer. And we dry each one naturally - so the fillings don't clog.

To complete the process your clean, fluffy duvet also comes back in a zip-up fabric bag for easy home storage - free with our compliments.

A stitch in time

A big thank you to everyone who has been visiting our Shaftesbury shop (17 Bell St next to the Arts centre) for repairs and alterations.

Demand has been so great that our fabulous seamstress Caroline is now joining us five days a week. So if you want something taking up, taking down, letting in or letting out, do pop in and see her.

We can also handle more complex challenges like garment re-modelling and re-lining. The same goes for Canvas Warminster just 30 seconds from the Waitrose car park. Both shops have changing rooms so we can also pin as you wait.

Finally many of us will soon be packing away our winter wardrobes ready for the summer. Do make sure any precious items are properly dry cleaned before storage. It will help protect against moth damage by killing off any larvae. Moreover it will prevent stains oxidising over the summer which can be impossible to remove later.

Hope to see you at our Shaftesbury or Warminster shops soon

Footnote : I've been posing as a mystery shopper to check out local dry cleaners. It's a bit sneaky but I like to see what the opposition is up to. I am amazed so many of our rivals dump finished laundry items onto the bare floor. Sure everything is wrapped - but I don't like it. If you come into our shops and find your completed order on the floor tell me. Two things will happen. The person responsible will be beaten with wet lettuce. And you won't pay a penny when you collect. And that's a promise.

New Home

Delighted to report our Shaftesbury move has all gone according to plan. Happily as many of you have discovered our lovely new shop is just 30 yards further along Bell St at No 17 - virtually next door to the Arts Centre.

Meanwhile it's been great to welcome so many familiar faces to our new Shaftesbury home - surely one of the towns prettiest buildings - and to hear how much you like what we've done with the bigger space.

Five Star Repairs

And now that we've got extra room - more exciting news. Joining us at No 17 Bell St are our friends at The Little Pincushion headed by local tailoress and needlework tutor Laura Marsh. This means we can offer a full in house repairs and alterations service to our family of customers all under one roof - including anything from a simple zip replacement to more complex challenges like garment remodelling or lining replacement.

Alternatively if you have something that needs accurately pinning simply give Laura a ring on 01747 858854 and she will be delighted to book you in for a personal fitting . By the way one of her many specialist skills is evening wear - so if you are looking to transform a favourite dress into a smooth and exacting fit that looks and feels fabulous - make that call!

And don't forget if you live outside Shaftesbury and have something that needs taking up, taking down, letting in or letting out we also have a full in house seamstress service at Canvas Warminster ready to solve all your alteration needs.

Awesome Laundry

Great to see our laundry service doing so awesomely - especially within the local holiday letting community. I've been asking new customers why choose Canvas and in every instance it was recommendation. But apparently the underlying reason is we only press by hand - not by machine. As one charming woman remarked "I got fed up with the previous laundry smashing all the buttons - something Canvas doesn't do."

Quite so.

New Home for Canvas Dry Cleaning Shaftesbury

Clean Shot

I've noticed the racks at both shops have been filling with breeks and gillies as the local shooting folk get ready for a new season of Merlot and Mayhem. Much of the kit arrived caked in feather 'n fur with lashings of mud. In short just the challenge we relish. I have to say I have been delighted at the finished results. So much so that I am hoping an appreciative brace or two will be landing on the counter shortly. And a final left and a right - did you know game shooting is now worth a staggering £2 billion to the UK economy with shooting providers spending a whacking £250 million on conservation work.

Incidentally whilst on the subject of country pursuits, do remember we also specialise in riding wear - especially jackets - muddier the better.

Bye Bye Summer

The first whiff of bonfire smoke is a stark reminder that colder days are just around the corner. Before you pack away your summer wardrobe do check your favourite clothes are clean and free from stains. The longer marks remain untreated - especially food and drink - the more likely they are to oxidise and once that happens it's bye bye wardrobe hello dustbin.

In the meantime I fear the hills will be alive with the sound of wailing - as many of us open cupboards to discover our favourite winter woollens moth munched. Fortunately help is at hand. As part of our one-stop service Canvas can repair the holes and then do a deep dry clean that will kill off the larvae. But don't leave it too long - the sooner we can weave our magic the better the result.

