The way you decorate your home reflects your taste and lifestyle. When you take a look around, you'll find your home is filled with many fabrics, each having a different use. These can range from draperies, curtains, bedspreads, comforters and blankets to upholstery, slipcovers, decorative pillows, rugs and those special heirloom textiles. Each one has its own care and cleaning requirements to keep them looking fresh.
Be sure to read all the care instructions for your household textiles before you buy them. And, make sure that you do follow the manufacturer's instructions. Don't remove the label unless absolutely necessary. Tell your dry cleaner about any additional care instructions you received at the time of your purchase.
Take time to read any warranty information about the fabrics. Some manufacturers have strict guidelines which have been developed by quality control testing.
When selecting the fabric for your curtains, upholstery and rugs, remember that fabrics which are closely woven will last longer than those that are loosely woven.
Regular cleaning is crucial to prolong the life of any household textiles. Here are some more specific ideas about how to care for the fabrics you use in your home.
With proper care and regular cleaning, draperies and curtains should last at least five years. When you buy your drapes, check to make sure the fabric has been pre-shrunk and the construction will not be damaged during cleaning. Also when considering the type of fabric, remember that prolonged exposure to light, moisture, humidity, heat and tobacco smoke can cause yellowing and weaken any material. Silk is the most vulnerable. Acrylics, polyester, modacrylic and glass fibres are the most resistant. By rotating draperies and curtains among the windows in your home, you can vary the light exposure they receive.
Frequently, care labels on bedspreads and comforters will be attached by a temporary label or located on the packaging, rather than on the item itself. Tailored and quilted spreads should always be professionally cleaned. Over time some colour change will occur. Clean matching or coordinating pieces at the same time and by the same process so that any colour changes that may occur will be uniform.
Surface soils like hair and dirt can damage upholstery fibres. It is advisable that upholstery be cleaned in your home by a professional cleaner, particularly if your furniture is extremely soiled. If you choose to clean your furniture yourself, pre-test a small area before starting. Slipcovers should all be cleaned together so that any colour changes are the same. Cushion covers should always be cleaned together with the rest of the furniture.
Antique quilts, linens and embroidered textiles are precious and should be cleaned with great care. They are also unlikely to have care labels and frequently are yellowed and discoloured. Make sure that you alert your dry cleaner to their fragility.
With proper cleaning and care, your household textiles will be an attractive addition to your home for many years. Ask your Ontario Fabricare Association member dry cleaner for more information.
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