Nothing is better than having found the right window treatments for your home! But how do you make sure you can enjoy your blinds, curtains, and cushions for years to come? If you’re looking for ways to make your window treatments and soft furnishings last, read on for my expert care instructions.
1. Care instructions for your curtains & blinds
My Top Tip
Try not to touch your window coverings more than necessary as the oils from your fingers will transfer to the fabric and leave a mark over time. Consider having a corded track, a pole or draw wands fitted.
Removing dust & fluff
Vacuum your window treatments regularly (on a monthly basis) to remove dust, fluff and insects which naturally settle on the fabric over time. This will help prevent fabric damage.
Use the lowest possible suction on your vacuum cleaner, together with an upholstery attachment to avoid damaging the fabric or the mounting. If the fabric is delicate or has trimmings (or both), cover the brush of the vacuum cleaner with tights or a lightweight sock for an even gentler cleaning.
Window dressings & children
Try and prevent children from leaving marks with dirty or sticky fingers. If the inevitable happens, use a small amount of foam upholstery cleaner to get rid of the marks. IMPORTANT: Always do a spot test on an inconspicuous area first to make sure the dyes are not affected.
Window treatments & sunlight
It is important to protect curtains and blinds from too much direct sunlight otherwise they will fade over time or — in case of delicate fabrics such as silk — start to rot. Semi-sheer roller blinds can help filter sunlight whilst still allowing plenty of light in the room. Get in touch if you want to learn more about your options.
Depending on fabric and manufacturer’s care guidelines, unlined and voile curtains may be washed or dry cleaned. Please take the following things into consideration: All fabrics are liable to shrink (around 3-5%). So curtains or blinds may be considerably shorter after washing.
If the curtains have a pinch pleat heading rather than a heading tape, the stiffening in the heading may bubble when immersed in water and might not look as crisp afterwards.
– Lined & interlined curtains
Washing or dry cleaning lined and interlined curtains or blinds is not recommended. They are highly likely to shrink and the face fabric, lining and interlining may shrink at different rates. As a result, the window treatments may pucker and not hang properly afterwards.
– Linen curtains & blinds
Bear in mind that fabrics with a high linen content can wrinkle more easily than other fabrics. This is an inherent part of the charm of linen. Linen curtains and blinds may also grow or shrink to a certain extent if they are hung in rooms with high humidity levels and/or condensation.
If you want your manually operated curtains to glide smoothly on their uncorded poles and tracks, add a spritz of silicone every 6 months or so. But make sure to use silicone spray and not WD40 otherwise you’ll risk the oil dripping onto your beautiful curtains!
2. Care instructions for your cushions
My Top Tip
The secret to your cushions looking their best is to keep the air in them: Plump up feather cushions regularly (daily) by holding diagonal corners of the cushion in each hand and beat your hands together.
Redistribute the feathers in your seat cushions by holding them in the air with one hand while beating the side and bottom with your palm. If the cushion is heavy, hold it in both hands and beat it against a wall or step. Turn cushions and pillows regularly (daily / weekly) to distribute wear.
Cushions & pets
Keep pets off your cushions as they will mark the fabric over time with their natural body oils. Remove excess dirt, grime, or pet hair by using your vacuum cleaner with the proper attachment, a lint roller, or a clean damp sponge.
Cushions & sunlight
To minimise fading, we recommend placing your upholstered pieces where they won’t be exposed to direct sunlight.
Don’t forget to bring in your outdoor cushions at night or when it rains. When summer is over, thoroughly clean your cushions and ensure they are completely dry before storing them away in a dry place with good air circulation. Don’t enclose your furniture cushions in plastic as this can trap moisture, leading to mould and mildew.
If your feather cushions start leaking feathers you can either replace the pads or refill the existing ones. The Feather Company in Edinburgh offers both services.
If your cushions have washable covers with zips you can remove them easily for cleaning. It’s unlikely that you will be able to wash covers with delicate trimmings. Once removed turn the covers inside out and zip them up to protect the fabric. For the best results put the covers back onto the cushion pad when still slightly damp.
Always blot, never rub spills immediately with a clean, absorbent white cloth. Blot from the outside to the middle of the affected area to prevent rings. Always pretest cleaning agents in a small, unnoticeable area, never use strong chemicals or detergents.
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Disclaimer: These care instructions are given in good faith, following years of experience, and will help you to make the most of your window coverings. Catherine Lepreux Interiors accepts no liability for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of this advice.