Dry Cleaning Frequently Asked Questions
At R&R Fabricare, we are often asked to solve garment cleaning issues.
Here is some hints, tips and answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.
Caring for that precious garment
Silk is on of the oldest known textile fibres and is recognised for its beauty, lustre and comfort.
Your R&R Fabricare professional asks that you consider taking some simple steps to keep your garment looking its very best.
- Always store your silk in a cool, dry place. Never expose silk to prolonged sunlight.
- Perspiration and some deodorants can combine to create some of the most common causes of discolouration, colour loss and deterioration of silk fibres – clean your silks regularly if permanent damage is to be avoided.
- Some dyes on silk fabrics may bleed when wet with solutions containing alcohol drinks etc. Consult your R&R Fabricare professional for advice as soon as possible.
- Never attempt to remove stains from silk by rubbing especially when damp. Silk fibres are delicate and are easily damaged.
- Do not store silk in a soiled state. Consult your R&R Fabricare professional and point out the stains not readily apparent. He/She will advise on an appropriate course of action.
Shrinkage remains one of the top five problem areas in drycleaning. However, well over half of the shrinkage problems are determined to be manufacturer related.
There are three types of shrinkage: Progressive, Relaxation, and Felting.
Unstabilised fabrics can shrink on a cumulative or progress basis. A small amount of shrinkage can occur with every clean which may go unnoticed until it becomes unsatisfactory to the customer.
Relaxation shrinkage is attributed to the release of tension introduced to the fabric during manufacture. When the fabric is moistened during cleaning, the strain from the manufacture is released and the fabric returns to its normal relaxed dimension.
Felting shrinkage will occur in animal hair fibres such as wool, angora, cashmere and others. The surface of the fibres become entangled when exposed to heat, water, agitation, detergent or pressure, making the fabric become thick and compact. This type of shrinkage is not recoverable.
Drycleaning can cause shrinkage but your R & R Fabricare professional will know how to handle your precious garment so this does not happen.
Sequins, Beads and Glitters
Sequins, beads, glitter and ornamental trimmings are back in style. You will find them on dresses, jackets, sweaters and handbags. If you have purchased or plan to purchase a garment with this attractive trim. Please be aware:
- Sequins are always delicate but they can be serviceable if they are made properly.
- Unserviceable sequins can lose colour, lose shine or curl. If the thread holding them is inferior, it may break and allow the sequins to unravel.
- Unserviceable beads can dissolve or transfer dye to the surrounding fabric. Glitter which is glued on will almost always fall off during drycleaning or washing.
- Your R & R Fabricare professional drycleaner has the know-how to preserve the beauty of these fashionable and expensive garments, unless they are trimmed with inferior or unserviceable sequins, beads and trimmings. Return unserviceable garments to the retailer.
Reputable stores should have a fair trade policy on these types of garments.
Those invisible stains …
When is a stain not a stain?
Most ‘invisible’ stains start with a spillage, maybe champagne, lemonade etc. The damp fabric dries and little visible evidence remains. However the stain has not gone away.
Most beverages contain sugars and with the passage of time and heat, the spilled substance will oxidise and cause staining.
Stains vary in their degree of intensity but are usually yellow, tan or brown, depending upon their age, the staining substance and the fabric it contacts.
How can you help your R & R Fabricare professional to reduce the effects of such stains?
- Have the garment cleaned as soon as possible and advise your drycleaner if you have knowledge of any spillage. He/She will take extra care to treat these stains before cleaning.
- Remember, permanent staining may be avoided if treated early.
There are many substances consumers may encounter in the course of the day that can cause colour loss.
In many instances, discolouration does not appear until the item is cleaned. This will depend upon the composition and concentration of the staining substance, the type of fibre and dye stuff and length of contact time.
Typical colour loss problems include:
- Silk and acetates can be effected by alcohol products such as perfumes, colognes, hair spray and of course alcoholic beverages.
- Bleaches cone in many products including hair care products, skin lotions, cleaning products and disinfectants.
- Exposure to light, either sunlight or artificial light, can cause colour faking or loss of colour where the ultraviolet rays can alter the chemical structure of dyes.
- Wear abrasion colour loss can typically occur in the neck line, elbows, seat, knees and pockets or folds. This friction rubs off the dye on the surface of the fabric which will then be flushed away by the action of the cleaning process.
Caring for your Drapes and Furnishings
Drapes and furnishing fabrics should be cleaned regularly and vacuumed often – dust, grime, wood and tobacco smoke are hard on furnishing fabrics.
- Protect your drapes from moisture. Humidity and condensation can disturb sizing and dyes in furnishing fabrics and when combined with heat, fumes may cause yellow stains which is most instances cannot be removed by dry cleaning.
- Exposure to Australia’s strong sunlight will reduce the life of your furnishings. If possible rotate your drapes to minimise this damage. The backing on insulated drapes will deteriorate with prolonged exposure to sunlight causing the backing to peel, self stick or separate during cleaning.
- Remember, regular cleaning is the key to prolonging the life of your furnishing fabrics.
- Please be aware that a shrinkage rate on 3% can occur on curtain and furnishing fabrics.