Care Labels and Symbols
Leather and Suede
Rayon and Silk
Care Labels The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
requires manufacturers to attach a permanent label to textile garments
that provides directions for their care. According to the 1972 Care
Label Rule and its 1984 amendment, manufacturers and importers must
list at least one method of safe care for a garment. The Rule covers
all textile clothing except footwear, gloves, hats, suede and leather
clothing, and household items, such as linens.
The Care Label Rule stipulates that the
care label is easily found, will not separate from the garment, and
will remain legible during the garment's useful life. The label must
warn about any part of the recommended care method that would harm the
garment or other garments being laundered or drycleaned with it. It
also must warn when there is no method for cleaning a garment without
Symbols also may appear on a care label to
supplement written instructions. When a garment carries an
international symbol tag, all care methods will usually be listed. If
you are not sure of a symbol's meaning, ask your local cleaner to
explain it to you.
MAY I REMOVE THE CARE LABEL?
Garments are required to have a care label
attached at the time of purchase so that you can take care
instructions into consideration when you buy an item. Removing the
care label entails some risk, as full information or warnings
regarding proper care will no longer be available to you or your
CLEANING METHODS DEFINITIONS
Dryclean: Uses normal drycleaning fluid
found in any commercial or coin-operated drycleaning establishment.
The process may include moisture added to the fluid, hot tumble drying
(160'F), and pressing by steam press or steam air-form finishing.
Professionally Dryclean: Restricts the
drycleaning process to methods possible only in commercial drycleaning
plants. "Professionally Dryclean" must be accompanied by further
information, such as "use reduced moisture," "low heat," or "no steam
Machine Wash: Indicates use of either a
commercial or home washing machine. Other information may be added
giving specific washing temperatures, size of the load, or drying
DOES "WASHABLE" MEAN IT ALSO CAN BE DRYCLEANED?
If a garment's care label says "washable,"
it may or may not-be safety drycleaned; there is no way of telling
from the label. A manufacturer or importer is only required to list
one method of safe care, no matter how many other methods also could
be used safely. The manufacturer or importer also is not required to
warn about other care procedures that may not be safe. The
International Fabricate Institute (IFI) supports voluntary
"alternative labeling" by manufacturers to inform consumers of all
satisfactory care methods.
If you request a method of cleaning not
listed on the care label, a cleaner may ask you to sign a consent
form. With or without the form, cleaners who accept garments for
cleaning are obligated to clean them in a professional manner, to the
best of their ability.
WHAT If YOU FOLLOW THE LABEL AND A PROBLEM DEVELOPS?
If you or the cleaner follow the
manufacturer's instructions and the garment is damaged, you should
return the garment to the store and explain what happened. If the
store will not resolve the problem, ask for the manufacturer's name
and address and write to the company. Provide a full description of
the garment and state all the information that is given on the labels
and tags. Estimate how many times the garment has been washed or
drycleaned, and provide the full name and address of the store where
it was purchased.
You should also send a copy of your
complaint letter to the Federal Trade Commission, c/o Correspondence
Branch, Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC cannot resolve your individual
problem, but the information you and other consumers supply may reveal
a pattern or practice requiring the Commission's attention. If you
have purchased clothing that has no care label attached, you should
contact the FTC, giving the name and address of the store and
International Care Labels Meanings:
Dry Clean in any solvent
Dry Clean in any solvent except trichlorrthylene
Use flurocarbon or petroleum solvent only
A short line under any of the above indicates reduce cycle,
moisture, and or heat
Do not dry clean
In all cases, if an X is through the symbol, it means "Do
Tumble dry high heat
Tumble dry low heat
Hang dry after removing excess water...Dry flat after
removing excess water
Dry flat after removing excess water
Maximum temperature 95° C / 203° F
Maximum temperature 95° C / 203° F gentle cycle
Maximum temperature 60° C / 140° F
Maximum temperature 60° C / 140° F gentle cycle
Maximum temperature 50° C / 122° F
Maximum temperature 40° C / 104° F
Maximum temperature 40° C / 104° F gentle cycle
Maximum temperature 40° C / 104° F gentlest cycle
Maximum temperature 30° C / 86° F gentle cycle
Do not wash
Chlorine bleach may be used
Do not chlorine bleach
Hot 210° C / 410° F
Warm 160° C / 320° F
Cool 120° C / 248° F
Do not iron
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CHOOSING A LEATHER GARMENT
A leather or suede garment is a major
investment, so it is important to choose it carefully and care for it
wisely. In selecting a leather garment:
Buy from a reputable retailer.
