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March 15, 2022
If you've ever looked at fabric care instructions and felt like you were reading another language, you are not alone! W, WS, DC, S ... what do all those fabric cleaning codes mean anyway? And are you going to damage your gorgeous designer pillow fabric if you don’t follow the care instructions perfectly? Have no fear, we are here to interpret for you.
When purchasing fabric from reputable dealers, you will see a fabric cleaning code on its tag. If you’re not able to find this information, either you’re not dealing with a reputable source that knows the origins of their fabric or maybe it’s vintage or deadstock, in which case you won’t be able to trace its origins. In these situations, and when in doubt, DRY CLEAN. It’s kind of the safe answer for everything. But aside from dry cleaning, we’re going to decipher the common fabric cleaning codes you will encounter for your designer fabric pillow covers.
Decorator and upholstery fabrics, which are typically what we’re using for soft goods, like pillows, are different from fashion and garment fabrics and require different fabric care. Often there are treatments applied to these fabrics for fire safety and durability that you would not find in garments that you wear.
Always remember to pre-test the cleaning method on an inconspicuous part of your fabric if you can. I know that can be tough to accomplish on a pillow cover, but it’s important to do so in order to avoid damage. You can always reach out to support@christybhome, and we can send you a swatch of your fabric to pre-test on if we have it. We may not have swatches for your particular fabric available, but we will always help if we can!
FABRIC CLEANING CODE:
DC – Dry Clean Only
No real explanation here, just take it to a pro.
S – Solvents
Blot immediately to remove spilled material. Spot clean with a water-free, dry cleaning solvent. Do not saturate or use water. Use solvent cleaners in a well-ventilated room and keep away from open flames.
WS – Water & Solvent
A blend of dry cleaning solvents and water-based cleaners may be used.Spot clean with upholstery-washing shampoo, foam from a mild detergent, or light dry cleaning solvent. Do not saturate. This is a case where the pre-test is crucial.
W – Water-Based Cleaner
Although the easiest to clean, this is NOT the same as being machine washable. Blot immediately to remove any spilled material. Spot clean only with water-based shampoos or foaming upholstery cleaner. Do not use water and be careful to avoid over-wetting the stain.
These fabric cleaning codes are the result of test methods conducted by fabric manufacturers in accordance with the Joint Industry Fabric Standards Committee but do not imply and/or guarantee the cleanability of any fabric or method (so annoying right?). Anyway, take a look at their full fabric care recommendations below – you’ll notice right away that for almost every type, they recommend professional cleaning – when in doubt, DRY CLEAN!
Next time, we’ll talk about Performance Fabrics, Outdoor Fabrics, and CRYPTON Fabrics. Does that last one sound like a superhero? It should, because it basically has superpowers and we are totally obsessed!
We get it—accidents happen. But there are several fabric care methods that can be used to keep your luxury throw pillows clean longer and extend the length of their lifespan along the way. To keep your throw pillows clean, we recommend regularly dusting or vacuuming them to remove any excess dust or debris. Another tip? Place your pillows above the ground and in harder-to-reach places, so pets and younger family members won’t soil them as frequently.
Looking for beautiful luxury throw pillows to complete your home design? At Christy B Home, we offer a variety of handmade, luxury pillows using fine fabrics that have been vetted by interior designers. Explore our brightly colored Coral Costa collection, or get inspired by our Flora Bella selections, perfect for a softer interior. Get creative and customize your fabrics, sizes, and trims to create a one-of-the-kind home decor accessory for your space.
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