What makes a fabric dry clean only?
Fabrics labeled dry clean only are typically comprised of delicate fibers. These fibers become misshapen when they come in contact with water or steam. Wool is a very durable fiber, however warm water will cause it to shrink. Rayon fibers become very weak in water, causing them to warp and tear easily. Rayon also tends to shed dye and bleed onto other garments. Silk fibers are very delicate and tear easily, when it comes in contact with water it becomes dull and misshaped. Linen wrinkles extremely easily, meaning creases can be permanently set when exposed to hot water or steam from ironing. Manufacturers label clothing with care instructions. It is critical to the life of your garment that you follow these instructions. Below are some industry standard labels and explanations.
W – Spot clean only with water based upholstery cleaner
S – Spot clean with dry clean solvent only. No Water.
WS – Spot clean with mild detergent foam, upholstery shampoo, or mild dry clean solvent.
X – Clean by brushing with a non-metal brush, absolutely no wet cleaner of any kind.