Now that the winter has ended, you decide to take your favorite bedspread to the dry cleaner for cleaning before storage. However, when you get it back, to your horror, you discover that the colors have faded substantially.
Unfortunately, comforters, quilts, bedspreads, and other household items can sometimes fade during adequate cleaning procedures. In most cases, the surface color has a streaked or frosted appearance. There may also be an overall lightening or complete change of tone. Sometimes this type of color change or fading may not be noticeable until the bedspread or comforter is compared to other matching components in the bedroom ensemble.
Fading of this kind occurs when the dyes or pigments applied during manufacturing are not colorfast to drycleaning solvent. Unfortunately, the dry cleaner has no way of knowing whether the dyes will fade during acceptable cleaning procedures.
When you bring in a comforter or bedspread for cleaning, tell your cleaner that you want it tested for colorfastness prior to cleaning regardless of the label. Testing should also be done to determine which care process (laundering or drycleaning) would be safest for the color. In some cases, bedspreads that cannot be drycleaned may be laundered safely. However, there are bedspreads and comforters, especially prints, that cannot withstand washing or drycleaning procedures without fading.
If tests show that the colors may fade, you will need to decide how or if you want your dry cleaner to clean the bedspread, which may result in fading of the colors. If you decide you still want it cleaned, you should have any matching components cleaned as well to ensure that the color will be consistent. Your cleaner will probably have you sign a release. Most of all, you should remember that once a bedspread or comforter has faded, the colors cannot be restored.