Draperies are susceptible to a wide variety of problems, ranging from shrinkage and fading to stains and abrasion damage. Too often we only think of cleaning draperies after they’ve been framing our windows for a few years. Sometimes problems can develop over time while they are just hanging there, doing their job of beautifying out homes. What problems are associated with draperies? Because draperies are exposed to atmospheric conditions in greater concentrations and for longer periods of time than most garments and textiles, they can encounter a number of problems. Often these problems do not become evident until the item has been drycleaned or washed.
Some of the more common problems associated with draperies are damage due to light exposure; poor colorfastness; yellowing due to the deterioration of finishes or soil accumulation; water marks; shrinkage; abrasion damage; and deterioration of the coating or lining during cleaning. Some of these problems are a result of defects in manufacturing. Others, however, such as damage due to light exposure, yellowing due to soil accumulation, water marks, and abrasion damage, can usually be attributed to circumstances of use.
What can you do to make your draperies last? The American National Standards Institute's Fair Claims Guide for Consumer Textile Products gives the following life expectancies for draperies: • Lined Draperies 5 years • Unlined Draperies 4 years • Sheer Draperies 3 years • Fiber Glass Draperies 4 years. How long a drapery lasts depends on the fabric type and density, finishes, window location, and length of use. But it also depends on their selection and the care they receive. Here are some tips to help you keep your draperies looking great: • To protect drapes against yellowing due to excess staining and soiling, clean the drape at least once a year. • It is best that you have your drapes cleaned by a cleaner who is experienced in the cleaning of drapes and is knowledgeable in drapery problems. • Protect drapes from prolonged dampness. Moisture from rain, leaky pipes, or condensation from window panes can result in water marks and mildew. • If possible, rotate draperies periodically to vary the amount of light exposure received. • Protect drapes from abrasion damage by avoiding constant rubbing on window sills or furnishings while in use. Abrasion damage can also be caused by a family pet snagging the fabric with sharp claws. • Keep draperies away from the kitchen, wood stoves, or fireplaces. Smoke from wood stoves, fireplaces, and cigarettes; cooking fumes; and other atmospheric contaminants can contribute greatly to drapery soiling.
The colder months are rolling in. As the temperature begins to drop here are a few tips and considerations to help you roll with the seasons.
Cleaning Out the Closet After a long slumber, your winter clothes will need to be awakened and taken out of storage. Hopefully you didn't have any unwanted visitors over the summer months but it's a good idea to check your garments for signs of insect damage. Insects such as crickets, ants, moths, beetles, and cockroaches can feed on clothes that were not cleaned properly before storing. Look for small holes, worn areas, and discolored lines on the portions of the garment that had spills or stains that were never removed. Moth ball odor can be difficult to remove. Try airing the garments by hanging them outside in the shade. If this does not completely remove the odor, cleaning the garments may help.
Winter Cleaning Tips When it comes to cleaning, the first and easiest way to ensure the best cleaning is to follow the manufacturer's care label instructions. Many of your garments may be hand or machine washable. Minimize agitation to prevent matting and pilling of napped fabrics. We have pressing equipment that can reshape knits back to their original size if something gets out of shape. Follow recommended drying temperatures. Other materials such as wool, fur, and leather require professional care due to special cleaning and pressing procedures. Make sure to point out any known stains when you send them our way.
Festive Outfits Many stains caused by cosmetics, oily foods, and beverages will get best results when pre-treated. Many festive dishes, unfortunately, contain ingredients that are not easily removed using household stain removal techniques and may require solvent-based treatments. Let us know if you are not sure what the best procedure would be. Thank you for the opportunity to care for your wardrobe.
Getting ready for another year of school almost always calls for at least one shopping trip. Whether you're a teacher, parent, or college student you've got some looking good to do this year. The most important thing for students is to be comfortable in what they're wearing. That allows the mind to focus on learning rather than self-awareness. Taking care of new school clothes helps them stay fresh all year long. Today's fashions still include jeans and T-shirts, but academics have always been more into the business casual category, for the most part. Khaki pants and sweaters go well in the fall and winter.
