DLI's Drycleaning Blog

Q&A and Useful Industry Information

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Taking the Wind Out of Down's Sails

It is possible to restore a down coat's fluffiness.

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 residues.

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.

Suggested Reading
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

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 9/23/2015 2:21:53 PM