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Does Fabric Need Protection?
  Natural Fibers
Natural fibers offer excellent comfort because they breathe naturally and absorb perspiration easily. However, these features also mean that they stain easily.Natural fibers are hydrophilic – they have a natural affinity for water and all water based products. They are also very susceptible to oil and grease stains, including stains caused by the fatty acids in perspiration. Unprotected, these fabrics have a short life span and are difficult to maintain. 

Fabric protection is vital for natural fibers.

Fabrics made from natural fibers should be protected before use. Some fabrics have protection applied as part of the manufacturing process, but not all. It is always a good idea to speak to your furniture retailer to find out if protection has been applied to your furniture. If you are unsure, apply fabric protection.

Fabric will need to be re-protected occasionally. Prolonged use or intense cleaning, such as steam cleaning, will cause the protective lay to wear away.

Synthetic Fibers
Many fabrics used in furniture manufacturing today are synthetic. Synthetic fibers are hydrophobic (they repel water) and inherently non absorbent, so they don’t absorb stains in the same way that natural fibers do. 

Fabric protection is not necessary for synthetic fabrics. 

It is important, however, to regularly clean synthetic fabrics. The majority of these fabrics are oleophilic – they have an affinity for oils and greasy dirt. Synthetic fabrics need to be cleaned regularly to prevent the build up of oily substances, such as perspiration, which may stain or damage the fabric. This is critical even if an application of fabric protection had been applied.

Blended Fibers
Many upholstery fabrics are blends, commonly cotton blended with a synthetic fiber  Blended fibers display the properties of all the fibers in the blend, and respond to stains accordingly. So if the fabric is a blend containing a natural fiber it is a good idea to protect it.

 

Fabric Care Labels
  By law all fabrics, including upholstery fabrics, must have a Fabric Care Label. This label is similar to the care labels you find on clothing. The Fabric Care Label may be attached to the furniture (a hang-tag or a label sewn onto the furniture) or it may be given to you separately by the furniture retailer.Different fabrics need different kind of care. The Fabric Care Label will give you the correct instructions for caring for the specific type of fabric used to upholster your furniture. ALWAYS consult the care label BEFORE attempting to clean your furniture yourself, or see your local upholstery cleaning company. 

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By: Rose 

 

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