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Down. Tips for down fabric, material care

Down blankets, down coats, and even down pillows need special care. If you have a down filled item, you need to care for it continually so that you can keep it and use it for years to come. Down is a sponge like material, or at least it seems sponge like. Some of the worst things that seem to affect down is moisture, humidity, oils, dirt and dust. Cleaning down materials is one of the most difficult things to do but you can get it clean and keep it clean using a few of these tips. 

Down is often covered with another type of material. Cleaning that material that covers the down fabric is what you are often going to be working on trying to do. 

To clean the fabric that covers the down, use a sponge and wipe away any dirt, soil or spills that occur. Using a sponge on any type of dirt, as soon as it happens is going to help you keep your down items cleaner longer. What are you going to use to clean the fabric on the item? All you need to use on your sponge is soap and water. Use a mild detergent that you use for your delicates or a non colored detergent that you would use to wash your dishes in the sink, not dish washer liquid. 

After you have cleaned a stain from any type of down material filled fabric, you can coat it with a stain guard spray so that the next time you have a stain or a spill it will wash off easily. Each time you use soap and water when cleaning an item you will need to put more stain guard on the item. 

If you have a blanket that you are using on the bed, keep another blanket covering the down filled blanket, this will keep some dust, soils and spills from getting on the down filled blanket so you don�t have to clean it as often. There are covers for blankets, just as there is for your couch, you can zipper up the enclosure over the down filled blanket and then take the covering off and wash it occasionally without trouble or worrying about your down item. 

When you have a wet down filled item, dry it away from heat sources. Let it air dry in a room away from heaters, or the sun so that you don�t have marks on the down filled item that will not come out. Heat is going to mark sweat and stains appear permanently in the down but air drying away from the sun is not going to bring out stains and marks. 

Down filled coats and blankets should be hung to dry when possible. If the sewing in the coat or blanket is vertical hang it one way to dry for about an hour and then turn it and hang dry it in another manner so that the distribution of the down doesn�t move too much inside of the item. 

When storing down filled items such as blankets and coats, store it laying flat. If storing a blanket, lay it on the bed, put a sheet over it, and then fold it together. This keeps the down breathing and will make it smell fresher than if you didn�t use any type of fabric in between the down when storing it. You can do this same thing with a down filled coat. Don�t hang down filled coats as the down will stretch and move inside of the item causing it to hang and look funny. 

Tears and holes in down filled coats or blankets should be repaired using a pressure sensitive tape not a heat sensitive tape. Pressure sensitive tape will repair the holes without leaving marks on the down from the heat. 

Every type of down is cleaned differently. Some types of down will have a cotton covering while others could be nylon or gortex. Be sure to read the tags on the item that you are considering washing so that you know what type of shell you are cleaning before you put it in water or detergent at all. 

Small down filled items can be cleaned and washed in the washer if the shell fabric states that you can. Materials that cover the down fill will clean up nicely and then you should lay out the down to dry or you can hang it and re hang in various directions so that you don�t stretch out the down material. Keep in mind that when you are air drying any type of down filled material, it can take a few days before you are going to be able to dry a down filled material completely. Be patient and continue flipping over your item, so that it will dry completely. 

It is important to not put your down filled materials in a top loading washer. Top loading washers are harder on fabrics which can pull the down material and filling causing blankets, pillows, or coats to be misshaped. Using a top loading washer to clean your down filled items can shorten the life of an item to about twenty five percent if you are not careful. 

Dry cleaning is always an option for down filled products. Heat methods of dry cleaning will bring out stains and sweat marks so you might want to opt for a non heat type of dry cleaning method for your down filled products. 

One last thing about cleaning down filled materials: do not wring out down filled materials that you have washed. If the down filled materials and fabric are stretched when you wring it out, the material will stretch and be out of shape when it finally does dry.

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