Shaping Up Your Drapes for the Holidays

Decorating Fabric, Home Design, Tips & Tricks
Sunshine Drapery sliding glass doors window treatment

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Except for all the dust on your board-mounted valances, greyed delicate sheers and stains on your fabric shades. Do your window treatments have you saying “Bah humbug?” Here are some tips for shaping up your drapes for the holidays. cf_07_waterfall_window-2 If your drapes are silk, polished cotton, wool or lined, you’ll want to turn them over to the ones you know and trust at Sunshine Drapery. We offer both on-site and in plant drapery cleaning services. Our on-site drapery service provides you with the convenience of having your window treatments cleaned in your home or office. Nearly any type of window treatment can be cleaned on-site. Swags, valances, cornices, pleated shades, honeycomb shades, silhouettes, luminettes, vignettes and roman shades can be left in place at the window and conveniently cleaned. Dry cleaning solvent is used on most window treatments while hot water is used to clean fabric blinds, pleated shades, honeycomb shades, silhouettes, and luminettes from Hunter Douglas. Sheers today are made of nylon, polyester or cotton so fortunately they’re machine washable and dryable. Be sure to follow the washing and drying instructions on the label. If you don’t see any labels, you can wash them in warm water on a short, gentle cycle. Then tumble-dry for 15 minutes on low heat or until they are dry to the touch. Rehang your sheers as soon as the drying cycle has finished so you don’t have to iron them. That’s the last thing you want to do during the holidays. There’s too much gift wrapping to do!If your drapes are made with materials other than silk, polished cotton, wool or lined, then there are some quick fixes for shaping up your drapes for the holidays until you can get them into Sunshine Drapery for a professional cleaning. You’ll need a handheld vacuum, step stool, garment steamer or steam iron, washer and dryer, sticky lint roller or soft brush, sudsy water or foam upholstery cleaner and a clean sponge or cloth. Let’s face it, valances and swags mounted on boards are dust magnets and a challenge to clean. But with a handheld vacuum and a step stool, you can at least eliminate some of the dust in time for the holidays. Climb your step stool and use your handheld vacuum to suck dust from the top surface of the board. If the swag’s material catches in your vacuum, try covering the nozzle with a knee high. You can get into the folds and pleats by holding the fabric taut with one hand. If you find the fabric still looks drab after vacuuming, try reviving it with a handheld garment steamer or steam from an iron held a few inches away.   For Roman, pleated or any other non-washable fabric shades spot-cleaning is in order. Before you treat any stains or splotches you’ll want to dust them. Your handheld vacuum does this best. If you have smooth shades a lint roller or soft brush works well. For pleated shade, the vacuum’s brush attachment is good. Be sure to get debris on both sides, top to bottom, by lowering the shade and vacuuming in as many places as possible. Now for the stains and fingerprints. Take a squirt of dishwashing liquid and mix with a cup of warm water. You can use upholstery cleaner if you have it. Take a damp sponge or clean cloth and work the suds or foam into the stain. Then rinse off the cloth or sponge and then blot away the soap. Using a dry clean cloth dab away any excess moisture and allow the fabric to air dry. If you notice any water spots after cleaning you can fade them with steam from an iron or garment steamer. One way to make dusting valances and other draperies easier next time is to give your valance boards a wipe every time you get out your extendable duster to nab cobwebs on ceilings. You can also spray Static Guard on your sheers to repel dust. And another trick, zap smudges on non-washable fabric shades using a kneadable eraser from an art supply store.

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