Sun, as well as dust and grime, is destructive
to fabrics. Light color fabrics generally reflect sunlight and resist
fading. Dark colors absorb light and fade. Use lined window treatments,
blinds, or shades to protect fabrics from the sun.
Acrylic and polyester stands up to sunlight better
than other textile fibers and will retain color over time. Cotton,
rayon, and acetate offer slightly less sun resistance. Acetate often
is blended with silk or cotton to make it more sun-resistant.
Special Tip: If your windows face west or south,
particularly if you live in a warm climate, consider professionally
installed window film to diminish the damaging effects of ultraviolet
Tips for Washing
Check the label before laundering ready-made curtains. If your curtains
are washable, remove hooks, rings, and hardware.
Check that trims are tightly attached. Unless the
directions instruct otherwise, machine wash on a short gentle cycle,
using cool water and mild detergent. Tumble dry on low and remove
immediately, or line-dry.
If necessary, iron on the reverse side. If seams
have puckered, spritz lightly with plain water. Pull the seams to
stretch back to size, taking care not to break the stitching. Reattach
metal hardware only after the curtains are dry.
Caring for Lace
Remove dust from lace curtains by tumbling
in the dryer on the air cycle. Many new lace curtains are hand-
or machine-washable. Follow the label directions or gently wash
in cool water. Use detergent made for fine washables.
For extra body, dip freshly washed lace curtains
in a light starch solution. For a soft look, re-hang the curtains
without starching while they are slightly damp.
If you use metals hooks, temporarily place a piece
of tissue paper under each hook where it comes in contact with the
damp lace. This will prevent the hook from rusting onto the fabric.
Caring for Sheers
Most sheers are washable synthetics; unless
the label states otherwise, wash in the same manner as lace curtains.
Dry-clean organdy sheers, which are fragile and
prone to sun damage.
Question: My curtains have
little bumps in the texture, how do I remove them?
Answer: These ¡°bumps¡± you refer to are called slubs.
A slub is nothing more than a thick place in yarn or thread. There
is no reason to remove them as they are a natural part of the weaving
process and are not a defect.
Question: How do I remove
wrinkles from my curtains?
Answer: In most cases wrinkles will ¡°hang out¡±
of a curtain ¡ª meaning, the weight of the curtain will remove the
wrinkles. If, however, this does not work for you, a steamer may
be carefully used. Yet please take precautions not to ¡°wet¡± the
Question: Should I dry clean
my curtains? If so, how often?
Answer: It is not necessary to dry clean curtains.
Furthermore, at The Curtain Exchange, we recommend against dry cleaning.
The chemicals in the dry cleaning process can affect our fine fabrics
in ways often resulting in shrinkage or a significant change to
the appearance of one or all of the three fabrics.
Question: Can my curtains
be machine washed?
Answer: We recommend against this. Washing quality
curtains, or getting them wet during extended periods such as wash
cycles, can damage the fabric.
Question: Dry cleaning and
machine washing are not recommended. Are there any other options?
Answer: Yes, but the specific treatments depend
on the curtain¡¯s fabric. A fabric with a high cotton content, or
a synthetic, will, in theory, respond to stain removal. It is always
best to test the fabric first on the reverse side, perhaps on the
hem. In some cases a commercial product, such as Spot Lifter, can
be used, but the results vary enormously, and some products will
make the stain spread. A light colored solid silk is the most difficult
fabric from which to remove a stain. Try a simple solution of warm
water with baking soda. If that doesn't work, you may try following
the instructions of a gentle soap such as Woolite?. If all else
fails, you may resort to a high-quality dry cleaner or consult a
professional. Also, you can call your local boutique, one of our
specialists will be happy to help discuss the best solution.
Question: Water was spilled
on my curtains. Will this damage them?
Answer: This depends on the fabric. Water does
not usually harm the curtains unless the curtains are in water for
extended lengths of time. If the spill on your curtains seems substantial,
we recommend lightly blowing them with a hair dryer, set on low,
until most of the moisture is removed. But be careful not to overheat
Question: How can I remove
Answer: This can be a real challenge. The stain
may have penetrated through all three layers of your curtains. You
might try a light solution of vinegar and water to remove the odor
from the fabric.
Question: How do I remove
a smoke smell?
Answer: We¡¯ve found that placing a bowl of
boiling water and pure vanilla extract in the room near the curtains
can dissipate smoke odor.