Fine fabrics and furnishings add the finishing touches to a home, introducing warmth, softness and colour into any interior décor. However, drapes, fabrics and rugs need to be treated with care and attention if you want to enjoy them for years to come. With over 165 years’ experience, Royal Warrants holder Pilgrim Payne & Co Ltd, the curtain, carpet and upholstery cleaning specialist, explains how to look after your soft furnishings to extend their life through proper fabric care.
Caring for drapes
Your draperies work as part of your home’s air circulation system. They trap heating and cooking vapours, oil, dust, pollen and bacteria that float freely in the air. Some of these residues contain sulphur dioxide that gradually turns into sulphuric acid, deteriorating drapery fibres and fading colours. However, with proper care, quality drapes should last a minimum of eight to 10 years, while unlined fabrics will last five to seven years. Following a few simple steps will help you to ensure the long life of your furnishings:
- Draperies should be professionally cleaned every two to three years. If tobacco or fireplace smoke is present, it’s best to have them cleaned yearly
- Between professional cleanings you should vacuum and brush draperies: the headings, pleat recesses and back of the drapery should be cleaned
- Drapery fabric can be damaged by opening and closing. Always use a pull cord where possible.
- To minimise the effects of both direct and indirect light, have a good lining and rotate the drapes if possible. Sheer window drapes under outer draperies can provide excellent protection against sun streaks and condensation stains
- Black out lined, acrylic lined , or self-lined drapes, require special attention or problems can occur with improper handling. Professional cleaning is needed to avoid cracking, blistering or peeling of the backing and ensure long wear
Dust accumulation is harmful to both fabrics and furnishings. It fades colour, erodes the fibre’s strength and is proven to have an abrasive action on fabric.
- Vacuum carpets every week, using an upright vacuum with a beater bar for best results. Vacuum heavily trafficked areas twice a week
- For upholstered items, vacuum every week. Most cleaners come with an attachment for this job. If possible, rotate and reverse cushions on sofas and chairs
- Don’t forget to vacuum draperies with the soft brush attachment
- Professionally clean carpets every one to two years. Draperies and upholstered furniture should be professionally cleaned every two to three years
Dust mites and their by-products are the most worrying factors in house dust, accounting for 95 percent of house-dust sensitivity – a frightening thought when allergies and asthma are on the rise. The mite proliferates in the bedroom where we spend one-third of our time, so it’s important to combat its effects.
- Choose a pillow filled with a synthetic material, other than foam. Feathers promote allergens from dust mites and foam aids the growth of mould
- Cover pillows, divans and mattresses with a specialised liner fabric
- Use machine washable synthetic or cotton blankets or duvets on your bed, and wash them at least every three months
- Carpets should be cleaned professionally at least every one to two years. Hot water extraction cleaning is the best method. Shampooing does not remove the dust mite
- Drapes and Venetian blinds harbour dust. Vacuum them weekly on both sides and have them professionally cleaned at least every two to three years
Whatever assistance you require in maintaining the appearance of your home Pilgrim Payne provides a service that is tailor made to your own special needs. As Industry Partner to the British Institute of Interior Design and members of the National Carpet Cleaners Association, Pilgrim Payne understands how to handle valuable soft furnishings and offers a comprehensive cleaning service.
- Curtains taken down, cleaned and reinstalled with full non-shrinkage guarantee
- On-location cleaning of carpets, upholstered furniture, fabric walling etc
- Cleaning of fine rugs (including Persian, Turkish and Chinese rugs) and tapestries
- Take off, cleaning and refitting of loose covers
- Application of Fabric and Carpet protector
- General cleaning service (London clients only)
- New curtain, relining and alteration service carried out on our own premises
- Manufacturers of upholstered furniture
- Re-upholstery service carried out by craftsmen and flame retarding service