Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Special Design Issue | Metropolis / Entertaining

Linens Need Love, Too

November 10, 2002|HEATHER JOHN

If your hostess doesn't raise a brow when you spill red wine on her grandmother's Jacquard, she may well be a regular at Crest Curtain & Drapery cleaners, the Los Angeles institution that specializes in tender loving care for curtains and heirloom tablecloths.

William Megowan Jr. operates the business that was founded in 1918 by his grandfather, Irwin Megowan. The Megowans eventually moved the cleaners to Pico Boulevard in 1940 from its original digs in a downtown commercial plant and have remained there since.

"In the '20s and '30s, curtains and tablecloths were all real lace and cotton, so they all had to be framed and blocked and stretched for pressing," says Megowan. Today, his staff does things much the same way with meticulous hand-framing and blocking on large tables in the back room. It's a labor-intensive skill that has been passed down from worker to worker, several of whom have been with Crest for more than two decades.

A full-size banquet cloth takes several days just to block and press, in addition to a two-part shrinkage-free hand-laundering process. By the time the cloth is finished, five or six employees have worked on it. It takes two just to operate the irons, which weigh 20 to 30 pounds. "We have one that weighs 40 pounds that's basically made for linen. Linen holds its wrinkles, and you have to use a lot of pressure," Megowan says. "We have all this old blocking and framing equipment that we've had since the '30s, when everything had to be done that way. It still works, so we still use it."

Crest Curtain & Drapery, 8972 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 271-5441.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|