Caring for your fabric

At Charles Parsons’s interiors all our textiles comply with current industry standards and are put through rigorous testing in our own independent laboratory. All fabrics are tested for abrasion resistance, seam slippage, pilling, color fastness, the absence of Free Formaldehyde, pile retention for velvets and dimensional change for drapery.


To extend the life of your high quality textiles, the correct care procedure is essential. Colour, weight and fibre content are all important factors when maintaining your furnishings and each fabric requires different care. Always refer to your fabric care label before attempting any clean.


Professional cleaning is recommended every 12 months for all your home furnishings.


Please always refer to your appropriate Care Label prior to any care and cleaning

Curtain Cleaning

Curtain Care Guide (PDF) 

To maintain the appearance of your high quality textiles, the correct care procedure is essential.  Below we have set out how to best clean your curtains.  Please always refer to your care label before attempting any clean as some fabrics may be professional clean only.


  • Refer to the ‘Care Instruction Label’ fixed to the rear of your curtains, before laundering them.
  • Keep your drapes dust-free by regular gentle vacuuming with the appropriate attachment.
  • Do not handle fabric with dirty hands, as this will soil the fabric.
  • Remove hooks, rings and trims before cleaning.
  • Cold or warm hand wash with wool approved detergent. Do not soak. Do not bleach. Do not wring or rub.
  • Do not tumble dry. Drip dry in shade fabric side down. Do not use pegs or fold over clothes line.
  • For best results re-hang to dry.
  • Avoid wet coated sides touching.
  • Warm iron on fabric side only


Velvet curtain care
Curtaining velvet needs care in handling and use. Window fittings coming in contact with the curtain should be avoided. Stiff brushing or strong vacuum cleaning on the reverse side of velvet can also pull at the pile. Draw cords or other methods of drawing without handling the curtain itself are recommended, as grasping, particularly with fingernails, can cause crushing and other damage. Velvet curtains should be dry cleaned.

When velvet curtains are hung for the first time it is recommended that they be drawn across and finely sprayed with water. The spray should dampen but not soak the velvet. The curtains should then be left to dry and under no circumstances to be touched during this period. When the curtains are dry most creases and marks will have come out and the pile should have lifted to reveal the richness and luster of the velvet. If initially cared for, the pile should continue to improve as the atmosphere lifts it. This process can continue for several months.

Movement of curtains in situ
When making curtains, always allow for atmospheric movement and fluctuations in length, as the result of changes in temperature and humidity. Fabrics absorb moisture and this can result in stretching or shrinking. It is reasonable to expect as much as a 3% change in any curtain length.

For instance, a 2.5m curtain length may move up to 8cms up or down in

different conditions. Heavier fabrics, looser weaves and those with thicker yarns of natural fibres will react to changing humidity. For curtains, we

recommend leaving generous hems to allow easy alteration and adjustment after hanging. We strongly recommend, letting them hang for at least 4 weeks before finishing hems. Top quality makers avoid “exact” length curtains (i.e. floor touching or to a window sill). 

General Upholstery Care

Uphostery Care Guide (PDF) 


Do not remove cushion covers for separate cleaning, even though they may have zippers. Clean with hot water extraction machine (hot). Professional cleaning recommended. Do not use dishwashing or laundry detergents – use only upholstery detergent. Do not wet filling. Dry in shade, away from direct heat and sunlight. Gently vacuum to restore pile. Allow to dry thoroughly before reuse.


Dry cleaning
May be dry cleaned with an onsite dry cleaning machine. Professional cleaning recommended. Do not wet filling with solvent. Extract solvent thoroughly after application. Do not scrub with a stiff brush. Caution: Exhaust solvent vapour outside building. Provide adequate ventilation during cleaning and drying. Avoid use of room during drying period.


Upholstery shampoo
May be shampoo cleaned using upholstery shampoo. Do not use dishwashing or laundry detergents. Do not wet filling. Do not scrub with a stiff brush. Gently vacuum to restore pile. Dry in shade, away from direct heat and sunlight. Allow to dry thoroughly before use.


Spot cleaning
Treat spills and stains as soon as possible. Gently scrape any soil or mop liquid from the surface of the fabric. Do not scrub. Apply proprietary cleaning agents strictly according to instructions to remove the residue of the spill. Do not saturate the fabric with water or other cleaning liquids. May be spot cleaned with dry cleaning solvent.

Vacuum your fabric regularly, using low suction as dust accumulates daily on all fabrics and is abrasive. Rotate cushions regularly and this will help minimise colour loss and fibre damage from “favourite chair syndrome”

Ensure your furniture avoids the following conditions to attain your fabrics maximum life expectancy.

  • Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight
  • Heat sources (heaters, radiators)
  • Sharp objects
  • Perspiration, grime, body oils etc

Abrasion Testing

Charles Parsons’s upholstery fabrics are all labelled with a martindale score which gives you an indication of which fabric is best suited for your required application.


The Martindale abrasion testing is when in laboratory conditions fabric samples are continuously rubbed together until the fibre is observed to fatigue.


LD – Light Domestic

Martindale rub test: 10,000 – 15,000

Recommended for use on furniture intended for occasional, decorative or light usage. This is due either to the use of delicate yarns in the composition of the fabric, or due to the delicate construction of the fabric itself. Some decorative fabrics may not be suitable for use on heavy wear areas or fixed upholstery areas, due to ‘dry clean only’ cleaning being required, and this is not possible other than where the fabric can be removed and taken to a dry cleaner. Refer to the relevant sample if unsure.


GD – General Domestic

Martindale rub test: 15,000 – 25,000

Suitable for general daily domestic use. However if the level of use will be very high, we recommend selecting a fabric rated as heavy duty or commercial use  General domestic fabrics are not recommended for motion furniture (i.e. recliners) or furniture with a fixed seat or back that will put high levels of stress on the fabric.


HD – Heavy Duty

Martindale rub test: 25,000 – 30,000

Suitable for heavy duty domestic use, i.e. use on the main furniture in the house that will be subjected to high levels of everyday use. Also suitable for motion furniture (i.e. recliners) and for furniture with a fixed seat or back. Also suitable for light commercial applications.


HC –  Heavy Commercial

Martindale rub test: 30,000+

Suitable for heavy duty commercial and heavy duty domestic use. Suitable for all commercial furniture applications and environments.