General Cleaning and Care Guide

All soft Furnishings require some maintenance, regular vacuuming and cleaning can prolong the life and appearance of soft furnishings. It is suggested that curtains and upholstery should be vacuumed once a week, and dry cleaned every 6-12 months (residentially and more frequently commercially.) A professional treatment can further enhance the lifecycle while avoiding the premature aging of fabrics - such as a soil resistant treatment. (Please see treatments page) Always follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. If the care instructions cannot be found it is recommended to make contact the company who supplied the fabric. 


When applicable, machine washing is appropriate – usually for smaller items, such as cushion covers or removable slips from lounge settings etc. however not all fabrics behave the same way during a washing machine cycle, so check the care instructions provided. The instructions should allow for preferred temperature, machine cycle setting, method of drying and ironing. It is generally recommended to wash regularly and prior to noticeable soiling as this will prolong the life of the product. 

It is important not to wash large items such as full-length curtains or loose covers in a domestic washing machine - the additional abrasion resulting from a large washing machine load will create colour loss, shrinkage and creasing. 

Never use bleaches, remembering that almost all washing powders contain some sort of bleaching or optimum brightening agent which will dull colours, or cause fading. A mild liquid detergent is preferred for items that will be washed regularly. 

Avoid soaking fabrics for prolonged periods of time. Do not leave fabric in the washing machine while damp, as this may encourage the colour to run. 

Dry Cleaning

When dry cleaning is the instructed cleaning method make sure the cleaner employed is aware of the care instructions provided or the composition of the fabric, as this will help them achieve the best results. Many fabrics require a gentle treatment with reduced agitation, and in some cases no chemicals or solvents. Always use a dry cleaner who is familiar with furnishing fabrics, or one who has been highly recommended 

Do not to use spot-cleaning products or dry-cleaning aerosol sprays, as these may alter the area resulting in a patchy surface. It is better to use professional on site cleaning contractor to do an overall clean. 


All woven fabrics, particularly those made from natural fibres such as cotton or linen will shrink. It is normal for furnishing fabrics to shrink during the washing process, sometimes by 6 – 8%. Washing temperature is an important factor when avoiding shrinkage, but equally important are the effects of mechanical agitation and drying temperature and method. Dry–cleaning (which is not a ‘dry’ process at all) can also cause shrinkage, (although generally to a lesser extent.) 

It is common practice to iron Linen and cotton damp and where linen furniture covers are used, these too will be easier to recover while damp, giving the fabric an opportunity to stretch during the last drying stage. 

Notes for Curtain Shrinkage:

Curtains may shrink or extend due to fluctuations in atmospheric temperature and/or humidity. This is particularly true of fabrics that contain a high proportion of viscose. 

To compensate for the movement and shrinkage curtains are generally made with an adequate hem which is loosely tacked until after the first wash has occurred. An allowance of at least 5% should be added to the length required. Side seams or attached linings should be hand-slipped to allow for differential movement between face fabric and lining. Always use a thread of the same fibre as the fabric you are sewing. Always check these points with your curtain maker.

Wide width fabrics

Wide width fabrics are very useful as they can be ‘railroaded’, (i.e. made up horizontally to avoid the need for seaming widths of fabric together.) Usually these fabrics have a pattern that will work either vertical or horizontal. This will always be indicated in the sample book or on the website of the relevant brand. 

Light Fastness

Printed or dyed furnishing fabrics generally have a good inherent resistance to fading, but all fabrics will fade eventually. Curtains and blinds should always be lined and where possible fully drawn from the windows during daylight hours. Sheer curtains and voiles are particularly vulnerable to fading these should also be lined where possible. 

Of all fabrics, silk has lowest light fastness, this is a natural characteristics and no claims against fading will be accepted. Lightproof linings and interlinings are highly advised when selecting silk for either curtains or blinds. UV treatments that offer fade protection are available, please see treatments.  


A silk fabric is fragile, a certain amount of care should be exercised in making up and maintenance. Silk curtains should always be lined to protect them from fading and should be avoided for use as Roman blinds where fading will be more obvious. Silk should only ever be dry cleaned by professional cleaners with experience with furnishing fabrics, and be cleaned using the careful cycle as indicated in the Care Symbols. 


Linen fabrics, whether 100% linen or mixed with other yarns such as cotton or viscose, are prone to shrinkage, especially during washing and drying. Due to this it is normally recommend that linen fabrics should be dry cleaned. 


Always store rolls of velvet in a horizontal position or in the original suspension box. When Velvet is stored standing on one end it will cause permanent creasing. When re-rolling velvet, always roll with the pile on the inside. 

Velvet curtains:

Cotton velvet curtains should be made up with the pile facing upwards, an upward facing pile provides a deeper and richer appearance, whereas for viscose and other lustrous velvets (polyester/trevira velvet) the pile should face down, the downward facing pile enhances the lustre on viscose velvets. 

It is advisable to line velvet curtains; this will prevent pile-loss and fading from sunlight. Lining will also give a more luxurious drape, especially if curtains are also interlined. 


Markings and pile distortion are normal with velvets; these are not an indication of fault and any marks will diminish or disappear altogether over time. Movement or displacement of the pile is quite normal and should be expected, especially in areas of high us.

Watermarks from liquid spills are difficult to remove, especially in Viscose Velvet.

Cotton velvet is a natural product and when made up as curtains or upholstered on a sofa, it will acquire its unique appearance after some time due to usage and the natural humidity of the surroundings.

Pressure marks, rolling stripes and smaller irregularities, which are inherent for the product, will disappear in a ventilated and relatively humid environment.

As an aid to restoring the pile and removing pressure marks the use of a soft brush and light steaming may be effective. (Check the care and maintenance label) 

Upholstering with velvet:

Make sure that the velvet chosen is suitable for use and that the upholsterer uses the right technique; seaming the cut edges and folding the edge twice before nailing or stapling the velvet to prevent unnecessary rupture and tearing. Do not cover velvet directly onto foam fillings as it will appear to sag, use an interlining even if the velvet has been back coated. The fabric will last longer and pile-loss will be limited. 

Mezzola TM

Mezzola TM is the registered trade mark of a superior microfibre textile product developed by Designers Guild. It is luxurious and comfortable, soft to the touch, hardwearing and durable. As with all furnishings, regular and careful maintenance will preserve the beauty and prolong the life of the Mezzola TM product. Whilst regular cleaning is desirable it is important not to use excessively vigorous methods.It is recommended to vacuum–clean or brush with a soft brush two or three times a week.

Every two or three weeks run a damp, white cloth over your furniture to remove dust. Do not use coloured cloths or paper towels. 

Once a year you should clean your Mezzola furniture using one of the following methods:

1. If the covers are removable they can be washed on a low temperature setting in a washing machine or taken to the laundry. The covers should not be spun dry, to avoid creasing but may be tumble dried at the lowest temperature setting.

2. If the covers are not removable they may be cleaned in situ by a professional cleaning company, but make sure you tell them that the fabric is 100% polyester microfibre as excessive heat may damage the covers.

3. Cleaning the furniture using a damp clean cloth, well wrung out, and run it over the Mezzola TM fabric, being sure not to wet it too much. Repeat as necessary until no further soiling is removed the leave to dry thoroughly.

4. After drying you may brush with a soft bristle brush to restore the surface appearance.