Guide: Care and Cleaning of Common Clothing Fabrics


Blue Shirt

You wouldn’t clean your whites the same way as you would a black silk blouse, would you? Different fabrics will have different cleaning and care instructions.  At Marky’s Dry Cleaning Delivery Service Now serving Highland Village and Lantana, Texas, we check every care label to ensure that each garment is cleaned according to the manufactures instructions.  Here are some of the most common fibers and fabrics to help you with your laundry.



Acetate  Dry Clean Only synthetic fiber.

Acrylic  A synthetic fiber;  Woven fabrics can be Dry Cleaned, knits are to be machine washed in warm water on the gentle cycle.  To reduce the occurrence of pilling, wash inside out and lay flat to dry.

Blends  Combined fibers, can be natural or synthetic.  As the care depends on the fibers in the blend, always follow care label instructions.

Canvas  Can be natural or synthetic; a firm, heavy, tightly woven fabric.  Machine wash cold and tumble dry.  Always test for colorfastness.  Dry clean if not colorfast.

Cashmere  Natural fiber; made from the undercoat hair of a cashmere goat.  Similar to wool.  Dry Clean only.

Chiffon  Usually silk or synthetic fibers; thin transparent fabric.  Hand wash only.

Chintz  Cotton with a glaze and usually has a bold print.  Unless label states otherwise, Dry Clean Only.

Corduroy Cotton, cotton/polyester blend, or rayon.  Ridge pile fabric.  Turn inside out and wash, and dry.  Remove from dryer while still damp and hang dry.  Smooth out pockets and seams with hands.

Cotton  Natural vegetable fiber that is very versatile.  Light weight fabrics such as batiste, organdy, and voile should be hand washed and hung to dry.  As cottons vary, always follow care label instructions.

Damask  A fabric woven jacquard style and may be comprised of almost any kind of fibers. Dry Clean Heavy weight fabrics, Hand wash light weight ones.

Denim  Usually cotton or cotton/synthetic blend, it is a strong, twill weave fabric that is prone to shrinkage.  As dyes often bleed, wash Denim pieces together on warm or cold, dry at low setting.  Can be ironed while damp.

Down  Natural under plumage of birds.  Can be machine washed or dry cleaned so be sure to check care label.  Always tumble dry, fluff and turn every few minutes.

Flannel  Plain or twill weave napped fabric.  If cotton or synthetic, machine wash.  Wool must be dry cleaned.

Gabardine  Worsted wool, cotton, or synthetic fibers.  Closely woven and firm plain or twill weave.  Follow care label, should be able to be dry cleaned.

Lace  Cotton, linen, or synthetic fiber.  Hand wash with mild detergent.  Do not rub.  Hand shape, air dry or dry flat.  If very delicate, pin lace to a cloth before washing.

Linen  Natural flax fiber.  Hand wash or Dry Clean.

Microfiber  Polyester yarns that are woven tightly.  Machine wash cold and air dry.

Mohair  Natural fiber from the angora goat.  Treat the same as wool.

Organdy  Plain weave cotton.  Hand wash and starch.  May be dry cleaned.

Polyester   Synthetic fiber used alone or blended.  Does not shrink or stretch. Machine wash warm and tumble dry.

Ramie From the ramie plant, a natural fiber similar to linen.  Used alone or blended with cotton.  Machine wash warm, tumble dry, remove while damp and hang to dry.

Rayon  Synthetic fiber, term is used interchangeably with viscose.  Dry Clean Only.

Satin  Fabric made of silk, acetate, or polyester.  Dry Clean silk and acetate.  Follow care instructions for polyester.

Seersucker   Cotton, nylon, polyester, or silk fabric with puckered stripes woven in during manufacturer.  See care label for specific fiber care instructions.  Drip dry.

Silk  Dry Clean Only.  Some silks state they can be washed but usually do not turn out properly.

Spandex  Stretch fibers often blended with other fibers to give material stretch.  Machine wash on warm water and dry flat.

Terry Cloth  Cotton or cotton/polyester blend.  Machine wash and tumble dry.

Velour   Can be multiple fabrics.  Napped and usually Dry Clean Only.

Velvet  Cotton, rayon, or silk soft pile fabric.  Dry Clean Only.

Wool  Natural fiber made from sheep’s fleece.  Hand wash or Dry Clean.

Note:  If you choose to clean any of the above items at home, always check for colorfastness.
Or you can leave it to us at Mark’s Dry Cleaning Delivery Service.  We know how to keep your clothes looking great.

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