Look for careful matching of colors and
textures between portions of the garment. Suede wilt never be
completely uniform, but that is part of its desirability. Avoid a snug
fit. Hides are stretched during tanning and some relaxation shrinkage
can be expected in use and cleaning. Read and save any accompanying
WEAR AND CARE
Proper care of leather and suede begins at
home. To get the maximum life from your garment:
Wear a scarf to protect the collar area
from perspiration and body oils. If the garment gets wet, let it
air-dry away from heat. Store in a cool, ventilated area. Leather can
dry out if exposed to dry heat or mildew if stored in a hot, humid
environment. Do not store leather in a plastic bag. If staining
occurs, take the garment to a professional suede and leather cleaner
as soon as possible. Do not try to remove spots at home.
CLEANING YOUR LEATHER
When you take your leather or suede
garment to a professional cleaner, it is helpful if you can provide
any care information that came with the garment. Be sure to point out
any stains, since stains that are old and set cannot always be removed
safely. Have all matching pieces cleaned at the same time.
If there is any question about
cleanability, the cleaner may ask you to sign a consent form before
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER CLEANING
Although cleaning technologies for leather
and suede are constantly improving, some changes will almost always
result from the cleaning process. The following gives You an idea of
what to expect:
Variations among the garment's sections.
Leather garments are made from skins taken from various portions of
the animal and usually from several different animals. The
manufacturer tries to match the skins as uniformly as possible, but
even the best matching may still show some variance in texture,
weight, and color uniformity. These may be accentuated after cleaning.
Loss of Color.
Be prepared for a slight variance in the
depth of color after cleaning. Skins from various parts of the animal
may have different colorfastness. Also, some leather dyes may be
soluble in dry-cleaning fluid, resulting in overall color loss. The
cleaner may be able to correct some color toss and variance with
Loss of oils.
During cleaning, some of the oils used in
the tanning process to keep leather supple may be lost. A professional
leather cleaner has special additives to restore suppleness, but there
still may be some change in the feel of the garment.
Some changes will almost always occur in
the cleaning process; this hand-painted, suede vest is wearable art,
but challenging to clean.
Scar tissue and vein marks.
Tanners often use fillers before dyeing to
mask any scar tissue or imperfections on the leather. Cleaning may
remove some of the fillers and cause the defects to reappear.
Skins taken from certain parts of an
animal are naturally wrinkled, and have been stretched during
manufacturing to achieve a smooth appearance. The agitation of
cleaning can relax the leather, accentuating the wrinkles.
Texture and shading changes.
Manufacturers sometimes combine a smoother
skin with a coarser- textured skin. Cleaning may make this more
apparent. Different textures also may vary in how they absorb the fat
liquors and additives in the cleaning process, resulting in some areas
being darker than others. It is a natural phenomenon that is beyond
the control of the cleaner.
Although some shrinkage is likely to occur
over time as the skins relax, this may be accentuated in cleaning. As
your garment, this snugness should
dissipate. If the skins have been overstretched during manufacture,
they may relax permanently.
Damage to thin skins.
Some skins are extremely thin and too
fragile for use in apparel. These skins tend to wear exceptionally
fast, even with normal usage. The agitation of cleaning will further
aggravate the damage of thin skins.
Shading from adhesives.
Adhesives used to glue seams, hems, and
other areas may not be solvent-resistant. When the glues do not
dissolve completely, they may seep through the leather and cause
Leather trim bleeding and transfer.
Leather buttons and piping on fabric items
sometimes cause problems by bleeding color onto the adjacent fabric.
All attached trim should be able to withstand the care method on the
label. If this problem occurs, the item should be returned to the
retailer. A drycleaner may choose not to accept a leather-trimmed
garment if tests for colorfastness show that the leather dye may bleed
or transfer onto the fabric portion of the garment.
Exposure to light and atmospheric gases
can cause leather dyes to oxidize over time. Protected areas, such as
under the collar, will retain more of the original color.
This may become more noticeable after
cleaning, and usually cannot be corrected by the leather cleaner.
Problems with imitation leathers and suedes.
Imitation leathers and suedes are produced
in a variety of ways and are sometimes difficult to distiguish from
the real thing. Some may be coated with vinyl- or urethane-based
films; others may be made to look like suede. These coatings and
imitations may be vulnerable to self-sticking, blistering, puckering,
or stiffening in drycleaning.