Canvas Dry Cleaning Shop in Warminster

Hope to see you soon in either our Shaftesbury or Warminster shops.


Moth City

Like half of Britain I have been plagued by munching monsters with an appetite for cashmere. My wardrobe (aka Moth City) has been cedar balled and lavender drenched - but still the winged avengers treat the place as their favourite bar and restaurant.

Fortunately help is at hand. If your knitwear or other treasured items have suffered moth attacks do bring them in for some Canvas TLC. We can normally fill and close the holes in a way that's invisible to the naked eye. And get rid of the larvae with a concentrated dry clean.

In the meantime remember the best way to beat the moth menace is through good housekeeping. Deep hoovering is essential - move furniture like beds and tables for a really good clean. And because moths hate light throw open your draws and cupboards and while you're about it let your clothes have a good airing in the sunshine.

See you in bed...

And whilst on the subject of miniature marauders - guess what. Scientists reckon your duvet is probably crawling with 20000 of these little nasties - the average number of dust mites we sleep with every night.

But it gets better. They feed off your dead skin. And afterwards they poo. Lots of it. As the excrement rots down in your bedding the faeces give off fumes - which you breathe in all night. Not great if you are allergy sensitive.

Bed Mite

Smart advice if you want to start to reclaim your bed is to have your duvet professionally cleaned at least once a year - and now's the perfect time.

As you would expect the Canvas method is especially thorough. To begin with we only wash at the highest temperature as recommended by the manufacturer. Then we dry each one naturally. Yes it takes longer - but crucially the delicate fillings don't clog or break down ensuring your duvet comes home fresh and fluffy. And one last thing - we always wrap our duvets into a zip-up breathable storage bag - free with our compliments.

Letting in, letting out!

I've been dusting down the summer wardrobe ready for the lazy-hazy days ahead. Truth be told it's been a bit of an eye opener. Fact is, I seem to be a tad bigger then this time last year. The bathroom scales are clearly lying through their digital face but I can't escape the fact that the ole' chinos are - how shall I put it - tight. And in all the wrong places.

Happily it's at moments like this that I give grateful thanks for our wonderful head seamstress Lizzie who powers our in house repairs and alterations service. I do not understand the magic she weaves but my trousers have arrived back "remodelled" and now fit me like a glove. Same with my favourite linen jacket - nicely let out with room to breathe. And no telltale marks on the fabric to give the game away.

By the way we also specialise in altering big day outfits like bridal wear, ball gowns and prom dresses - where we work with you to transform the dress of your dreams into a smooth exacting fit that looks and feels fabulous.

Hope to see you soon in either our Shaftesbury or Warminster shops

Unsung Heros

I guess every industry has it’s share of unsung heroes. When it comes to dry cleaning step forward the Spotters and Pressers. These are the real men and women whose skills make the difference. Finding the best Spotters can be difficult. You’ve got to know your fabrics inside out - and like the good artist understand your palette of solvents. Get it right and that wine stain will miraculously disappear - get it wrong and somebody’s treasured bridal gown will be ruined for ever.

Being a presser is no ball of fun either. To start with It’s tough, hot work. And you need to stay 100% focused, because again there’s no room for error. You would be amazed at the clothes we see ruined by ugly puckering where someone has over cooked the heat causing fragile inter-linings to bubble and buckle. Something my medical mates would call operation successful - patient dead.

Happily at Canvas we eschew industrial ironing machines for this very reason - choosing instead to press by hand using traditional steam irons. True it takes longer but there’s much greater control over temperature and downward pressure. And crucially it’s much kinder to delicate buttons, poppers and yes - suit linings.

Of course there’s little point going the extra mile if the finished garment isn’t stored properly afterwards. That’s why we never use flimsy wire hangers - preferring instead to place your suits, jackets and evening wear onto proper wooden hangers with non-slip bars so creases are held for longer.

It’s attention to detail like this that I believe our customers really appreciate. And what I like to call the Canvas advantage.

