It is important to understand the inherent limitations of certain fabrics as well as the invisible influences of the environment in which the draperies hang. These will affect the life and appearance of your draperies. We hope this quick guide and explanation helps you feel like you have good expectations and are better equipped to protect the investment you have made in your home. You should feel confident that you can enjoy your custom draperies for years to come. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with us!
Without further ado, here are our tips for understanding the material and care of your beautiful home window treatments.
Exposure to Sunlight on Fabric
Constant exposure to the bright UV rays of the sun isn’t just bad for our skin – it will weaken the strength of most fibers over time, and draperies and curtains are no exception. It can also cause varying degrees of color fading or streaking. First signs of sun damage may include hem threads. Later and more severe effects could include dry rotting of the fabric itself. Drapery lining, solar window tinting film and/or constant use of shades or blinds behind the drapery will reduce these negative effects of sunlight. When we create custom designs for you, we aim for the highest quality materials and take into account sunlight exposure and may recommend certain additions to help combat sun damage and make your fabrics last.
Some shrinkage in draperies can be expected after cleaning if the fabric has not been completely preshrunk. In most cases, shrinkage is normal. Even in the event of significant shrinkage, draperies can often be lengthened by adjusting the hems.
Invisible Enemies of your Draperies
Today’s fabrics are lovelier and longer lasting than ever before, but each one has its own set of limitations based on the fiber content. There are various levels of quality and durability in all natural and man-made fibers.
In addition to the limitations of wearability of the fibers themselves, there are various invisible enemies which are constantly attacking the fibers of the material and affect the product life.
Humidity will affect fabrics differently. Loosely woven fabrics may be most likely to show the effects of humidity changes by either shrinking or stretching.
Condensation on windows will occasionally cause drapery fabrics to become water marked. There is no guarantee that such water stains can be removed; however, in some fabrics, this can be accomplished.
Maintenance of Curtains & Draperies
Maintenance of your draperies involves routine vacuuming with the dust brush attachment on your household vacuum cleaner. Depending upon dust conditions, local construction, cooking habits, and other factors, you may wish to do this every three to four months.
After months and months of exposure to dust, cooking or tobacco smoke residues, and other environmental pollutants, your draperies will need to be professionally and thoroughly cleaned. Dry cleaning is recommended for draperies and sheers. Some people prefer to have their sheers laundered rather than dry cleaned. Most draperies should be professionally cleaned after 2-3 years (most sheers every year). Of course environmental circumstances and other factors vary, thereby affecting the recommended cleaning interval. Nevertheless, the investment you have made in your new draperies is worth protecting. The dividend will be years of enjoyment for your family and for guests in your home.
We don’t just create and install your custom designs, we also help you take care of them! Call us for an appointment to dry clean, launder, press, and professionally reinstall your draperies, sheers and valances.