Why Do Draperies, Slipcovers Shrink During Processing?

Alan Spielvogel |

Q: We have a problem with shrinkage when drycleaning household items such as draperies and slipcovers, although we don’t normally have these kinds of problems when drycleaning regular garments. What causes this, and how can we deal with the problem?
A: Custom-made draperies and slipcovers in people’s homes are often fabricated from bulk fabric, which can shrink more easily than other fabrics when drycleaned.
Because bulk fabric is not subject to the same Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shrinkage guidelines as fabric used in the construction of garments, bulk fabric seldom goes through a pre-shrinking treatment when it’s manufactured. Because of this, drycleaners should inform customers of the potential for shrinkage in these items, and the customer should sign a “consent to process” agreement before the drycleaner accepts them for processing.

About the author

Alan Spielvogel

National Cleaners Association (NCA)

Technical Director

Alan Spielvogel is technical director of the National Cleaners Association (NCA).


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