Looking Gorgeous

Tailor-made fashion for any occasion from our shops in Shaftesbury & Warminster

I never understand why people spend a fortune on designer labels when the alternative is to have a knock-out outfit tailor made just the way you want - with no comprise on style, fabric or fit. And often for a lot less money. There's something really special about wearing clothes knowing they have been crafted just for you. And of course you can spot a bespoke outfit miles away - simply by the superior way it hangs.

If you're planning a special occasion this year (perhaps a wedding) do remember that we have two fabulous dress making studios at our Shaftesbury and Warminster shops both under the direction of our lovely resident tailoress Andrea Lucantoni now recently joined by Sarah-Jane a graduate of the Royal School School of Embroidery and Lizzie an expert lace and lingeries maker.

As we say to everyone - If you can dream it - We can make it. So do pop in and say hello to Andrea and her team who will be delighted to turn your ideas into something truly dazzling. Alternatively call her on 01747 858 854. There's more too. We also offer a full repairs and alterations service at both shops ranging from a humble zip replacement to more complex challenges like lining replacement or garment remodelling.

Five Star Laundry

By the way don’t forget we offer a complete Five Star laundry service (currently going through the roof) that also includes hand pressed shirts, which for added luxury we can fold into individual presentation packs - great if you’re travelling. I’ve just had mine done and guarantee you won’t see better collars and cuffs this side of Jerymn St.

On The Piste

The first flurry of snowflakes reminds me to tell you Canvas has always been big on ski wear. So if you’re planning a mountain moment and want to look ultra cool as you cruise down the slopes (who doesn’t ) dig out your kit and bring it in for some Canvas TLC- that includes specialist dry cleaning plus a free check by our head seamstress to discover if anything needs repairing, after last year’s wipe-outs.

Hope to see you soon either in Shaftesbury or Warminster


No secret that this is the time of year when the dry cleaning industry gleefully rubs it’s hands together in eager anticipation of the seasonal spoils that lie ahead. All that turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce - so easy to splash. And then there’s the traditional Christmas pudding with lashings of cream and custard - so easy to spill. Throw in generous measures of wine port and liqueurs and you have the makings of a mega Splat Fest straight our of a Sam Peckinpah movie.

On a word of comfort - accidents do happen. So always remember the Canvas mantra - never try to get the stain out using water - chances are you will make it run and permanently set the mark into the fabric. If the worse happens simply mop up the excess with kitchen towel and then bring the garment to us ASAP. And a final note of caution - never throw white wine at red. Your hangover will go - the stain won’t.


Delighted to report we now have three super talented ladies working flat out at the Canvas dress making studios in Shaftesbury and Warminster. Our lovely resident talioress Andrea has been joined by Sarah-Jane a graduate of the Royal School of Embroidery and Lizzie an expert lingerie and lace maker.

Together they combine their skilful talents to create tailor - made fashion for any occasion. So if you re planning something special (perhaps a wedding) and want to look knock- down gorgeous give Andrea a ring on 01747 858 854. Or better still pop in for a chat.

And don’t forget - we also offer a full on-the-spot repair and alteration service at both shops ranging from a humble zip replacement to more complex challenges like lining replacement or garment remodelling.

A jolly visitor at Christmas


It’s always fun to have customers with famous faces - and during the year we have been delighted to welcome several well known celebrities to the Canvas family. One pleasingly plump gentleman also caught my eye this week when he visited our Shaftesbury shop. He put a large bag on the counter and asked if we could repair and clean the contents. Moments later he was gone.

Inside we discovered a crimson tunic and a pair of matching trousers all trimmed in Ermine. Truth be told everything was in a sorry state. The trousers were badly torn; the jacket was very muddy. And the once white fur was covered in ugly black dust.

Happily our super seamstress’ love challenges. Within minutes the sewing machines were busily humming. And by tea time all the holes and rips had magically disappeared.

Next day we set about the cleaning. First we dabbed secret potions and lotions to each of the stains. Then we put the tunic and trousers into our special (and very expensive) dry cleaning machine.

Afterwards we applied even more potions and lotions. And then we did it all over again - three times to be precise.

