What Fabrics Have to Be Dry Cleaned?

Anyone who has ever pulled a garment out of the wash and been horrified by shrinkage, loss of shape, or some other damage—for example, beading or sequins that have fallen off or colors that have faded—understands the importance of having certain items professionally dry cleaned.

We know life is busy and challenging enough without having to worry about your dry cleaning. That’s why we strive to make the process as simple and as painless as possible.

We know life is busy and challenging enough without having to worry about your dry cleaning. That’s why we strive to make the process as simple and as painless as possible.

Some types of fabric just do not respond well to being submerged in water or tossed around in the intense heat of your dryer. Dry cleaning is crucial to both extending the life of and maintaining the appearance of certain items of clothing.

Beyond following cleaning suggestions on your garment’s tag (and note that vintage clothes will not have dry clean tags, though many vintage pieces should strictly be dry cleaned), here are some basic rules of thumb for which items of clothing should be handled by a pro and which will likely make it out of your washer and dryer in tact just fine.

Fabrics That Must be Dry Cleaned

Before we tell you which fabrics should always go to the dry cleaner, let us explain the basics of dry cleaning. In a nutshell, dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent (perchlorethylene [commonly referred to as perc] or DF2000) to gently cleanse your garments. It runs through the garment and is then extracted, bringing with it dislodged soils, stains, and odors, including grease and oils. Finally, special pressing equipment returns garments to a “like new” appearance. Because soap and water is not used at any point in the cleaning process, it is called “dry” cleaning.

These are the fabrics that respond most beautifully to dry cleaning:

  • Silk
  • Cashmere
  • Acetate
  • Velvet
  • Wool
  • Taffeta
  • Lace
  • Angora
  • Leather

Fabrics That You Can Wash at Home

  • Cotton
  • Polyester blends
  • Synthetic materials such as PVC, polyurethane, or plastic

More Important Considerations

Beyond the fabric composition of your garment, you will also want to consider the type of garment in question. For instance, men’s and women’s suits should always be dry cleaned—no matter what the fabric—to reduce the risk of losing shape. Many people also like to have their button-up shirts dry cleaned, as it helps to achieve the desired level of “crispness.”

The same goes for any article of clothing that has intricate detailing like metallic threads, appliqués, or beading—either take it to an expert for cleaning or run the risk of damaging it permanently. Furthermore, any item made from two different types of fabric should likely be dry cleaned as well. When in doubt, always seek the expertise of a dry cleaning professional.

Located in Brentwood, Tennessee, at 5012 Thoroughbred Lane, we hope you will choose Pure Green Dry Cleaning to care for your clothes. We service customers throughout the greater Nashville area, including West End, Brentwood, Green Hills, Bell Meade, Cool Springs, Franklin, Elm Hill Pike, and areas around the airport.

What are you waiting for? Call Pure Green Dry Cleaning at 855-998-7873, or sign up for our pick-up and delivery service here so that you can start enjoying a little more “me time”!

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