WOPCOM Blog: Beware of Old Curtains with a Stiffened Buckram Header, by Ken Cupitt

In this case the curtains were made up by a local seamstress so there was no care label. The curtains were dry cleaned in perchloroethylene on a standard process which resulted in the brown staining across the top of the curtains; most of the colour transfer was on the lining but also to a lesser degree on the curtain material which was white.

The colour staining was as a result of the stiffening agent breaking down into dust within the fabric making up the Buckram and literally dying the fabric. Subsequent treatment and re-cleaning failed to remove the colour and led to the dry cleaner facing an expensive claim.

As there was no care label it was judged that because the dry cleaner chose to dry clean the curtains without consulting the customer the dry cleaner would be held responsible for the damage.

In cases where there is no care label it is always advisable to discuss the potential problems with the customer, in this case the curtains were old resulting in the stiffener used on the Buckram to deteriorate from prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Dry cleaners should be aware that if they make a decision on how to process an item or garment which does not carry a care label, they will be liable for any adverse damage that may occur as they are deemed to be the expert.

We have a Technical Bulletin with advice on Curtain Cleaning Care which may help as we are going into the season for customers requiring this service.

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