Q: I just drycleaned a lovely multicolor floral comforter and the flower print is now faded. What happened and how can this type of damage be prevented?
A: Many household items sold today, such as quilts, bedspreads, and comforters, are labeled as washable and may not be drycleanable. The pigment colors used to apply the designs are more likely to be affected by drycleaning solvents than washing formulas. Manufacturers, however, are not required to permanently affix a care label on these household items. Therefore, it would be advisable to perform a simple colorfastness test prior to cleaning to determine the care process (careful wetcleaning or drycleaning) that will best protect the colors. Of course, regardless which care procedure is determined to be the safest, we suggest you reduce the cycle considerably, since prolonged chemical contact and excessive mechanical action is much riskier and not usually necessary on such items.
DLI’s Drycleaning Encyclopedia contains hundreds of bulletins on similar topics. Here are a few to consider for more information:
- Textile Analysis Bulletin Series No. 404 - Household Fabrics Shrink
- Technical Operating Information No. 771 - Restoring Color Changes (English & Spanish)
- Fabrics & Fashions No. 544 - Pigment Colored Fabrics
- Textile Analysis Bulletin Series No. 388 - Hair Products Cause Color Change