Q: My customer says the down coat I
drycleaned is not as fluffy as it was before cleaning. I don’t see any holes
where feathers might have come out. What can I tell her?
A: This is a
common complaint from down coat owners. During manufacture, air is incorporated
in the pockets that contain the down and feathers. This air is removed when the
coat is immersed in solvent or water for cleaning. The air is replaced during
the drying cycle. Drying the garment at 140°F on an extended cycle is needed to
aid in replacing the loftiness of the down and feathers. In many cases, it is
helpful to have two or three clean tennis balls tumble in the dryer to help
fluff the garment.
In some cases, un-rinsed detergent, softeners, or
other cleaning additives are not thoroughly rinsed from the coat and this can
prevent returning the garment to its original loftiness. In most cases, the
garment can be restored by re-cleaning and thoroughly rinsing to remove these
One problem that may be more difficult to overcome
is the customer’s perception of his or her coat—in reality, some coats were
never as fluffy before cleaning as their owners remember them to be.
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