Next it was the turn of our master pressers - who only work by hand using traditional steam irons - to gently but firmly coax the tunic and trousers back into their original shape with crisp creases and wrinkle free shoulders - just like we do for all our Canvas customers. I have to say the finished result was rather impressive, because now the crimson suit shimmered and shone like new. Whilst the Ermine trim sparkled white as the snow on the polar ice caps.

Seven days later the jovial gentleman retuned and beamed with delight at the transformation. He thanked us profusely - then with a promise to visit again next year - he was gone.

Later that night we found a small paper bag on the counter. Inside was a delicious short bread biscuit - shaped like a reindeer. Glancing up I swear I saw a speck of light race across the dark night sky. It must have been a shooting star - but I could have been wrong...

Chrissie, Andrea, Sarah -Jane, Lizzie, Clare, Barbara, Christine, Julie and I - wish you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We look forward to welcoming you to our shops in Shaftesbury and Warminster throughout 2017.

PS We will be open on Christmas Eve from 9am- 2pm - Then closed on the 26th and 27th. On the 28th 29th and 30th we will be open from 9am-5pm . After that we open again as usual on Tuesday January 3rd.


Good News!

Our builders have been beavering away re-vamping the Warminster shop to create space for a new Canvas dress making studio. That means we now have a super skilled seamstress right on site for on-the-spot repairs and alterations.

So if you've got something that needs taking up,taking down, letting in or letting out - bring it along for a fast fix. Better still we can now precision pin the item on you while you wait to guarantee a perfect fit. We also offer a complete zip replacement service plus solutions to more challenging problems like lining replacements and garment remodelling.

The new venture follows the success of the first Canvas dress making studio opened at our Shaftsbury shop earlier this year. Like its sister the Warminster studio will also offer a full couture service specialising in tailor- made fashion.

Heading up both studios is resident talioress Andrea Lucantoni who honed her skills via the London hot house fashion scene. Her in-house team also includes a graduate of the Royal School of Embroidery as well as a specialist in lace and lingerie.

Together these talented ladies combine their supreme needle working skills to design and make beautiful bespoke outfits that are right for any occasion - day or night.

Evening dress at a party

So if you've got a big red letter day coming up and want something truly special to wear call Andrea on 01747 858854. As we say - if you can dream it - we can make it!

Hang in there

I am always touched by people's honesty. A delightful lady dropped by our Shaftesbury shop this week. She was clutching one of our satin coat hangers - believing it had been given to her in error.

We were delighted to explain there was no mistake and that all our dresses and tops are always presented on luxury padded hangers after they've been dry-cleaned. It's the same with men's suits and jackets where we only use proper wooden ones.

It's attention to detail like this that I believe our customers really appreciate.

There's more too. We refuse to use an industrial ironing machine to press your clothes - believing delicate fabrics and linings should always be pressed by human hand and watchful eye.

Our marvellous team of pressers takes great pride in finishing your clothes to the highest possible standard. And a decent hanger is the best way to preserve their skilful work.

Mite Mite

By the way did you know your lovely duvet is probably home to at least 20,000 dust mites. These nasty little creatures stuff themselves with your dead skin and then say thank you with a good old fashioned poo - lots of it. As the faeces rot down they give off fumes- which you inhale all night. Not good if you are allergy sensitive - or suffer from asthma.

That's why you should have your duvet professionally cleaned at least once a year - and with winter round the corner now’s the perfect time.

As you would expect the Canvas method is especially thorough.

To begin with we always wash to the hottest temperature as recommended by the manufacturer. After that we individually air dry each duvet naturally - yes it takes longer but this method prevents the all important filling clogging up or breaking down.

This ensures your duvet comes home fresh and fluffy. Lastly we never bundle our duvets in polythene - preferring instead to pack each one into a zip-up breathable storage bag - free with our compliments.

Hope to see you at either our Shaftesbury or Warminster shop soon,


Big Thank You!

Hard to imagine that nearly half a year has passed since we opened the doors of our new Warminster shop - sister to our flagship outlet in Shaftesbury. That said we always believed the Canvas mix of top quality cleaning backed by great service would prove equally popular in this welcoming Wiltshire town and happily we've been proved right. It's also been fantastic to see demand soar for our specialist laundry service where we've had to call back the builders to install more racking to keep up with orders. So a big thank you to all our wonderful new Warminster friends who have given Canvas the thumbs up - plus our best month ever.

