Fabric know-how

Aftercare of fabric:

Most of our fabrics were designed to be used as home furnishings (rather than dress or craft fabrics) – but hey, don’t let that stop you, I know I don’t. But if you are going to re-purpose a fabric there are a few things you may like to bear in mind:

Cleaning – Furnishing fabrics are more often than not “Dry Clean Only” (don’t those three little words make you yawn!). This is  safest way to clean them. If you are planning on throwing caution to the wind and machine washing your remnants we would recommend that you test the washability (or not) of the fabric by cutting a sample, accurately measuring it and putting it in the wash. These dry clean fabrics may leak colour – so don’t shove it in the wash with your posh lingerie girls! Measure the fabric when you retrieve it from the machine. Has it shrunk? Has the colour changed? Has the fabric warped? Bear all this in mind before you decide if you want to machine wash your finished project. It should be noted that some fabrics will continue to shrink every time you wash them and continue to loose colour.

Fire retardancy – Some of our fabrics have been treated with a fire retardant coating to make them suitable for UK domestic upholstery (these fabrics are always clearly described). These fabrics should not be machine washed as the coating would come off (and may do strange things to your machine). These fabrics are not suitable for use as apparel as the coating may come off with wear and irritate the skin (errgghh). This fire retardant finish is a legal requirement on upholstery fabrics for use on furniture that is produced after 1950. Your upholsterer will be able to advise you if your specific piece of furniture requires a fire retardant fabric. Please note that the fire regulations for public places such as hotels, bars, clubs and bed & breakfasts are more stringent and unless it is specifically stated in the product description that the product is suitable for “contract” use – these products should not be used (it may even invalidate your insurance – not worth the risk!).

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