Looking after your sofa
To wash, or not to wash?
Years of experience have taught us to say,"Go to the dry cleaners," whatever it says on the fabric label, as the whole washable fabric arena is fraught with danger. For example, and apologies for getting a little technical; a washable fabric is technically designated as such, so long as it does not shrink more than 3%. But does your loose cover, which in the current vogue needs to look like a tight cover, have 3% of shrinkage allowance in it when popular demand is for a tight fitting look, a bit like a skinny jean. See what I mean?
Want to know more, then read on.
Rule of thumb.
Washable fabrics come on sofas where the whole loose cover can be taken off. If you only have removable cushion covers don't be tempted to wash them in the machine. They'll shrink and come out crumpled.
Check the cleaning instructions! Follow them! A fabric can be only washed, say the experts, so long as it shrinks by less than 3%. Washable fabrics have the bucket symbol on the cleaning instructions label, with 30° or 40° in the bucket.
These fabric ranges are washable: Biscay, Cromarty, Dover, Malin, Lundy, Portland, Trafalgar.
Regular ironing, steam or dry, may be performed at low setting (110C, 230F) only.
Regular ironing, steam or dry, may be performed at medium setting (150C, 300F)
Regular ironing, steam or dry may be performed at high setting (200C, 290F).
Dryclean, Any Solvent Except Trichloroethylene
Any dry cleaning solvent other than trichloroethylene may be safely used.
Dry in Shade
Usually added to line or drip dry. Dry away from direct sunlight.
Do Not Tumble Dry
A machine dryer may not be used. Usually accompanied by an alternate drying method symbol.
Machine Wash, Cold
Initial water temperature should not exceed 30C or 65 to 85F.
Machine Wash, Warm
Initial water temperature should not exceed 40C or 105F.
Garment may be laundered through the use of water, detergent or soap and gentle hand manipulation.
Do Not Bleach
No bleach product may be used. The garment is not colorfast or structurally able to withstand any bleach.
Top tips. Don't overload your washing machine. If you have to stuff your loose cover into the machine, stop. Take it from me, you're overloading it. It may damage your covers and your machine. Wash the base and cushion covers for your sofa separately.
Never ever use detergents with Optical Brighteners or Whiteners in them, because the chemicals in these detergents take the colour out of your covers. If you are unsure, always contact the detergent manufacturer before washing.