Careful and regular maintenance is the key to prolonging the life and retaining the appearance of soft furnishings.
The following notes are offered as a brief guide on the care and cleaning of fabrics.
The principal causes of soiling are airborne dust, cigarette smoke and accidental spillage or staining. Most of these can be avoided or at least reduced; others can be remedied by timely and appropriate maintenance.
The regular use of a vacuum cleaner with an appropriate attachment can significantly extend the life of furnishings.
The professional application of a proprietary stain resist agent can aid in preventing premature soiling, particularly on upholstery.
Do follow the recommendations given by the care symbols in sample books. Otherwise, request from our consultants.
Prevention is better than cure, never wait until an article is visibly dirty before washing or cleaning.
Washing is an appropriate cleaning method for small items and has the advantage that it can be carried out at home.
It is important to note that washing larger items such as full-length curtains or loose covers in a domestic washing machine would be discouraged, as the abrasion resulting from large load may cause colour loss, shrinkage and/or creasing. Sending fabrics to professional cleaners with industrial machines and capabilities always helps.
Follow the fabric manufacturer′s recommendations in relation to temperature, wash method, drying and ironing procedures. These are all indicated by the Care Symbols.
Never use bleaches when washing soft furnishings. Remember also that almost all washing powders contain bleach or optical brightening agents for that ‘whiter than white’ look. Unfortunately they do also have the disadvantage of dulling colours, or causing apparent fading, so use mild liquid detergents for items that will be washed regularly. Nowadays there are specialised detergents or washing powders specifically designed for colours or dark items.
Do not soak fabrics for prolonged periods of time, or leave in a washing machine while still damp, as the colour may migrate to other parts causing stains of color dye.
All fabrics, particularly those made from natural fibres such as cotton or linen will shrink to some extent. It is quite normal for furnishing fabrics to shrink in washing, sometimes by as much as 3 – 5%.
Dry–cleaning (which, of course, is not a ‘dry’ process at all) can also cause shrinkage, although generally to a lesser extent.
Wash temperature is an important factor and so do be careful to follow the instructions on the Care Symbols.
We embrace the fact that some fabrics do shrink, and so our seamstresses would always sew with an adequate hem, loosely tacked underneath until after the first washing or cleaning. And the excess can be released to make do with the shrink.
Make sure that curtains do not hang too close to windows or radiators where either excessive moisture from condensation or excessive heat and dryness can stain them.
Printed or dyed furnishing fabrics nowadays have good inherent resistance to fading in light, but all fabrics do fade eventually. It could be possibly due to the heat, moisture or even harmful UV rays.
Day or sheer curtains are particularly vulnerable to fading as compared to night curtains.
Silk, in general, has low light fastness characteristics and no claims will be accepted for fading. Lightproof linings and interlinings must be used when making silk curtains. It is well known that silk fabrics are more fragile comparatively to other fabric types and a certain amount of care should be exercised in their make up and maintenance.
Silk should always be dry cleaned by professional cleaners with experience of furnishing fabrics, and be cleaned using the instructions indicated in the Care Symbols.