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Not all coloured fabrics are created
equally. Some are woven from dyed yarns, some are dyed after weaving,
and other fabrics are coloured by printing the surface, often with
several different colours. colour performance has improved with modern
technology, but failures may still occur.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
requires manufacturers to attach a permanent label to textile garments
that provides directions for their care. The Care Label Rule was
intended to give both the consumer and the drycleaner or launderer
complete guidance on how to take care of an item. A garment labeled "dryclean"
should have dyes that can withstand drycleaning solvent, and
"washable" garments should have dyes that wilt stand up to washing.
The best way for the manufacturer to
determine care procedures is through testing. Unfortunately, this is
not always done, and sometimes items are drycleaned or washed with
As a general rule, you have the right to
assume that a properly cared-for white garment will retain reasonable
whiteness for its normal life expectancy, and that coloured garments
will retain their depth or brightness.
To ensure the best colour performance of
Always read and follow the care instructions.
Protect white and coloured garments from excessive exposure to
Follow bleaching instructions on the care label.
When in doubt, consult a professional cleaner.
COLOUR LOSS IN DRYCLEANING
A dye that is soluble in drycleaning
solvent may severely fade during the drycleaning process. If two or
more dyes have been used and only one is solvent soluble, you may seea
dramatic colour change. For example, the yellow component may be
removed from a green garment, leaving it blue. Drycleaning also may
affect various pieces of a garment differently. For example, a dyed
blue dress may retain its colour, while its blue-and-white
surface-printed jacket may fade, so that the blues no longer match.
Fading commonly occurs in household items,
such as bedspreads and draperies. Often, it may not appear severe
until the item is compared with a matching item. Matching bedspreads
and draperies should all be cleaned at the same time.
WASHABLE AND WATER-BASED DYES
Some dyes bleed when laundered or exposed
to perspiration, rain, or water. Since many stains require water and
water-soluble chemicals for removal, even drycleanable items should
have water-resistant dyes.
Water can also cause problems with sizing,
which is used to provide body in fabrics such as rayon. Water spills
may cause sizing to migrate and form dark rings or streaks as it
dries. These discolourations are difficult to remedy on drycleanable
fabrics because they require additional water to remove the sizing
disturbance, and this may aggravate the problem.
Most people do not think of white as a
colour, but it is. Many fabrics naturally have an off-white or
yellowish cast. White fabrics may even be treated with optical
brighteners, also called fluorescent whitening agents, to enhance
Some of these brightening agents are
unstable and may lose their whitening power when exposed to light,
giving the exposed fabric a yellow or gray hue or a pink or green
cast. For example, the front of a sweater laid out to dry in the sun
may turn yellow, while the back remains white. Brighteners are
especially sensitive to light exposure when garments are wet.
Yellowing also may occur when chlorine
bleach comes in contact with resins, which sometimes are added to
impart a "permanent press" quality. You can avoid this by following
the care label instructions for bleaching.
Some white fabrics yellow from normal
aging, oxidation, and exposure to atmospheric soils. This process
sometimes can be reversed by careful wetcleaning and bleaching. If not
too severe, it may be corrected with a fluorescent brightener during
the drycleaning process or by using a laundry detergent containing
LIGHT & CHEMICAL DAMAGE
Most dyes eventually fade with exposure to
sunlight or artificial light. colour failure may occur rapidly on
exposed areas, such as shoulders, collars, and sleeves. Many blue,
green, and lavender dyes are light-sensitive, especially on silk and
Household substances also can affect dyes.
Be careful not to expose fabrics to alkaline toiletries, such as
toothpaste, hair spray, perfume, or deodorant, which contain alcohol.
The acidity of lemon juice affects some dyes. Bleach, one of the most
common causes of colour loss and fabric damage, should be used with
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Clothing stains are one of the main
reasons people seek the help of their drycleaner. With their special
solvents, equipment, and training, drycleaners can remove some of the
most disastrous-tooking stains with relative ease. Successful stain
removal depends largely on the nature of the stain, the type of
fabric, and the colour-fastness of the dye. Ink stains and dried paint,
for example, can be impossible to remove. Also, some fabrics and dyes
are not made to withstand the use of cleaning or stain removal agents.
Many stains that are caused by food, oily
substances, or beverages may become invisible when they dry. But later
on, with exposure to heat or the passage of time, a yellow or brownish
stain wilt appear. This is caused by the oxidation or carametization
of the sugar in the staining substance. It is the same process that
makes a peeled apple turn brown after exposure to air.
You can help the drycleaner do a better
job by pointing out such stains when you take a garment to be cleaned.
