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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Caring for Drapes

Whenever I think of drapes, I think too much about form and not enough about function.  Besides adding a decorative touch to a room, drapes actually serve almost as a filter by guarding against the sunlight, heat, dirt, and dust coming through your windows.  As a result, they take a fair amount of abuse.  The sunlight causes the fabric to weaken, and the dirt and dust build up can impact your home’s air quality.  Regularly cleaning your drapes not only improves the air quality in your home, it also adds years to their life.  Cleaning your drapes is also much more wallet friendly than purchasing new ones.

We clean and restore lots of drapes, and as a result, we’ve come across a lot of issues over the years.  We thought we’d share those issues with you.

•    Two weeks ago, we talked about how the sun can cause color loss on your clothing.  Not only can sunlight discolor your drapes, it can also weaken the fabric, so much so, in fact, that the fabric can shred after being cleaned.
•    Moisture can also be an enemy to your drapes.  A window leak or a pet stain can cause dye bleeding and water rings, which may be difficult to remove.
•    Shrinkage could be an issue as well.  The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute reports that manufacturing industry standards allow 2-4% shrinkage in household fabrics.  Some fabrics are prone to shrink more than others, but four percent can make a big difference in the appearance.

You’re reading this and thinking that we’ve given you all the problems but no solutions.  Below are a few tips to hopefully help with your current drapes or if you are in the market for new ones.

•    To reduce the chances of sun damage, use window film, sheers, blinds, or shutters along with your drapes.
•    Just like with your clothes, darker color drapes absorb light and show color loss more quickly.  If your windows will be subject to intense sunlight, consider using lighter color fabrics for your drapes.
•    Check the fabric composition.  For instance, polyester fabrics hold up better when exposed to sunlight. 
•    If possible, choose lined drapes.  The lining will take the brunt of the sun before the front of the drapes.
•    Before purchasing new drapes, check to see if the fabric has been properly pre-shrunk.
•    When caring for your household items, whether it is through washing, professional wet cleaning, or dry cleaning, be sure to have all matching pieces done at the same time to keep the appearance consistent.

If your drapes are in need of special care, drop them off at any one of our locations.  We are here to help.


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