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Forum > Home Dec. Sewing > Laundering Linen Drapery Panels ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Laundering Linen Drapery Panels
Is it OK to do this?
Peter in NYC
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Peter in NYC
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Date: 8/4/10 8:57 AM

I have those long linen drapery panels in the living room.

It's this type of thing (maybe they're from West Elm instead of Pottery Barn).

Is there any reason I would need to dry clean these? I wash my linen pants in the washing machine and dryer and there's no problem. In the worst case, what? A little shrinkage?

Does anyone do this? Thanks -- I really don't want the hassle and cost of dry cleaning.
-- Edited on 8/4/10 8:58 AM --

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camaro1952
camaro1952
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Date: 8/4/10 9:03 AM

I think there could be lots of shrinkage! Can you just put them in the dryer to remove dust and fluff? Good luck.

Peter in NYC
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Date: 8/4/10 9:05 AM

So not wash them at all you mean?

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utz
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utz
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Date: 8/4/10 9:24 AM

I have some like this. Expect them to shorten in length and soften. I'd not put them in dryer. Just hang, smooth out wrinkles by hand. I found the ironing was a bit if a trick - if you choose to iron. I sprinkle with water, put in plastic bag, until water is dispersed. Hot iron with steam. I have a low table to drape excess fabric on while ironing so you don't 're-wrinkle' as you iron. I work fairly quickly because you really need the linen to be damp to get a good press.

As to your question - I'm of the school - if you can wash it (even with some shrinkage, and I don't care) wash it. When I saw they were shorter it bothered me - like for about a day, and then like most things for me, I forgot about it. But if you are after a 'look' that includes their original length - shake out dust periodically, vacuum and then...dry clean. (Or lower curtain rods) Anyway, linen is always lovely.

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Peter in NYC
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Peter in NYC
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Date: 8/4/10 9:32 AM

Thank you! I'll give it a try.

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sky
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sky
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Date: 8/4/10 9:47 AM

I washed a (cotton, I think) shower curtain a little while back in cold and hung it back up to dry. It shrunk quite a bit which I didn't think would happen. I would guess linen might shrink up a bit too.

sarah in nyc

sarah in nyc
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Date: 8/4/10 10:08 AM

I have linen panels in my dining room. A couple of times a year I put them in the dryer with a damp towel. the schmutz goes onto the towel and the drapes don't shrink.

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Peter in NYC
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Peter in NYC
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Date: 8/4/10 10:18 AM

Sarah, that is a great idea!

BTW, what is it about laundering that makes linen shrink? The water? The agitation?

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poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 8/4/10 10:31 AM


Peter, Almost all fabrics will shrink when washed.. a combination of the water and the heat of the dryer etc.. not the agitation.. It doesn't help that they are not preshrunk by the manufacturer before being made up.. I know even some of the cotton slipcovers you buy on the market are not preshrunk, resulting sometimes in a slipcover you can no longer fit on the couch.. ouch....

If your drapes are simply smelly..put them out on the line.. or outside draped on a chair.. the sun will give them a nice smell. If they are dusty, try putting them in the dryer with a dryer sheet.. or some do vacuum their drapes.
If they have a spot on them..try just treating the spot.
Best to wash in cold water should you decide to wash them.. If it has been a long time since you cleaned them they may very well need washing. Most of the time they are very dusty at the top..so make it part of your housekeeping to shake them now and again..or vacuum.

I am of the I gotta wash these darn drapes no matter what.. so let me give you a little trick.. If they shrink.. either lower your rod.. or add a trim or coordinate fabric on the bottom.. Be sure and preshrink the coordinate fabric so no worries about further washes.

Hope that helps. The percentage of shrinkage depends on the fabric btw...

poorpigling

poorpigling
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Date: 8/4/10 10:35 AM


BTW. I have not tried the product Dryel.. for dry cleaning at home.. Maybe some members have and can give you some input on using dryel .

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