Q: I just finished drycleaning a blue down-filled ski parka and now it looks like it has oil splotches all over the fabric. What happened and what can I do to fix it?
A: This type of discoloration is often caused by excess oil left in the down feathers prior to construction of the coat. The oil is disturbed by drycleaning solvents and can migrate to the shell fabric during cleaning, causing self-staining. In some cases, this oil can be removed by recleaning in clear distilled solvent, using an extended cleaning, extraction, and drying cycle. Articles that don't satisfactorily respond to this process can sometimes be successfully wetcleaned. Wash in a large front loader machine with neutral or mild detergent only. For drying, use a large dryer to which a few tennis balls or a tennis shoe have been added to help fluff up and redistribute the down. Drying will take a long time. Of course, wetcleaning the washable down items initially will prevent this particular staining problem.
Suggested Reading : DLI Silver, Gold and Premier members may find more information in these bulletins and many more on DLI's Encyclopedia of Drycleaning Online.
- Fabrics & Fashions 490: Problems with Down & Down Garments
- TABS: 337: Discoloration of Down Items