Do Curtains Shrink When Dry Cleaned? Due to busy schedules, many homeowners choose to take their curtains to dry cleaning. This process is more modern than machine washing, but what about its efficiency and safety?
There are concerns among some people that dry cleaning shrinks the curtains. We invite you to get an insight into dry cleaning and its relation to fabric shrinkage.
Broadly speaking, dry cleaning is the process of cleaning fabrics without water. This doesn’t mean though that the fabrics stay dry throughout the entire process. There is a liquid solvent out there that substitutes water.
Dry cleaning has initially aimed to protect materials that do not tolerate water, by cleaning them with a safer product. However, it is common nowadays to use dry cleaning for almost all materials.
It just saves people’s time and ensures the drapes achieve the highest levels of cleanliness with minimum damage.
After having heard that dry cleaning doesn’t involve water, you may think that this method doesn’t shrink fabrics. Well, it would be so, if the main culprit for shrinking were water. But it’s not. In fact, it has a certain role in shrinking, but it works in a team with other culprits.
Heat and tumbling are the elements mainly to blame for most materials getting shrunken during cleaning. The joined force of these two has a role in tightening the gaps between the fabric’s fibers. As a result, the curtain gets visibly smaller.
Dry cleaning does not use water, but it involves high temperature and tumbling. Hence, this method is also capable of shrinking fabrics. Truth is said, you have to expect a lower degree of shrinkage, due to water not participating in the process.
Shrinkage occurs not in all cases, and the degree of reduction in size differs from fabric to fabric. The intensity of the machine tumbling and the temperature also has a say in how much the curtains shrink.
But let’s analyze the exposure of fabrics to shrinkage. You have to consult the curtain’s labels to see what fabric it’s made of and what cleaning methods it’s compatible with.
Natural fabrics, like: cotton, linen, and silk are more likely to reduce in size after dry cleaning. It happens so because they are more stretchy, delicate, and dependable on temperature change.
On the other hand, synthetic fabrics are more resistant and more indifferent to heat exposure and other mechanical actions. The shrinkage will not occur when dry cleaning curtains of synthetic nature, like polyester, acrylic, and nylon.
Dry cleaning has proved to be a highly efficient cleaning method. However, some people avoid dry cleaning because of its shrinking potential. However, if you have a cotton or linen curtain, that is shrinkable by nature, there is no reason to avoid dry cleaning.
No matter which type of cleaning you choose: dry cleaning or laundry, natural fibers will shrink anyway. It’s just a feature of the fabric composition that is pointless to combat. After all, the fabric comes back to its normal size after several days. So there is no reason for concern.
Feel free to take your curtains to a dry cleaning spot in the city, while continuing running your errands. The method is quite effective in removing oily stains, dust, and embedded dirt. The powerful solvent formula is not worse than machine washing detergent.
It proves even better at fighting deep-down and dried-in stains. Dry cleaning causes less color fading and reduces post-cleaning wrinkles. So if you want to avoid ironing your curtains, here is another reason to opt for dry cleaning.
If you ask do curtains shrink after dry cleaning, the answer is “it depends on the fabric”. You should avoid blaming the service provider for the shrinkage, as it’s not their fault. If you have natural fabric drapes, expect to get some degree of reduction in size.
The heat and tumbling dry cleaning uses can make the fabrics like cotton or silk get smaller. Besides a slight shrinkage, dry cleaning also provides spotless curtains. It deals excellently with tough stains, removes mold, and neutralizes odors.
Moreover, it minimizes your ironing efforts, as it makes the curtain almost wrinkle-free.