For washing your slipcovers we recommend mild detergents free of “bleach boosters” or “color boosters” of any kind. The traditional brands of unscented liquid or dry detergents are all fine (Tide, Cheer, or any of the other major brands). Woolite is not recommended because it actually has a tendency to yellow fabrics and is primarily for hand washing delicate items submerged in water for a short amount of time.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make while washing your slipcover is putting the slipcover in the drum, then pouring the detergent directly onto the fabric BEFORE the slipcover is COMPLETELY SUBMERGED IN WATER. This leaves a trail wherever the detergent was poured.
Begin by separating the body of the slipcover from the seat and back cushions (sofa). A chair can usually be done in one wash load. Make sure the covers are zipped closed before placing them into the washing machine or you may end up with a tangled up mess. You may also want to turn the covers inside out to reduce the amount of abrasion and friction that can occur. Put your washing machine option for load size on ‘large’ or ‘extra large’ if you have that additional setting. ALLOW THE DRUM TO FILL COMPLETELY and start agitating. Stop the machine at this time and submerge the slipcover. We suggest adding 1/4 cup of vinegar to prevent fabrics from bleeding or fading. Because colorfastness cannot be guaranteed, note that on a ‘mixed’ slipcover (when more than one fabric is chosen to create a slipcover), the dye used in these fabrics may ‘bleed’ onto another fabric that has been sewn with it to create the popular ‘mixed slip’ look. Although unlikely, it is a possibility. RESTART. Use your regular cycle for cottons and/or linens. Confirm that AT NO TIME hot water will be entering the drum…not even for a SHORT rinse cycle.
Immediately after the load is finished, put the slipcover into the dryer. LEAVING THE SLIPCOVER IN THE DRUM UNATTENDED FOR OVER 20 MINUTES CAN EASILY CREATE ‘FOLD MARKS’ OR ‘MARBLING’ on the fabric, which is very hard to remove. We suggest starting the drying process on ‘normal’ or ‘high’ to get the slipcover moving along in the drying process. When your slipcover is still damp, change the temperature to ‘low’ or a ‘wrinkle free’ option.
Continue to dry the slipcover until it is almost completely dry; the inside of the welting should feel slightly damp. This is the perfect time to pull your slipcover out and bring it directly to your mannequin to redress. The slipcover should be put back on from the arm front panels and then over the back. The slightly damp cord welting or flange should aid you in the tough parts that seem TOO TIGHT. Do not worry about putting a little muscle into it. Remember to grab the slipcover at the welting where it is the strongest if you are using some force to get the slipcover over a certain area. The welt will give, and after the slipcover is on, the welt will recoil to its original tighter size within a day.
If you dry your slipcover too long:
WASHING SEAT AND BACK CUSHIONS ALONE WITHOUT FOLLOWING UP ON WASHING THE MANNEQUIN SLIPCOVER GUARANTEES YOU WILL HAVE TWO DIFFERENT COLORS ON YOUR SOFA WITHIN TWO WASHINGS IN THIS MANNER.
Most, if not all, of our fabrics are natural fibers and pigment dyed. The eventual fading of fabric through washing should be uniform as well as expected. You can iron your slipcovers if you like. It is important to note, however, that at all of our showroom floors we DO NOT iron any of our slipcovers after we wash them and put them back on. If you can live with a few wrinkles in the first day or two, the slipcover will simply relax and hang properly as they are shown in the showrooms.
Additional note: Natural slipcovers (linen, cotton and rayon) will begin to stretch out at a faster pace in spring and summer than in winter months. This is completely normal and a product of climate changes within your area and also within your home.
Good luck and do not hesitate to call our corporate office or your local Quatrine showroom if you would like someone to walk you through the process over the phone.
It’s always important to remember that the canvas covers under the slipcover back and seat are NOT WASHABLE and will shrink if washed (unless you specifically request washable canvas covers). If your canvas covers are soiled, we recommend spot cleaning the affected areas by hand, with cold water. (Some clients take this opportunity to scotch guard the canvas covers to help repel spills.)
Under your canvas covers are your inserts. We suggest removing your canvas covers once a year (spring or summer) and placing the feather inserts out in direct sunlight, for a minimum of three hours. This action helps to air out the cushion and re-plumps* the feathers in the seat channels, kills any dust mites that might have gathered in the cushions, and freshens the 100% cotton duck fabric. Open the zipper on the back of the seat cushion as well. The more air circulation and direct sunlight you can gather during this time under the sun, the fresher your cushions will smell and feel. The longer you leave your cushions out, the better! We suggest six to eight hours if you can.
*It is a fact that feathers do “re-plump” themselves when exposed to direct sunlight; Nature provided this small adaptation for all geese, ducks, and waterfowl. After a bird leaves the water and sits in a sunny place to dry, the underneath feathers double in size. Most goose feathers have an area at the base of the feather close to the skin that is the very thin, delicate, and considered “downy” portion of the feather. These pieces dry and expand in size to properly dry the bird quickly and keep airflow in and around the bird, allowing for the middle and top portions of the feather to work as a “shield” or “armour.” That is why this portion is much thicker and less flexible. So it stands to reason that in nice warm sunlight your cushions will actually plump up again.
When you bring your inserts back into the home, note that it is quite a challenge getting the canvas cover back on the insert; this is partially due to the fact that you have just increased the size of the insert for awhile, and also, the inserts are meant to fit quite snug in the canvas cover. Take the seat cushion and double it over and then insert it into the canvas cover. Once it is inside, open it up to fill the canvas cover.
As an alternative to placing your ‘inserts’ or ‘wraps’ outside in the sunshine, we suggest placing the ‘envelope’ in the dryer (air only or low heat) with tennis balls.
It is a good thing this process is only recommended once a year!
Quality care is an important factor in the preservation of your investment. The instructions below are applicable to all of the rugs that we carry including: wool, polypropylene, nylon and blends.
In most cases, a suction only canister vacuum is best to prevent excess pilling or fuzzing for tufted rugs. If this type is not available, set vacuum so the brush is farthest away from the surface of the rug.
One of the most crucial areas of rug maintenance is the removal of spots and spills. Acting quickly when anything is spilled or dropped, and always having the necessary cleaning materials on hand are of the utmost importance.
For each stain listed to the right, apply the corresponding step (below) in the order listed.
Quality care is an important factor in the preservation of your investment. The instructions below are applicable to all of the basics that we carry, excluding our Panne Velvet Line (Dry Clean Only).