Cleaning Your Decorative Fabrics
Our decorative fabrics have varying content, some are 100% cotton while some are polyester/cotton blends. Most of these decorator fabrics are also scotch-guarded. Taking these factors into account it is recommended for most of our decorative fabrics that they be dry cleaned only. Please remember that most decorative fabrics are not designed to be machine washed.
If you have already made the fabric into a finished product with lining, welting, crinoline or trim it is particularly important that you never machine wash the fabric. Each item will react differently to cleaning processes. That being the case, it is recommendable that you call in professional fabric cleaners when such item require cleaning, especially if they are large.
What harm could come from machine washing your decorative fabrics? Besides the above mentioned reasons, please keep in mind that machine washing a decorative fabric may cause it to shrink. Machine washing could also potentially affect the dyes or remove some of the finish, which in turn would change the feel and appearance of the fabric. A further benefit derived from dry cleaning these fabrics is that their colors and feel are preserved longer.
Although few if any of our decorative fabrics are machine washable, there a some in particular which are adversely affected: fabrics with glazed finishes, polished cottons, moiré and fabrics with napped finishes.
Another way or preserving your decorative fabrics is to brush them with a fabric brush to prevent the accumulation of dust and soil.
In Case of Stains
It is best to treat stains immediately to prevent them from settling in. This can be done by blotting the stain with a clean white cloth. Do not rub the fabric as doing so wears away the scotch-guard finish. If what was spilled is thick (i.e. mud, candle wax, etc.), allow it to dry before prying it off and brushing away the residue . Stubborn stains will require dry cleaning.
What About Stain Repellants?
The stain repellants most decorative fabrics are treated with provide barriers around the fibers. Therefore, most liquid spills will bead up on the surface of the fabric for easy blotting before they set in to stain. However, a fabric's stain repellant properties do not make it waterproof. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of a stain repellant will deteriorate with the wear and abrasion caused by normal use.
Storing Your Decorative Fabrics
Before storing your fabrics for an extended period of time it is important to have them properly laundered to prevent dust, soil and stains from attracting critters. Furthermore, avoid storing your decorator fabrics in attics or basements; these places tend to be vulnerable to mold, mildew and insects and other threats. The best location in your home for decorative fabric storage is a cool, dry room. If using a closet, make sure there is sufficient air circulation to prevent mold growth. Always store your fabrics out of direct sunlight.
Your decorative fabrics can be stored in bags of linen, cotton or muslin. Do not use plastic bags, cedar chests or cardboard boxes for storage. Fumes from polyurethane foam, cedar closets and acids in unvarnished wood and cardboard can damage your decorator fabrics. Acid free tissue paper can also be employed.
If possible, store your decorative fabrics rolled rather than folded to prevent difficult to remove creases from forming. If folding the fabric is your only option, try to remove the fabric and refold it regularly to prevent permanent creasing.
* The above information is intended to aid our customers in their fabric projects. These suggestions are based on manufacturer's recommendations and customer insights. The above statements are not intended to be understood as unequivocal or applicable to every circumstance. Therefore, J&O Fabrics is not responsible for the results of the implementation of these cleaning methods.