Often, the garments we prize most are those with unique decorative features that set them apart. Lace, faux or real leather, buttons, fur trim, and details such as buckles, belts and beading, can give your clothing a one-of-a-kind quality. This type of clothing can also pose cleaning challenges, even for the most conscientious professional dry cleaner.
Always look for care labels in any clothing you purchase. In Canada, clothing manufacturers are asked to adhere to the Canadian Care Labelling Program, administered by Industry Canada's Competition Bureau. This labelling gives information about the best way to clean the garments you purchase. The label applies to the entire article including items such as trim, belts and buttons. The program does not cover removable pieces that can't be cleaned using the recommended method. The manufacturer must indicate on the care label or on a separate label that the cleaning instructions do not apply to removable trim.
Here are some helpful guidelines when buying a garment with decorative trim:
Don't just look for the standard care label, look also for additional labels that may indicate whether or not cleaning instructions apply to trim or decorative items.
Check that the trim is sewn, rather than glued. Some glues are not resistant to dry cleaning solvent and will break down, causing trim to detach.
Look for trim with well-bound edges.
Check that trim, belts, buckles and buttons are tightly sewn to the garment
If you're not sure how trim or decorative features will stand up to cleaning, talk to your dry cleaner.
If a garment doesn't stand up to the claims indicated on the Care Label, return it to the retailer or contact the manufacturer. If you still are not satisfied with the results, register your complaint with Industry Canada's Competition Bureau. Look for their local office in the Blue Pages or visit their web site at www.competition.ic.gc.ca.
For more information, contact your local Canadian Fabricare Association member dry cleaner.
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