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Make Draperies Last

June 08, 2012

Draperies can 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.

For help with cleaning your draperies and other household items, contact Sarni Cleaners for our pickup and delivery service.