Types of Fabrics That Should and Should Not Be Dry-cleaned

dry cleaning

Not all fabrics are made equal. Some need special attention and treatment that hand washing or machine washing cannot provide. In that case, you will need to have them dry-cleaned.

Dry cleaning, contrary to common assumptions, is not a “dry” technique. Fabrics are dipped and soaked in a particular liquid chemical solvent, often perchloroethylene (perc). This removes dirt and stains from clothing without the use of soap or water. But how do you know which clothing should be dry-cleaned or not? 

Here is a quick guide:

Fabrics That Do Not Require Dry Cleaning


1. Cashmere


Natural fibres like cashmere wool can be damaged by the chemicals used in dry cleaning. Handwashing is the best way to care for this type. Use cashmere shampoo or a mild detergent, along with cold water to wash your cashmere fabrics.


2. Polyester and Other Synthetics


There are several synthetic materials available on the market. All polyester, nylon, acrylic, spandex, and acetate clothing are machine washable.  With these fabrics, you may wash them in the washing machine as well as hand-wash them.


3. Cotton


Machine washing and dry cleaning are not necessary with cotton since it is one of the most often used garments. To keep colours vibrant, you may use either cold or warm water. You may also dry your pre-shrunk cotton garments in a dryer.


4. Wool


You don’t have to worry about going to the dry cleaner since most wool apparel can be hand-washed. Machine washing should also be done in caution.

Fabrics That Need to Be Dry Cleaned


1. Rayon


Rayon is a semi-synthetic material that is made out of natural fibres. So, there is a significant probability of the material shrivelling and losing its form. It is also possible for dyes to bleed when washed by hand or machine. That is why dry cleaning rayon is often recommended.


2. Leather


Leather jackets and other items may be revived by professional dry cleaning. The leather will not shrink or crack as a result of the treatment.


3. Silk


If you want a 100 per cent silk item to last long, dry cleaning is necessary. While some silk can be hand-washed, this is not always the best choice. 

Dry cleaning guarantees that the silk retains its original colour and lustre. Some silks, such as those with dark or brilliant colours, lining, or printing, must always be dry cleaned.


4. Linen


Linen may be hand-washed in cold water, but it can lose its quality and feel harsh if done incorrectly. That makes dry cleaning the most excellent way to keep the quality of your linen garments.


5. Suede


Suede, like leather, does not like water. It is easily ruined in rain and snow. As a result, you cannot clean it with water. Although dry cleaning suede is expensive, it is one of the few options for eliminating dirt and filth.


There are no shortcuts when it comes to caring for and keeping your clothes made of delicate textiles. Therefore, it is advisable to get expert advice on whether a piece of clothing should be dry-cleaned or not. 

Bring your garments to Goodfellow Cleaners if you need them properly dry-cleaned. With over 25 years of expertise serving Ottawa residents and businesses, our crew is experienced in dry cleaning even the most valuable clothes, such as wedding gowns and suits. Contact us today!

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