The cleaner often treats these stains prior to cleaning, since the
heat of drying or finishing may set the stain.
When an oily substance is exposed to heat
or ages in a garment for an extended time, it also oxidizes. This type
of stain can be distinguished by the irregular "cross pattern" the oil
makes when it follows the fabric fibers. Oily substances are
successfully removed in drycleaning unless they are left to oxidize.
Once they become yellow or brown, they become much more difficult to
Perspiration can also cause problem
stains, particularly on silk and wool garments. Perspiration left in a
silk garment can eventually cause deterioration of the silk fibers.
Repeated exposure of a garment to
perspiration and body oils can create a permanent yellow
discoloration and an objectionable odor. In addition, perspiration
can react with the dye or sizing in the fabric, making it even more
difficult to remove the stain. People who perspire heavily should have
their clothes cleaned more frequently and might consider using
perspiration shields. Clothing frequently worn or heavily stained also
requires frequent cleaning.
THE DRYCLEANER'S RESPONSIBILITY
Drycleaners are responsible for attempting
to remove stains in accordance with professional practice. Not all
stains can be removed, despite the drycleaner's best efforts.
In some cases:
stains are oxidized and set in the fabric.
the type of dye or delicacy of the fabric can limit the degree of
removal. the dye in the fabric is soluble (prone to bleed); removing
the stain would also remove the dye from the fabric.
The more information consumers give the
drycleaner and the sooner a garment is brought in, the greater the
chance of satisfactory stain removal.
HOW YOU CAH HELP
To help your drycleaner do a better job of
stain removal, we suggest the following:
Never put a garment away with spills or
stains on it. The warmth of a closet and exposure to natural or
artificial light and to the atmosphere can contribute to setting a
Bring in a stained garment as soon as
possible, preferably within a few days, to prevent the stain from
Do not iron stained or soiled clothes;
this will set stains and drive the soil deeper into the fabric. Always
have soiled clothes cleaned or washed before ironing.
Do not attempt home spot removal with
either water or a cleaning fluid without testing first for
colourfastness. Wet an unexposed area, such as an inside seam, and
blot with a paper towel to make sure the colour is fast.
Never rub a stain, especially when
attempting to remove a stain from silk. Blot the stained area. This
wilt help remove the staining substance without spreading the stain
and will avoid damaging the fabric.
Inform your drycleaner of the location of
specific stains and any procedures you have used to remove them, even
if the stains are no longer visible.
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Silk is a soft, elegant fiber, prized for
its many unique qualities. Rayon was the first manmade fiber produced.
It gives the look of silk at a fraction of the cost. Rayon is
regenerated cellulose material.
WASH OR DRY-CLEAN?
Both silk and rayon fibers dry-clean very
well. If the manufacturer has not tested for appropriate care
instructions, however, certain dyes or finishes applied to the fibers
may react adversely to dry-cleaning. Washing may damage garments
containing sizing and/or dyes that are sensitive to water. It is
important that you follow the care label on the garment.
"WASHABLE" SILK AND RAYON
washable silk and rayon have become
increasingly popular. Some dyes on "washable" silk and rayon actually
dissolve in water, causing considerable dye bleeding and transfer of
the dye. This is especially true on many darker colours; most pastels
have a greater degree of colourfastness. Multicoloured articles should
be tested for colourfastness before washing them.
It is important to keep the washing cycle
very short, followed by rapid rinsing and drying. Never soak these
garments for extended periods of time.
Drycleaning is not advised for articles of
this type. Tests have shown that many of these dyes may be solvent
soluble. When consumers bring these washable garments to be drycleaned,
the drycleaner should clean them according to the instructions on the
care label. If those care instructions are not followed and a problem
occurs, the retailer cannot be held responsible.
A frequent problem with silk and rayon is
the tendency of the sizing or finish applied by the manufacturer to
discolour upon contact with moisture. The moisture effects of
water-soluble food and beverage spillage, perspiration, and rain may
disturb sizing. If the article is badly stained by moisture, and
labeled as "drycleanable," it may be very difficult for a drycleaner
to correct this shading. A bad discolouration may necessitate a short
wetcleaning process. This should only be done with the consumer's
Changes in colour shading can result from
a variety of outside sources.
HOME STAIN REMOVAL
Because of the extreme sensitivity of many
dyes and sizings to moisture, consumers are not advised to attempt any
stain removal using water unless they have pretested an unexposed
seam. Wet the fabric and blot it with a white cloth. (Rubbing while
wet during home spotting can distort the yams, causing light areas or
chafing.) Allow the spot to air dry to determine if the dye and sizing
Oily-type greases and soils often can be
more readily removed by a drycleaning fluid without adverse effects.
