Q: I drycleaned a 100 percent nylon outerwear coat and it became very stiff. I read the care label before cleaning and followed the recommended method of care. Is there anything else I could have done to prevent this damage?
A: DLI's International Textile Analysis Laboratory has seen a multitude of coated materials that cannot withstand drycleaning. After cleaning, these materials become stiff and may crack. Most often, this damage will be apparent after the first cleaning process. This type of damage has been seen on outerwear items, as well as pants and skirts.
Unfortunately, there is no cause that would lead a cleaner to suspect that this damage would occur when viewing the original garments. Most garments are labeled for the fiber content but do not include information about coatings or finishes. If you suspect a garment may be coated, clip a sample from an unexposed seam, pin to a towel, and clean to determine if it is safe to process the garment.
If you see several garments from the same manufacturer, please file a report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).