Q: I just finished drycleaning a blue
down-filled ski parka and now it looks like it has oil splotches all over the
fabric. What happened and what can I do to fix it?
A: This type
of discoloration is often caused by excess oil left in the down feathers prior
to construction of the coat. The oil is disturbed by drycleaning solvents and
can migrate to the shell fabric during cleaning, causing self-staining. In some
cases, this oil can be removed by recleaning in clear distilled solvent, using
an extended cleaning, extraction, and drying cycle. Articles that don't
satisfactorily respond to this process can sometimes be successfully
wetcleaned. Wash in a large front loader machine with neutral or mild detergent
only. For drying, use a large dryer to which a few tennis balls or a tennis
shoe have been added to help fluff up and redistribute the down. Drying will
take a long time. Of course, wetcleaning the washable down items initially will
prevent this particular staining problem.
DLI Silver, Gold and Premier members may find more information in these bulletins and many more on DLI's Encyclopedia of Drycleaning Online.
Fabrics & Fashions 490: Problems with Down & Down Garments
TABS: 337: Discoloration of Down Items