LAUNDRY TIPS

Warm and Cozy Comforters

Comforters, sleeping bags, coats and other cold weather garments are often made with down or fiberfill. Both down - a natural product - and fiberfill - a polyester fill - are effective in keeping out the cold.

Sometimes, distortion or flatness occurs on insulating materials used in both wearable garments and household items. Garments with poor construction and insufficient quilting can cause the fill to shift and lose shape, and become matted. This type of damage cannot be prevented. The normal agitation of any acceptable care process will aggravate the defective condition. The durability of such items directly depends on the stability and quality of the overall construction of the item.

When purchasing a down or fiberfill garment, make sure it is well quilted. Preferably, quilting stitches should run both vertically and horizontally with quilting stitches about 8-10 inches apart. Poorly constructed garments with loose stitching can allow down or fiberfill to shift.

Bedspread Shrinkage

Some natural relaxation shrinkage can show up after cleaning of household items, such as comforters, bedspreads, blankets, and slipcovers. Slight shrinkage (approximately 2-4%) is to be expected on all household items. There is usually a fullness of the backing or shell fabric, causing a puckered appearance. Also, any piping borders, quilting stitches, and seams may be rippled or distorted. The zippers needed for many slipcovers will be wavy.

The major cause is the original fabric not being properly preshrunk or stabilized before the article was constructed. When this occurs, the latent strains of relaxation will appear during the agitation of any acceptable care procedure. This is often the case with custom made items.

Properly cleaned items that shrink so excessively that they cannot be used should be returned to the manufacturer. In some cases, your neighborhood Lapels Dry Cleaner can restore household items to an acceptable dimension.

"Cord" Trims

Many household items, such as furniture covers, slipcovers, bedspreads, and comforters are constructed with a decorative fabric or yarn covered "cord" trim (corded piping) along the borders. In some cases, this cord trim is braided. Problems can arise when the border trim shrinks and distorts during the cleaning process.