Cleaning silk upholstery / solvent only labels
Frequently our company, Restoration by Fabric and Tile Masters, is called on to evaluate the cleaning requirements of “dry clean only” fabrics used in upholstered furniture. The cleaning label on these fabrics have the words “dry clean only” or have an “s” indicating the need to use a solvent to clean the fabric.
Before we get into specifically how we clean these items, it is necessary to describe the concept of dry vs wet cleaning. Since most o the soils on upholstery are water soluble (as opposed to solvent soluble) the question arises how can we use solvents to clean them. Even if we heat the dry solvent (a capability our company has that e is limited to only a handful of companies in most areas) the result is never as good as when we use a water based cleaner. Water based soil include the oxidized oily residues found on cushions and arm rests.
Because of this, we have developed low moisture, water based cleaning methods that clean the fabric with water, while avoiding shrinkage and potential for water marking. These methods include drying the furniture so rapidly, it is most often bone dry by the time we leave the home.
This approach is not one that is easily completed, and we never advise ignoring the “s” labels if the company can not fully articulate a cleaning plan. There should be no need to sign a release if the company ruins the furniture. This is a sure sign your furniture is at risk. Our company, Fabric & Tile Masters, cleans dry clean only upholstery every day.