Happy Brides

Meanwhile our talented technicians have been cleaning wedding dresses in record numbers where the real reward is the look of surprised delight on each newly-wed's face as they are re-united with the precious gown they feared was a write off. By the way nice to know the lovely Lisa Hayball who owns the stylish Bride by Design shop in Warminster, is now also recommending Canvas to all her clients.

Rapid Expansion

More good news - since opening four months ago we have tripled our team at the Canvas dress making studio and now have three hugely talented ladies on site at our Shaftesbury shop led by our resident tailoress Andrea Lucantoni. Truth is we've been blown away by your enthusiasm and I apologies for some early delays now happily a thing of the past.

Do remember we offer a complete dress making service that can create the outfit of your dreams for any occasion - day or night - and at a budget set by you. Weddings are one of our specialities - so if your're making plans now's the time to come and talk to us. All this plus our usual high quality on the spot repairs and alterations.

Buckingham Palace

Garden Party

Once upon a time I was invited to a Buckingham Palace garden party. It was not a happy occasion. I stress it had nothing to do with the cucumber sandwiches (exquisite) nor the strawberries and cream (sublime). No - the villain of the piece was my light-weight summer suit.
Put crudely it stank of Perchioroethylene short for PERC or if you prefer - dry cleaning fluid.

And as the sun got hotter so the smell got worse - forcing me to stand down wind as a courtesy to wincing guests not to mention Royal Noses.

I was recently reminded of my social diary disaster by a charming woman who told me she loved coming into our shops in Shaftesbury and Warminster because they didn't smell like dry cleaners.

Far too often clothes are polly - wrapped within minutes of leaving the machine locking in unpleasant solvent fumes -
as I discovered to my embarrassment that fateful afternoon.

That's why we insist all our garments are aired for a minimum of six hours. Sure it means slowing down a costly production line - but so be it.
Fact is the extra time means your clothes end up fresh and odour free.

Those of you who are Canvas regulars will have noticed we also dress every garment with an individual paper shoulder guard. This isn't just a case of aesthetics. The paper prevents the build up of static and stops the plastic wrapper clinging to your clothes which in turn ensures clean air continues to circulate around each item. It's attention to detail like this that we call the Canvas Advantage. But more importantly it also means that as you sip your Pimms you can be assured you don't ponk of PERC.

Help for stain pain

Speaking of summer parties do remember the golden rule about food and drink accidents especially if your're wearing linen. Never try to get the marks out yourself. And never apply water. The stain will run and your extra momento of an otherwise happy day will be an ugly watermark that can be a pig to remove later. Simply mop up the excess spillage with a paper towel or napkin and then get the item to us as quickly as possible for specialist treatment.


May Newsletter

Warminster Opens

Our lovely new shop in Warminster is now up and running and we ve been busy welcoming a whole new family of customers to the Canvas experience. Do pop in and see us when next you're this way. You will find us at 54 Market Place just by the mini-roundabout at the top end of the main street moments from the Waitrose car park. It's been a delight to meet lots of new faces and we have been hugely touched by the warm response from the many townsfolk calling in to say hello who seem genuinely delighted to have a dry cleaners back on their high street.

Dressmaking Studio

Talking of new beginnings our dress making studio at our Shaftesbury shop has also opened and happily looks set for stellar success - born out by the steady hum of sewing machines and an increasingly crowded fittings diary.

Another huge advantage is that all, our repairs and alterations are now handled in house - so if you want something that needs precision pinning bring if along and we can do it for you in our fitting room.

The studio is under the direction of Andrea Lucaonti who honed her tailoring skills via the London couture scene. We are already working on four fabulous bridal gowns plus an array of outfits for the upcoming summer season. So if you're looking for something special to wear whatever the occasion - day or night - do come in and have an informal chat with her.

Canvas at Hindon

Great to announce that residents of Hindon can access the whole range of Canvas clothes care services direct from their award winning village shore - at no extra cost. The new over-the-counter arrangement is the first of a series of planned partnerships that will invite selected local shops to offer the Canvas brand to their local communities six days a week. Hindon customers can also take advantage of the Canvas laundry and shirt valet services and book in any clothes needing repair or alteration.

