Thank you for taking the time to confirm the proper way to take care of your new Quatrine piece and slipcover.
Canvas covers and feather blend/Down inserts (if applicable):
When you first receive your piece, don’t be alarmed if it seems “harder” than you expected! The piece needs to be used in order for the feathers to break down. We overstuff all of our seats and backs because we want to provide the best comfort in the long run vs. short term. Please be aware that the feathers will break down over time as they are a natural product. As you use your piece, you are bending and breaking the spine of the feathers, which makes them less rigid with use. After years there will come a time where the feathers can no longer be fluffed. The longevity of the feather cushions is based on the use and age.
As a reminder, be aware that canvas covers under the slipcover seat and back are NOT WASHABLE and will shrink if you wash them at home. If your canvas covers are soiled, we recommend only spot cleaning the effected areas by hand with cold water. (Some clients have mentioned that they take this opportunity to scotch guard the canvas covers to help repel spills.) They can also be dry-cleaned. You do have the option to purchase washable canvas covers. You can purchase these at any time.
It is important to do a few simple maintenance tricks on your inserts, to keep them lasting longer:
• Make it a habit to fluff the inserts when needed. On average, once or twice per month is sufficient. Just simply move the inserts and beat them on both sides, then place it back (no need to remove any covers)
• Once per year (spring time preferably), we suggest you do the following:
1. Take slipcover off
2. Take canvas cover off
3. Take foam core out
4. Shake insert as you would a down comforter to re-fluff.
5. Using your hands, go through each channel in the insert and rework the feathers (one hand on either side on the insert).
6. You may also place the feather envelope in the dryer; however, we would not recommend doing it if there are too many loose feathers.
7. You may also place the insert out in direct sunlight for a minimum of 3 hours, to air out the cushions (remove the slipcover and canvas cover) This replumps* 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 feel and smell. (And the longer you leave them out the better, 6 to 8 hours if you can.)
*An interesting tidbit – feathers do, in fact, “re-plump” themselves when exposed to direct sunlight. Nature provided this small adaptation for all geese, ducks, and water foul. 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 “down-y” portion of the feather. These dry and expand in size to properly dry the bird quickly and keep air flow in and around the bird giving the middle and top portions of the feather to work as a “shield or armor.” 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, it might be a bit of 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, and the inserts are meant to fit snug in the canvas cover. Take the seat cushion and fold it over itself and then insert it into the slipcover. Once it is completely inside the slip unfold it to fill the canvas cover.
We recommend mild detergents. The detergent you use should be free of any “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 we’ve had cases where it has yellowed fabrics. The biggest mistake clients make is putting the slipcover in the drum, and pouring the detergent onto the fabric of the slipcover before the slipcover is COMPLETELY submerged in water. This leaves a trail wherever the detergent was poured even if water is poured over the effected areas two to four seconds later (this only applies to top loaders).
Begin by separating the body of the slipcover from the seat and back cushions (sofa). A chair can usually be done in one load. Put your washing machine setting on large or extra large load 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. Restart. Use your regular cycle, for cottons or linens. Confirm that no hot water will be entering the drum. Not even for a short rinse cycle.
If you are using a front loader that has a separate chamber for detergent simply put a load in, set load size to large/extra large and temperature to cold.
Immediately after the load is finished, put the slipcover into the dryer.
**LEAVING THE SLIPCOVER IN THE WASHER UNATTENDED FOR OVER 20 MINUTES CAN EASILY CREATE “FOLD MARKS” OR MARBLING” on the fabric which is very hard to remove**
Start the drying process on normal or high to get the slipcover moving along in the drying process. When it is damp, change the temperature to a low setting, sometimes there is a wrinkle free option as well that you can use. 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:
You can manually go along all the welting edges and pull the welting to stretch it out again.
You can simply put the slipcover back in the washer on a short rinse only setting to re-wet the entire slipcover and then begin the drying process again.
As you know, 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. Keep in mind that washing seat and back cushions alone without washing the mannequin slipcover will result in differing colors on your piece within two washes. Mileage may vary based on fabric type or pattern.
Can I iron my slipcovers?
Yes you can. However, it is important to note, in all of our showrooms we do not iron any of our slipcovers after we wash them and put them back on in the pieces. 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 shops.
Additional note – any natural slipcovers, linen, cotton and rayon as well will begin to stretch out at a faster pace in the Spring and Summer than in the winter months. This is completely normal and a product of seasonal changes within your area and also within your home.
Good Luck and do not hesitate to call the corporate office or your local Quatrine if you would like someone to walk you through the process over the phone.