Because it is worthwhile for design professionals to be aware of certain “end use” conditions imposed upon furnishings by their manufacturers, they should know that many upholstery fabric mills have implemented the use of industry-established cleaning codes for their products. Their existence identifies for the designer and/or the end user, the approved method to be used for cleaning of those textiles.

Currently the industry has four (4) cleaning codes:

Code W – The use of detergent and water is acceptable for cleaning.

Code W/S – The use of detergent and water and/or dry cleaning solvent is acceptable for cleaning.

Code S – Only the use of dry cleaning solvent is acceptable.

Code X – Only gentle dry brushing and/or careful vacuuming is acceptable for cleaning.

This information is typically found on the fabric sample label. However, some manufacturers may opt out of using the codes and just make a vague statement that implies “dry clean only.” Others may even discourage the use of stain/soil-repellant finishes.

Obviously, it makes good customer service sense for the design professional to consider cleaning codes, especially with regard to how the client will be using the finished upholstered item. For example, where an aggressive use is anticipated, the “W” code may not be the best choice for that environment.

Please feel free to call for additional information about this or other related topics. We would enjoy visiting with you.

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