Because it is sturdy, absorbent, easily dyed, soft and comfortable to touch, cotton is a popular choice for clothing and upholstery.

Cotton Clothing vs. Cotton Upholstery

Cotton upholstery is very different from your cotton T-shirt. In upholstery, cotton may be blended with other fibers that have different characteristics and dye systems. Often the fabric is made up of multiple layers and can be quite thick.

Like your clothing, all upholstery – including cotton – must be cleaned periodically for appearance and health. Furniture manufacturers recommend cleaning your upholstery every 12-24 months.

Cotton-Based Upholstery: Cleaning Challenges

Unlike cotton clothing, which in most cases can be washed without major problems, you have to be very careful when cleaning your cotton upholstery. This creates challenges when cleaning.
The thickness of cotton-based upholstery can lead to ripples and distortion to the fabric texture when cleaned by an inexperienced upholstery cleaning company.
Second, while most cotton clothing is designed to be washed in the laundry with lots of water, detergents and agitation, upholstery fabric is not. Lighter colored cotton upholstery may turn brown or yellow as the cellulose material in the cotton breaks down. Dyes may bleed or run. With some cleaning agents, cotton fabrics can actually degrade and become weak or even split.
There is also the potential that the fabric will shrink. This leads to cushion covers not fitting properly, skirts and dust ruffles curling or wrinkling and other similar problems. That’s why you should never remove cushion covers to launder them.

A Few Upholstery Cleaning Guidelines

Most cotton-based upholstery fabrics can be cleaned safely with the right equipment, cleaning agents and proper training. Follow these guidelines to get the best results.
1.Test
Before we start cleaning, we routinely to test the fabric for dye stability, browning and potential shrinkage, as well as inspect for other possible issues.
2.Be Gentle
In addition to low moisture and controlled pH, some upholstery fabrics require the gentle hand of an experienced upholstery cleaning technician to avoid damage.
3.Protect your Investment
A fabric protector application should follow every cleaning to keep the fabric cleaner longer and help resist permanent staining.

How can you tell which fabrics are problematic? It’s hard to know without experience and training. That’s why it is important to trust your upholstery cleaning needs to Fresh Start. We put experience to work to clean your upholstery, regardless of the fabric. Call us at (856) 764-7966 or click here to request an upholstery cleaning quote.

Tagged with:

Filed under: upholstery cleaning

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!