However, in all stain-removal techniques, the fabric should only be
lightly blotted with the fluid; never rubbed. Rubbing damages the
colour of the fabric, often permanently.
Perspiration contains salts that can
damage fabrics, especially silk. Perspiration is acidic and turns
alkaline on exposure to the atmosphere. This can cause the fabric to
change colour and may disintegrate and weaken silk. Have perspiration
stains removed as soon as possible to avoid permanent staining. If you
perspire heavily, consider wearing underarm shields.
Some silk dyes bleed or change colour when
exposed to solutions containing alcohol. Allow perfume, deodorant, and
hair spray to dry before you dress, and remove spills from alcoholic
beverages as soon as possible.
Some dyes, especially blues and greens on
silk, are sensitive to alkalies. Many facial soaps, shampoos,
detergents, and even toothpastes are alkaline enough to cause colour
loss or change on sensitive items. If this happens, talk to your
drycleaner promptly about possible restoration.
Many bright colours used on these fabrics
can fade from exposure to sunlight or artificial light. Some blue and
green dyes fade exceptionally fast, especially on silk. Store garments
in closets away from any light, such as windows or electric lights
Never use chlorine bleach-it permanently
Help your drycleaner help you when a
garment needs drycleaning:
Take it to the drycleaner as soon as possible.
Tell the drycleaner the nature of the stain.
Point out food and beverage spills.
Point out areas damaged by improper home spotting. If the dye and
fibers are not severely damaged, your drycleaner may be able to
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Your wedding gown is one of your most
precious possessions. It is a symbol of an important event in your
life and, as such, should be treated with special care. Whether you
are borrowing it from a relative or buying it new, your gown deserves
your attention, both before the wedding and afterward.
CHOOSING A WEDDING DRESS
Wedding consultants agree that if you are
buying a new dress for the big day, you should begin shopping at least
six months before your wedding date. This will give you ample time to
find the style, fabric, and accessories that suit you. It also will
allow time for the manufacturing and shipping of a dress that is
special-ordered. Today's bridal gowns are made from satin, taffeta,
chiffon, organza, brocade, and lace and are accented with delicate
trims, such as beads, seed pearls, sequins, embroidery, and lace.
When shopping for your dress, ask the
salesperson whether both the dress and trim are drycleanable. If
possible, get the information in writing. Cleaners often find that
trim that is glued on rather than sewn on sometimes does not stand up
to the drycleaning process. Other trims, such as beads and pearls,
dissolve when cleaned with solvent. You want to make sure that your
entire dress is drycleanable so that you can preserve your investment
for many years.
If you are wearing an heirloom gown, allow
plenty of time for professional cleaning as well as any alterations
that may be necessary. Because many fabrics naturally yellow with age,
you should check the gown carefully for any discolouration. Often,
yellowing can be overcome if the gown can be carefully wetcleaned. If
you find any colour changes, take your gown to a cleaner who
understands restoration of delicate and antique materials.
AFTER THE WEDDING ...
Most brides want to preserve their dress
as a keepsake, perhaps for their own daughter to wear on her wedding
day. Cleaning industry experts recommend that you have the dress
cleaned by an expert before storage.
The dress may have invisible stains from
food, beverages, and body oil. If these stains are not properly
cleaned, they may become permanent. Therefore, it is important to
point out any stains or spills to your cleaner before cleaning.
Most wedding gowns have some sort of
decorative trim. Again, it is important to inspect these trims with
your cleaner prior to cleaning since many trims are not made to
withstand the drycleaning process. For example, many beads, glitter,
sequins, and laces are attached to gowns with adhesives that dissolve
during drycleaning. Some beads and glitter are made of plastics or
covered with surface coatings that are not solventresistant. In many
of these cases, the trim becomes separated from the dress or altered
in some way.
In some cases, decorative trims yellow as
their finishes oxidize. An ivory or ecru trim may lose its colour and
no longer match the gown if a dye component is lost in cleaning.
colour failures of this type are due to poor colourfastness of the
dye, not to improper cleaning.
SPECIAL CARE INSTRUCTIONS
The Care Label Rule clearly states that
wearing apparel such as wedding gowns, must have a care label that
provides a viable care method. The care label covers all component
parts of the gown, including all decorative trim. Gowns that fail to
withstand the care procedure on the label should be returned to the
retailer for an adjustment.
