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Consumer Information
Consumer Information

Bedspreads and Comforters

Bedding supplies typically last a long time. Comforters and bedspreads usually last five and six on average.

A bedspread is an outer covering for a bed that goes over the sheets and blankets. It is usually a decorative component of the bed set. A comforter is a quilted bed cover.

The cover consists of an outer face fabric, a center batting (usually a fiber mat or down), and a backing fabric. These three layers are held together with a stitched pattern or simulated stitching. The comforter may be used for decorative purposes, like a bedspread, or in place of a blanket.

Unlike clothing care labels, which provide instructions for how to properly care for the garments, the Federal Trade Commission's Care Label Rule does not require permanent labels on home furnishings fabrics. Most bedspreads and comforters are sold with care instructions on a hang tag, a temporary label or on the packaging.

Possible Problems
While bedspreads and comforters are often long-term purchases, they can be subject to many problems in use and care. Possible problems include:

• Stains: Stains can easily occur from spillage or contact with various substances in use. Once they have contacted the fabric, they may be difficult to remove. Factors affecting removal include the nature of the staining material and the age of the stain. The multiple thickness of bedspreads and comforters may also make removal difficult.

• Color loss: Cleaning may cause color loss, a print to be diminished in color or a print to lose its original brightness. All coordinating pieces should be drycleaned or laundered at the same time and with the same process to prevent color variances within the set.

• Shrinkage: Shrinkage of 2 to 3 percent or more can easily occur if the fabric is not completely preshrunk. This may cause the bedspread to not fit properly or appear much too small.

• Improper construction: If comforters are not quilted with closed channels or pockets the filling material can shift in cleaning and use. Proper construction helps prevent shifting, fabric tears, and uneven appearance.

• Stitching under stress: Stitches could break during cleaning if quilting lines are more than eight to 10 inches apart.

They may also break if the stitching thread was damaged in use or if the stitches are not secured properly at the end of the quilting line.

Preserving Your Household Textiles
While cleaners are clothing care experts, they also know a thing or two about household textiles, which, in addition to bedspreads and comforters, include draperies and curtains, blankets, upholstery, slipcovers, decorative pillows, rugs, and heirloom textiles.

To protect and prolong the beauty of your household textiles remember these basic tips:

1 Protect all furnishings from sunlight, fumes, and pets.

2 Damage, like tears, should be repaired immediately.

3 Vacuum and/or brush to remove dust regularly.

4 Follow the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations.

5 Do not allow the item to become extremely soiled, and have any stains removed immediately.

6 Do not store household textiles that are not clean and stain free.

Outdoor Gear Care Guide
Outdoor Gear Care Guide

Finally, a chance to get away and see the great outdoors.

The weather can be a bit unpredictable. A properly-waterproofed tent can be a great place to wait out a storm. To avoid sleeping in a puddle, you'll do well to waterproof tents once a year.

Here are a few more tips to keep your outdoor gear ready and for storing it when cold weather returns.

Tent: Waterproof at the beginning of the season. Open it up, even at the site, and spray it with water repellent. Check for tiny holes and patch them promptly to keep water and insects out.

Sleeping Bag: Sleeping bags can usually be washed but check the care instructions before cleaning. Many contain down or fiber filling and may require different care methods.

Wash sleeping bags separately on a gentle cycle. Add detergent and partially fill with warm water. Submerge the sleeping bag in the water to expel air, then allow the washer to finish filling.

Periodically stop the washer, open the lid, and press air from the sleeping bag to ensure thorough cleaning. Tumble dry at regular temperatures. Consider adding a clean tennis ball to the dryer to fluff up the filling.

If your sleeping bag is too bulky for your washer, we'll be more than happy to get it ready for the season.

Backpack: Water repellent is a good here, too. Look out for holes where water can get in and soak your items. If you have a leather backpack, it may crack and crumble if it gets wet too often or sits in the hot sun for a long period of time. It's best to apply some saddle soap and moisturize the grains on occasion while at home.

Boots: Slightly worse than sleeping in a puddle is walking in one all day. Waterproof and store boots in a dry place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, since squishy feet can lead to illnesses.

Rainwear: Slickers and overboots can be your best friends in the wild. But these items can develop odors and bacterial films which can cause infections if they sit too long. If you're wearing a plastic poncho, make sure it is completely dry before folding it up and packing it away for the season. If you prefer canvass, make sure the water repellent is refreshed at least once per year.

Camping lets people get away from the bustle of daily life and get in touch with nature. Taking good care of your gear will help it take care of you. Pack up, move out, and have a fantastic summer!

Please contact Drycleaning & Laundry Institute to find a DLI/CCA Drycleaning member.
800-638-2627 or email fran@calcleaners.org

 

 

 

 

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Peter Blake
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peter@calcleaners.org