The kids in the pool might not be ready to think about the coming of school and fall, but it's not a bad idea to get ready early. The best way to start is by preparing summer clothes for proper storage and getting your fall wardrobe out of storage and ready to wear.
Summer Storage Getting your summer wardrobe ready for storage takes care and a little bit of time. The items need to be thoroughly cleaned before they go into storage since invisible stains can yellow over time, and soils in the fabric can attract insects to your home. A good thorough cleaning will ensure that these soils are not present and that no stains will come from inside the fabric during storage.
Silks and linens are the most critical, since these items are very prone to invisible stains. The key is making sure they're cleaned and not worn before they are packed away for cold storage. Summer silks are very delicate and can develop a number of problems in storage, so it is best to have them dry cleaned before packing them away. It is very important to store your garments in proper containers.
Plastic bags used for dry cleaning are not suitable for longterm storage, since they often contain lubricants and can trap air in with the garments. Other types of plastic are not suitable for storage if the garments have even a hint of wetness-this can cause mildew to develop on the garments while they are in storage, or create water stains.
Storage Tips Store your cleaned clothing in cardboard boxes in a dark, dry place that has a regular temperature, such as under your bed or in a closet. Make sure there is no direct sunlight contacting the clothing, or even artificial light, since overexposure to light has been known to cause color fading or yellowing in whites. Be sure there are no fumes contact your stored wardrobe. Garage or furnace emissions often cause a discoloration in dyes.
Do not store your articles in a damp area. Doing so could cause difficult to remove mildew odors.
Fall Freshen-Up Sweaters and coats can gather musty smells in storage. Fine haired sweaters can get pressed flat in the heat of the attic or under some other storage items in a closet. After getting the items out of storage, check for fading or small holes (the result of insect bites). If your garments look good then your clothes survived the storage, but they'll need a little bit of "freshening" to get you back in fall style.
Professional cleaning rejuvenates and imbues clothes with a "like new" appearance. Many insoluble soils collect in the fibers of clothing. Over time they wear away at the delicate threads until a hole eventually develops. Drycleaning removes the soils that home washers can't. Impending inclement weather means scarves, rainwear, boots, velvet dresses, and leather jackets. These items can be professionally cleaned and brought back to fashion. The fall months are often exciting times. The change of seasons can bring tidings of fresh beginnings.
With spring comes the arrival of the spring sports season- and spring athletic uniforms. As sports uniforms are bound to experience significant soiling and wear, special attention should be paid to their care. Sports uniforms are usually made from synthetic fibers, such as nylon, polyester, spandex, or a blend of these fibers. The biggest problem athletic uniforms may experience is dye bleeding during the cleaning process. For this reason, it is important that you follow the manufacturer's care instructions carefully. Because some dyes are water-soluble, resulting in fading or dye transfer during washing, many uniforms have care labels that recommend a cold water wash. The color should be safe if washed in cold water, but it will often bleed if washed at a higher temperature. If the color bleeds when washed at the recommended temperature, the manufacturer should be held responsible and the uniform returned to the retailer for an adjustment. Here are some tips on how to keep those athletic uniforms looking great: • Check the care label to determine the best method of care. Laundering is usually considered to be the most effective method for removing heavy soiling. • Prior to cleaning, test for colorfastness to avoid color pick-up on other articles. • Wash in a low temperature to reduce the chance of bleeding colors. Mud and grass stains may require treatment before washing. • Avoid high drying temperatures. Shrinkage and permanent wrinkles may result. Laminated synthetics should be air dried. • Do not allow items to soak or be wet for long periods of time. • Dry athletic uniforms at low temperatures. • Immediately remove athletic uniforms from the dryer and hang to avoid permanent wrinkles. • When ironing, make sure it is set at the proper setting. A low temperature setting, such as polyester, is usually safe.
OLD CAPITAL CLEANERS
113 South Mulberry Street Corydon, IN 47112 / 812-738-3033
632 By Pass Road Brandenburg, KY 40108 / 270-422-3015