Case Studies 2018-03-06T12:37:17+00:00

Case Study 1 – Localised Darkening

Fault: Localised darkening was noted randomly across a table cloth upon removal from the dry cleaning machine.

Technical Cause: After examination under magnification it became apparent that the yarns had a metallic coating. In most areas of the cloth the coating was intact, however, in large circular areas it had been completely removed. In the areas where the coating had been removed, the natural colour of the yarn was now visible which gave the affected areas a much darker appearance. An area of residual metallic coating was rubbed with perchloroethylene dry cleaning solvent, this had no effect.

Responsibility: The responsibility for this lies with the end user. The table cloth was found to resistant to dry cleaning solvent absolving the manufacturer and no evidence that any spot-treatment had been carried out by the cleaner was found. Given the nature of the item, it is most likely that a food or drink spill has weakened the metallic coating allowing it to be stripped away in cleaning.

Rectification: None is possible.


Case Study 2 – Non-fast dyes

Fault: This smart designer suit came in with trousers which matched the colour of the jacket. However, because of the extensive water based drink stains round the waist and down the thighs, the cleaner decided to wet-clean the trousers. The trousers came out of the wet-cleaning machine a much-faded shade of grey.

Technical cause: The dyes used here have very poor colourfastness to water and colour has flooded out of the trousers during wet-cleaning, even though this was expertly carried out.

Responsibility: The blame here should lie with the textile maker as they should have made sure that fabric to be used for trousers was colourfast to water. It is a basic requirement for a garment to be colourfast to water to ensure that no damage to the dye is incurred due to spills, etc. during wear.

Rectification: Unfortunately, none is possible. The only feasible option is to wet-clean the suit jacket to ensure that the items match in colour.

DTC Case study

Case Study 3 – Localised Yellow Discolouration

Fault: Mysterious lemon yellow marks appeared on this wedding dress post cleaning.

Technical Cause: The polyester wedding dress was wet-cleaned to give the best possible stain removal. Unfortunately, due to the low mechanical action of the process, the detergent used was not sufficiently dispersed. The localised exposure of the heavily alkaline detergent resulted in the appearance of yellow marks during pressing.

Responsibility: The responsibility here lies with the cleaner for using a laundry detergent as opposed to a dedicated wet-cleaning detergent and also for not ensuring that the process gave sufficient rinse time. Similar faults are often observed where stubborn vegetable/tannin dyes are not removed.

Rectification: None is possible. The alkali has reacted with the optical brighteners on the dress; the discolouration could not be reversed by souring or bleaching in lab trials.


DTC Case Study 3