Look at the care label before purchasing
your gown to make sure you understand the recommended cleaning
instructions. When it comes time to clean your gown, find a local
cleaner who can professionally dry or wetclean it. You need not send
your gown away for cleaning and storage; there are many specially t
ained cleaners in your area who can assist you tor a fair and
With proper care, your wedding gown will
remain a keepsake.
STORING YOUR GOWN
Unfortunately, no process or storage
method can guarantee against yellowing or possible deterioration of
fabrics. There are, however, several steps you can take to protect
Have your cleaner pack the gown in a special storage box that will
help prevent contamination.
Store your gown in a cool, dry place. Do not store it in a basement
or attic. Basement dampness could cause mildew; attic heat could
promote yellowing of the fabric.
If you are storing a long gown on a hanger, sew straps to the
waistline of the dress to relieve pressure on the shoulders from the
weight of the skirt. Wrap the dress in a protective white sheet or
Whether the gown is hung or boxed, the bodice should be stuffed with
white tissue paper to prevent wrinkles. Fabric-covered buttons, pins,
sponge padding, and perspiration shields should be removed and stored
separately to avoid damage to the fabric.
Never store headpieces, veils, shoes, or other accessories with your
Inspect your gown from time to time during storage. Stains not
initially apparent could appear later, and should be tended to
Preserving the quality of your wedding gown may be the finest gift you
can give yourself and a loved one.
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Whether it's a broken button, a previously
unseen spot, or colour fading, imperfect results are a problem for
both drycleaners and their customers. Damage that occurs during the
drycleaning process may stem from the failure of a component part to
be drycleanable or from the circumstances of use. Regardless,
drycleaning customers need to know who is responsible for damaged
items and what recourse they have to remedy the situation. WHAT IS THE
Wearing apparel is covered by the Federal
Trade Commission's (FTC) Care Label Rule. Textile garments sold in the
United States must have a permanent, legible care label attached in a
conspicuous place. All parts of the garment must be able to withstand
the recommended care procedure. Garment manufacturers and importers of
foreignmade garments are responsible for having a reasonable basis for
the instructions given and for seeing that these labels are present.
The care label is intended to give both
the consumer and the drycleaner guidance on how to care for the item
properly. If a label says "dryclean," this should mean that all
components including the outer shell, lining, buttons, interfacing,
fusing material, and trim will be colourfast and will not be altered
during cleaning. If any such problem occurs, it is the responsibility
of the manufacturer, who has not tested the component accurately
Manufacturing problems arise in fabrics as
well. Other defects to look for are:
Dyes that dissolve in drycleaning solvent, causing excessive
bleeding or fading.
Sizing that dissolves in solvent or water.
Shrinkage due to failure to preshrink fabric before garment
construction. Loss or dulling of surface sheen due to wear and tear of
finish. colour loss or change in dyes sensitive to light or to action
of the surrounding air. Shrinkage or separation of attached
interfacing and bonded fabrics.
WHY SIGN A CONSENT FORM?
The great majority of garments and
household articles clean satisfactorily, without any problems at all.
Occasionally, your professional cleaner may recognize a potential
problem and ask you to sign a consent form before cleaning the item.
The use of a consent form is a signal that
your drycleaner is aware of a potential problem and is showing
consideration and prudence in the handling of your clothes. If you
agree, the item will be processed with extreme care and probably
returned to you in good condition. If damage does occur, however, the
drycleaner should not be held responsible, since he/she warned you of
the risk and obtained your consent to proceed.
Signing a consent form, of course, does
not relieve the cleaner of the normal responsibility of handling the
item with professional care, according to accepted industry standards.
WHAT CAN I DO?
It depends where the responsibility lies.
If the problem arises from a manufacturing defect, you should take the
article back to the retailer for an adjustment or refund. In some
cases, the retailer may resist making an adjustment, even if the
problem is a manufacturer defect. Ask the retailer for the name of the
manufacturer or obtain the RN number which usually is found on the
care label. Call the FTC at (202) 326-3170 and ask for the
manufacturer's name and address. Send the item to the manufacturer via
registered mail, return receipt, and include an explanation for the
Occasionally, damage done in drycleaning
is the responsibility of the drycleaner and not the result of
preexisting conditions or defects. In such cases, the cleaner will
usually settle the claim promptly and fairly, often using the Fair
Claims Guide published by the International Fabricate Institute (IFI).
If there is some doubt about responsibility, the member cleaner can
send the garment to IFI's Garment Analysis Laboratory to determine the
cause of the problem.
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