Shock Horror

Now for a spot of shock horror.
Did you know that if your pillows are more than two years old some 15 per cent of their weight is poo.
Step forward (or should that be hop) Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus otherwise known as my little dust mite.

Fact is these nasty looking creatures like nothing more than snuggling up in a nice warm bed where there's plenty of food - You. And after a delicious meal of dead skin they show their appreciation with a good old fashioned poo - lots of it. But it gets better. As their dung builds up in your duvet and bedding the faeces rot down and give off fumes - which of course you inhale all night. And if you happen to be allergy sensitive the results can be unpleasant - from skin and eye irritation to more serious issues like breathing difficulties and asthma.

Scientists reckon the average duvet is home to at least 20,000 midnight munchers - which explains why they recommend you have yours cleaned at least every six months.

That's where we can help. To start with all our duvets are washed and dried to the hottest possible temperature as recommended by the manufacturer. Finally we seal each duvet in a zip up breathable storage bag free with our compliments.

You can never eradicate all dust mites from your home but with good housekeeping and regular duvet cleaning you can at least start to re-claim your bed - and sleep better as a result. Meanwhile I've been shocked into action. I now climb beneath a freshly laundered duvet, my head resting peacefully upon a new set of pillows. You might want to do the same......

Love your teddy

And now for something different. Do you know a teddy who's looking a bit jaded and faded (not the one sitting opposite reading the paper) I mean a proper teddy - one that goes down to the woods for picnics and who could do with a wash and brush up.

Well now you can treat the little fellow to a pamper session at the Canvas Teddy Bear Spa (how cool is that). Apart from having his fur brushed and fluffed your special one will also receive a pedicure and manicure to make sure everything is still in the right place. And if his waistline is looking a tad undernourished well plump him up with a high fibre diet guaranteed to put the stuffing back into him.

We hope to welcome you to either our Warminster or Shaftesbury shops soon - Teddy included.


January Newsletter

It's been a great start to 2016. Our new shop in Warminster is nearing completion and we are especially excited that Canvas will be the only dry cleaners in town. We aim to be match fit for an opening on Friday 29th so do pop in and say hello. You will find us at 54 Market Place - that's at the top end of the high street by the mini roundabout just seconds from the Waitrose car park. Meanwhile we are really pleased with the way the new interior is shaping up reflecting the same cool look inspired by our successful Shaftesbury branch. As always our mission is to be the best at everything we do and now with just days to go we can't wait to deliver the Canvas experience to a whole new family of customers.

New Dressmaking Studio

More good news! Some of you visiting us at Shaftesbury will have heard bumps and thumps coming from below. Truth is we have been beavering away converting the derelict workshops into a stylish new dress making studio. This will be linked to the shop above by a spiral staircase and is slated to open early February.

From then on all our repairs and alterations will be handled directly on site. This means you no longer have the frustration of measuring or marking your clothes at home. Simply bring them to our fitting room and we will precision pin the garment exactly the way you want.

The Canvas Dressmaking Studio will be under the direction of the lovely Andrea - our super talented tailoress who learnt her skills in the hot house of London couture. She's just at home patching a pair of jeans as she is creating a bridal masterpiece.

Most brides-to- be have an idea of how they want their wedding gown to look. Alternatively you might just be searching for some inspiration or expert advice to get you started. Either way we can work with you to develop your ideas and create the unique dress of your dreams. And at a budget that suits.

Bespoke wedding dress made for you in our dressmaking studio

Remember - a bespoke gown means just that - a beautiful one-off creation that's handmade just for you with absolutely no comprise on style, fabric or fit. And here's the best part - the cost is often less than buying something ready made off the shelf.

If you're planning a wedding this year (or any other big occasion for that matter) and want something really special to wear give Andrea a call on 01747 858 854 - or better still simply drop in for a chat.

