Project: Dry Cleaning Cellular Shades
VILLA LOFTS – Dry cleaning cellular shades becomes necessary when blackout material lines the inside of each cell, or when certain fabric protectants are present.
Known alternatively as honeycomb shades, and less frequently accordion shades, a vast majority of cellular shades can be wet cleaned. The shades pictured above are one exception. (Sorry, not the best photo ever.)
Applause Blackout Shades
Manufactured by Hunter Douglas, Applause® blackout shades are highly coveted for their ability to block ambient light in bedrooms and home theaters, while at the same time provide an extra layer of insulation against heat or cold at the window.
High-rise condominiums with ocean-views are another popular application. The brilliance and heat of morning sunlight can be significantly magnified as it glances off the ocean’s surface. Its sheer intensity has been known to severely damage household fabrics.
The penthouse in the above photo belongs to an ADVANCED ON-SITE customer at a prestigious North Flagler address. Concerned about sun damage to tapestries on the opposite wall, she purchased the Hunter Douglas product several years earlier.
One look at the photo reveals just how effectively the shades block bright sunlight, as seen streaming in at a different angle through light filtering shades at left. The shade fabric does not in and of itself possess such capability. It’s the thin metallic foil laminated to the inside of each cell that gets the job done.
Solutions and Caveats
Water compromises the process used to bond foil to fabric during manufacture and for that reason Applause® must never come into contact with it. Dry cleaning cellular shades involves the use of a solvent that, although fluid, contains no water and therefore preserves this bond.
However even dry cleaning can further aggravate a condition arising from previous exposure to moisture. One customer was dismayed to learn that a water stain on her shade was a clear indication that it had already sustained damage. Damage that even with proper handling would only get worse.
Possible sources of moisture shade owners should be aware of and guard against include humidifier use in close proximity, morning dew entering through an open window (rain too, of course), and even condensation forming on metal window frames when the temperature outside is vastly different than that of the interior.