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Posted on January 23, 2022

Caring for Comforters

The number one thing I look for in bedding is quality: after all, I’m going to be spending a third of my life laying on or under it.  So, I consider bed linens and coverlets to be an investment, not something I plan to replace on a whim.  It’s good that I have that approach because getting my husband to agree on a new comforter is nearly impossible, so we usually invest a lot of time investigating before making a change.

Bedding supplies typically last a long time.  For instance, bedspreads, the outer covering for a bed that goes over sheets and blankets, and comforters, like a bedspread only quilted, can last five or six years on average.  Both covers consist of an outer layer of fabric, a center batting, and a backing fabric.  The three layers are held together with a stitch pattern or simulated stitching.

Unlike clothing care labels, which provide instructions for how to properly care for the garments, the Federal Trade Commission’s Care Label Rule does not require permanent labels on home furnishings fabrics. Most bedspreads and comforters are sold with care instructions on a hang tag, a temporary label, or on the packaging.

While bedspreads and comforters are often long-term purchases, they can be subject to problems in use and care.

  • Stains: Stains can easily occur from spills or contact with various substances in use. Once they have contacted the fabric, they may be difficult to remove. Factors affecting removal include the nature of the staining material and the age of the stain. The multiple thickness of bedspreads and comforters may also make removal difficult.
  • Color loss: Cleaning may cause color loss; a print could be diminished in color or lose its original brightness. All coordinating pieces should be dry cleaned or laundered at the same time and with the same process to prevent color variances within the set.
  • Shrinkage: Shrinkage of 2 to 3 percent or more can easily occur if the fabric is not completely preshrunk. This may cause the bedspread to not fit properly or appear much too small.
  • Improper construction: If comforters are not quilted with closed channels or pockets, the filling material can shift in cleaning and use. Proper construction helps prevent shifting, fabric tears, and uneven appearance.
  • Stitching under stress: Stitches could break during cleaning if quilting lines are more than eight to 10 inches apart.  They may also break if the stitching thread was damaged in use or if the stitches are not secured properly at the end of the quilting line.

While most people consider Shores to be a clothing care expert, we also know a thing or two about household textiles.  To protect and prolong the beauty of your household textiles, remember these tips:

  • Protect all furnishings from sunlight, fumes, and pets.
  • Damage, like tears, should be repaired immediately.
  • Vacuum and/or brush regularly to remove dust.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations.
  • Do not allow the item to become extremely soiled; have stains removed immediately.
  • Just as with clothing, don’t store household textiles without first having them cleaned.

If your bedding needs special attention, stop by your nearest Shores location.  We have the expertise to bring your bedspreads and comforters back to life.

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