Q: It seems like more and more “down-fill” comforters are busting apart in
my cleaning machine these days. Is there any way to prevent this damage?
A: This type of damage usually occurs when the
comforter has not drained sufficiently, thus entering the extract cycle still
heavy with solvent. The pocket quilt stitching or “Karo” design stitch threads
are usually stronger than the shell fabric, so if the item is solvent-laden at
the extract start up, catastrophic pressure on the fabric may cause it to rip
at the stitch points. In some instances, excessive agitation of the cleaning
cycle alone can create damage. Minimize the chance of such damage by cleaning
down-fill comforters on a short cleaning cycle with low solvent level. Extend
the drain time considerably to remove most of the solvent weight prior to any
high-speed extraction. A little extra patience and care for such items can
prevent an ugly mess and a more ugly claim.