Curtain and Loose Cover Cleaning - A Few Facts

We take the greatest care when handling and cleaning your curtains and loose furniture covers.  Our machines have large drums to allow the fabrics to move as freely as possible, and they are washed on a delicate cycle with the minimum of agitation required.  However, it's always a good idea to check that curtain weights are secure or removed before cleaning, that all curtains rings and hooks are removed, and that the hem, side and lining stitching is secure.

 

Care Labelling - Distortion
Soft furnishing materials often contain fibres that are likely to distort during the cleaning or finishing process.  The absence of a care label noting the fibre content of the material may indicate that the manufacturer has failed to pre-test the fabric for cleaning suitability.  With no care label, we are unable to accurately predict whether the fabric or material will distort during cleaning.
 
Shrinkage
Curtain and soft furnishing fabrics are often stretch rolled and set during manufacturing, at up to 5% greater than their original size.  Even though we clean on cool cycles, during the dry cleaning and finishing process the temperature at which the fabric was 'set' may be reached, thus causing the fabric to relax back by up to 5%.  This could mean up to 5% shrinkage on your curtains and loose covers.  There is no guarantee that your curtains will not shrink.  However, we are often able to remedy any shrinkage through a stretching process post-cleaning.
 
Effects of Light
Everyday exposure to the sun's Ultra Violet (UV) rays weakens material, especially along the edges and vertical fold lines of curtains.  The effects of this light damage are often masked by soiling and may become visible or more pronounced after cleaning.  This may show as areas of lightened or bleached fabric, or because of the weakness, may cause linings to tear during the cleaning process. 'Rubberized', thermal or blackout linings may disintegrate or peel away.  This is one of the reasons a curtain may be lined, so that the lining can take most of the everyday punishment and thus protect the curtain fabric as much as possible.  
 
Watermarks and Nicotine Stains
Curtains can become damp at night from condensation on windows, and then dry out during the day to leave watermarks, particularly on curtain linings.  Nicotine in the atmosphere can stain curtains, especially on exposed edges and folds.  The cleaning process is unlikely to remove these marks, and may even cause them to become more pronounced as the fabric around the staining becomes cleaner.
 
Printed Patterns
Printed patterns, usually those in gold or silver, are sometimes removed by the cleaning process.  It cannot be predicted if this will happen even when a care label is present, as not all manufacturers adequately test for this.
 
Yellowing
Printed cotton fabrics with white or beige backgrounds become 'yellowed' with age.  This yellowing may become more prominent after cleaning.
 
Please note that the vast majority of curtains and loose covers are cleaned successfully with no problems at all.  We will always give your items the best possible attention and clean and finish them to the highest achievable standard.

 

After cleaning, curtains will either be steamed or pressed flat and be hung until collection.  We cannot 're-dress' curtains as this needs to be done by the curtain maker, usually in situ. 

© Copyright Playhouse Cleaners 2020