SAS Training Course

Whilst on the subject of nuptials I am delighted to hear via the grapevine that we are gaining an excellent reputation for cleaning and restoring wedding gowns to their original pristine glory. This in spite of the fact that dresses often arrive looking like they've been through an SAS training course - grass, mud, dirt you name it - and that's before we get down to the usual cacophony of flying food and dripping drink. The key to success is never tackle a spillage yourself. Chances are you will make a grim situation grimmer either by spreading the blemish or worse leaving a watermark.

And another word of advice - never throw white wine onto red. Your hangover will go - the stain won't. Best thing is to dab off the excess and then get the item to us as quickly as possible. Once the marks set and oxidise the cleaning options become much more limited - and in some cases non-existant.

Sparkle on the Snow

Talking about fine dry cleaning did you know we also specialise in Ski wear - so if you want to look your usual immaculate self on the slopes this season, now's the time to dust down the snow kit and bring it in for a spot of Canvas magic.

Do remember we also specialise in Ski wear dry cleaning

Shirts Take Off

Finally it is great to see our shirt service going from strength to strength. By the way we only press by hand. True it takes longer than ironing by machine, but the superior results speak for themselves. We can dress your finished shirts onto hangers or if you prefer carefully fold them into individual presentation packs, which frankly look better than anything I have seen locally or in London. Sure I'm biased - but if you are serious about your shirts come in next time you are passing and judge the Canvas difference for yourself!

We hope to see you in Warminster or Shaftesbury soon, Christopher


December Newsletter

One of the things we never factored into this job is the pleasure to be derived from the look of joy on people's faces when you manage to rescue one of their favourite garments from the brink of destruction. Take the other day for example. A lovely young Mum brought in her favourite evening dress after a local supermarket had been unable to remove a large wine stain on the front. Could we succeed where others had failed?

Challenge to Relish

Fortunately this is just the sort of challenge our talented elves deep in the Forrest relish. And after secret spells and a sprinkle of stardust we were able to hand back the dress as pristine and beautiful as the day she first wore it. Of course it's always good to get a great result - but the real reward was the way her wonderful smile lit up the shop - Now that really was magic.

Hot off the Press

Sadly not all stories have such a happy ending. Earlier a customer asked if we could cure the puckering around the lapels of his jacket. This is caused by poor pressing. The previous dry cleaners -who will remain nameless- had applied too much heat to the fabric causing the inter lining underneath to melt and bubble - hence the unsightly crease marks.

It's one if the reasons why we never machine press . And why we insist all our clothes are pressed the traditional way - by hand. A steam iron might seem old fashioned but it allows much greater control in two all important areas - downward pressure and heat output.

True it takes a little longer - but the cost added to the bill is less than a cappuccino. And crucially your suit comes back ready for the wardrobe - not the dustbin.

London Couture

Good to see the repairs and alterations side of our business doing so well.

Shop interior

Actually it's all down to our lovely seamstress who's as skilful at repairing ripped jeans as she is the glass beading on a Versace masterpiece - one of her special triumphs this week. She learnt her trade in the hot house of London couture - another reason why we also offer a full remodelling and replication service. So if you've got a wedding dress you want transformed into a jaw dropping evening gown or perhaps a treasured wardrobe item you want copied - give us a call.

By the way if you're into vinatge clothes do remember we can also combine our tailoring with precision dry cleaning - ideal if you've recently brought a pre -loved piece that needs alteration and a gentle spruce up.

Festive Fun

Hard to imagine Christmas is just around the corner - but before the festive frolics begin a word of warning.

If you happen to collide with flying food or become drenched in drink resist the temptation to tackle the stain yourself. Chances are are you will spread the damage or leave an ugly water mark making a grim situation grimmer.

Use kitchen towel to dab away the excess moisture and then get the garment to us as quickly as possible. Finally never throw white wine onto red wine. Your hangover will go - the stain won't.

Christine, Lorna and myself plus all the rest of the Canvas crew wish you and your loved ones a joyous (and spotless) Christmas together with a happy and prosperous New Year - we look forward to seeing you soon. Christopher

Christmas Opening Hours

PS just to remind you our open hours during the holiday period are Thursday December 24th 9am- 2pm We then open again on Tuesday and Wednesday December 29th and 30th 10am - 3pm and then Thursday 31st 9am -1pm.

After that it's back to normal.

Ready for Christmas