Caring for Window Coverings

Window Coverings Need Care Too

Window coverings can be one of the most unique and expensive design elements in any room, yet they typically don’t receive the care they need. Homeowners often overlook maintaining their draperies, curtains, shades, and other soft window coverings. However, factors such as moisture, sunlight and living with pets can create problems which can be difficult, if not impossible to correct. Maintaining soft window coverings is important in making them more sustainable, so let’s cover some simple ways to ensure they stay looking their best.


Condensation and water leaks from opened or damaged windows can ruin draperies.  Depending on the fiber content, shrinking and ringing can be severe and sometimes permanent. For example, linen draperies are very prone to browning, and rayon draperies are likely to shrink and leave rings when exposed to moisture.  It’s important to check the seals and edges of windows at least every few months.

While we often feel that curtains and draperies are safe from spills and soils, it is not uncommon to get stains on the edges and fringes. Any room with a view can be subject to food spills and stains, especially when houseguests are involved.


Cats and dogs love to rub against window fabrics or settle in among the folds, leaving their body oils on the fabric.  These oils then tend to attract and hold dry soils.

Pet hair is also an issue as it sticks to the fabrics and leaves an unsightly darkening caused by body oils. Some dogs and cats also like to “mark their territory,” and pet urine left unattended can cause permanent discoloration. Pet stains can also be difficult to remove because they require water-based cleaners. Many of the fabrics used for window treatments don’t always respond well to water-based cleaning, such as linen, silk, and rayon, which may cause shrinkage, rings or other damage.

While no one can watch the family pet every minute, adding fabric protection to expensive window coverings can help eliminate some of these problems. A skilled fabric care technician can remove many of the stains while window treatments are in place, eliminating the costly and time-consuming process of having to take down draperies or shades for cleaning. The ability to spot clean draperies means less wear and tear on the fabrics.

While a fabric protector cannot prevent all moisture rings, it can make fabrics less susceptible to them.  Also, because a fabric protector keeps soils on the surface, airborne soils will not cling as readily and vacuuming is more effective. 


Prolonged exposure to sunlight can create serious damage to soft surface window coverings. Many fibers like silk, can become degraded, and over time, can actually disintegrate from exposure to the UV rays of the sun. UV rays can also cause window fabrics to fade, especially silk. This becomes most noticeable on draperies with pleating, since the sun hits some areas and not others. This type of  irregular fading will cause a “striping effect.” Given that fiber damage and fading cannot be corrected, taking preventative measures is the best solution.


Adding a lining to draperies, curtains, valances, shades and other treatments can help, although the linings can still be affected.

One of the best ways to prevent UV damage is to install a special UV inhibiting film on the windows or to select windows made with UV inhibiting glass as part of the home’s construction.

Choosing fabrics made from inherently fade resistant fibers is a very good way to reduce or eliminate fading and should be carefully considered when an installation is expected to receive above-average sun exposure. Acrylic fabrics along with some nylons and polyesters are solution dyed, making them more fade resistant.

Don't Be Fooled by False Claims

Some fabric protection products claim to have UV inhibitors as part of their formula. It has been proven time and time again that there is no truly effective after-market application product that prevents UV damage.

Day-To-Day Care

Vertical fabrics tend to be ignored for long periods— until the build-up of dust and other contaminates becomes so great that it is glaringly obvious!

Window coverings really do benefit from regular vacuuming. Preventive vacuuming two to three times a year can save time and money by eliminating the need for off-site dry-cleaning which can be costly, and not very environmentally friendly. Areas where pets rub should be vacuumed more frequently.

Should your window treatments become heavily soiled, a professional cleaner can advise you on the best way to have them cleaned.

Water-based spills should be blotted with a white paper or terry towel. When possible, drying the area with a fan after blotting can also help prevent ringing and shrinking.

We're Your #1 Source for Fabric Cleaning & Protection

Your local Fiber-Seal Service Center knows the best methods to protect and clean even the trickiest of window coverings. Our proprietary protection treatments, complimentary follow-up care and Fabric Care Kit ensure that your wall coverings and other soft surfaces will stay looking their best. Protect your investment in fine window coverings with the Fiber-Seal Fabric Care System.

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