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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Dry clean only fabrics ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Dry clean only fabrics
PreWashing dry clean only fabrics
swann
swann
Member since 7/16/11
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Date: 2/19/13 2:32 PM

I bought a 100% polyester suiting material without lookin at the care instructions which say dry clean only. Why would this material be dry clean only? If I prewash it before I sew and wash it the same way everytime after that, would that be damaging to the garment?
Julia C
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In reply to swann

Date: 2/19/13 3:15 PM

You might try prewashing a 4" square to see how it behaves & for any shrinkage. I tend to prewash/preabuse all fabric prior to use. Much better to find out before sewing that the fabric is a wadder.
swann
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Date: 2/19/13 5:53 PM

Yeah, if I abuse it like prewash in warm water and everything, it shouldn't shrink anymore right? Will it expand?! thanks for the tip! when it comes in the mail I'll test a 4x4 piece. I just don't understand why a polyester might be dry clean except for shrinkage, and wouldn't that be solved by prewashing?
Elona
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In reply to swann
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Date: 2/19/13 7:10 PM

It should neither shrink nor expand after that.

I suspect this is just a CYA maneuver on the part of the vendor.

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NonieA1
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Date: 2/20/13 5:00 AM

It could also be the sizing in the material that would be loss if washed which is why it would be drycleaned only. I agree with Julia C regarding testing a swatch to see how it behaves. Myself, I would wash on delicate, cold/cold with low spin in the washer and delicate in the dryer.
PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 2/20/13 11:17 AM

This has been the case for a few years now; fabrics we normally wash are labeled dry clean only.

Could just be the mfg is just going the CYA (Cover Your A$$) route.

OOPS... miss Leona's post......


-- Edited on 2/20/13 11:18 AM --

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OLD CHINESE PROVERB: I HEAR & I FORGET; I SEE & I REMEMBER; I DO & I UNDERSTAND.

swann
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Date: 2/20/13 2:42 PM

I learned a new term now! cya. Lol. Good thing I bought a little more than I needed. I was just hoping I wouldn't sew something I would have dry clean forever. That would be horrible. If prewashing it will undo the dry clean only recommendation, I'm happy. :)
nicegirl
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nicegirl
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Date: 2/20/13 2:52 PM

If it's polyester, I doubt it will shrink. If it really needs to be dry cleaned, it's likely, as Nonie says, related to a finish on the fabric that will be washed off with water. Washing a test square will tell.

That said, I prewash everything. If something is going to be ruined by water I want to know before I sew it. I only dryclean the most special pieces. Everyday items get thrown in the washer, *maybe* a hand wash for silk. Not to mention, it can rain pretty hard in DC--I don't want to end up bedraggled because a fabric can't take getting wet.

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