Important Product Information

Furnishing fabrics are produced using many varied processes, which result in a finished product which is often misunderstood. Fabrics do wear, fade, shrink, move, crease, etc. They are not indestructible. These materials are used in many different situations and can be mistreated by consumers which can lead to problems. Consequently we have compiled the following information for use before making a sale, and possibly after supplying to answer common questions or complaints.

Colour matching

We cannot guarantee that our current stock will exactly match previous stock or samples, as dyeing does change from batch to batch. This could apply to stock supplied compared to pattern books. We are willing to match as near as possible, stock permitting, in which case please send us a cutting, or quote batch number from original invoice. If it is a first purchase, we can send you a stock cutting, but subsequent supply is subject to that stock being unsold.

The Purchaser must satisfy themselves that the fabric they receive is as the consumer expects it, i.e. check against the pattern book or sampling used to select originally. We cannot accept responsibility once fabric is cut, or even more importantly after making up.


Are approximate and should be regarded as such.
Widths can vary to some degree but the biggest fluctuation arises in pattern repeats. These are affected by finishing processes, tensions and, to a degree, atmospheric conditions. There will almost always be a variance between batches. Fabrics primarily produced for upholstery, but which can be used for curtains (e.g. Italian weaves) often have very little selvedge which can result in difficulty in joining widths and matching pattern. It is suggested, because even this phenomenon is variable, that careful inspection is carried out prior to cutting. We cannot consider claims once the fabric has been cut.


Primarily all fabrics require care. Leaving curtains or covers to accumulate airborne dust and grit until such a time as they are cleaned will be detrimental. All fabrics should be treated like carpets inasmuch as regular, careful vacuuming with appropriate attachment is recommended. Removable back and seat cushions should be turned regularly. Tight upholstery should be cleaned on site by a recognised professional company. If removable cushions are cleaned separately and more often than the rest of the furniture an uneven loss of colour may become apparent.

If washing or dry cleaning is advised, dry cleaning is the better option, particularly for large and/or made up items.

Dry cleaning

Always use dry cleaning specialists. Upholstery should be cleaned on site by a recognised professional company and if they are in any doubt regarding stability of colour etc. they should advise that a trial is performed first on an inconspicuous area.


Wash coloureds separately.
Whilst modern colour friendly powders reduce the likelihood of fading, repeated washing may still cause changes to tone and shade. We recommend the use of cleaning products which do not contain bleaching or brightening agents, e.g. colour friendly powders of which the specific usage instructions must be followed.

Stain Removal

Accidents do happen and the key element in successful stain removal is speed. The longer a stain is left the more difficult it will be to remove. Use professionals where possible, but if a stain-remover is used, it is strongly recommended that the chemical is tried on an inconspicuous piece of fabric first. We cannot be held responsible for problems arising from stain removal.

Pattern distortion

Fabrics are made from fibres which are of course not a stable substance, unlike, say, sheet metal. Consequently the horizontal pattern on prints and weaves you see will often be "out of true", or not square on the cloth. This is not a fault and not a problem to good makers, who can make allowances for this in the making. Always cut printed fabrics by pattern, not weave. As always, check before cutting that you are satisfied with any distortions that may appear.
The normal accepted tolerance is 3% variance across the width.


Most fabrics will shrink, particularly looser woven cloth and/or those containing cellulosic/natural fibres such as cotton, linen and viscose.
The furnishing trade accepts shrinking of up to approximately 5% as normal.
Dry cleaning will have a lesser effect than washing (but never use coin-op dry cleaning). Fast drying methods, such as tumble drying must be avoided. Some shrinkage can be regained by ironing the fabric whilst damp plus gentle stretching. Allowances, therefore should always be made to allow for this situation should it arise. For curtains, include generous hems. It is recommended that curtains are not made to an 'exact' length, i.e. sill or floor-touching, as even the slightest shrinking will be more noticeable. Linings, tapes, pipings and trimmings can all shrink at different rates so this fact must be considered.

Loose covers, which can obviously also be affected by shrinkage, should be made slightly loose to avoid a snug fit and are best re-fitted after cleaning whilst still damp.
It is also a fact, although commonly unknown, that curtains can shrink whilst hanging (with no cleaning involved) or stretch, or even move up and down! - a phenomenon called "movement". The fibres of most fabrics are cellulosic. This means they are hygroscopic and contain humidity. As atmospheric conditions change, i.e. very dry or very humid weather, the fibres gain or lose moisture. This causes the fabric as a whole to "shrink" or "relax" due, partly, to the weight of the water in the humidity. This is perfectly normal and nothing can be done to change it. To further explain this to a consumer, wood (another natural substance) can be used as an analogy. If soaked, it will swell; if left unprotected to dry out, it will shrink and crack. Matters will be made worse if curtains hang too close to windows where there can be excessive moisture from condensation or to radiators where heat and dryness occur.

Movement is totally outside our control. If any alterations are required following shrinkage or movement, the cost must remain the responsibility of the maker.


Although modern dyes are extremely efficient, resulting in our fabrics being resistant to fading, there is no such thing as a fabric that will not fade. To reduce fading, all curtains should be lined, pulled well back from the window and not used during daylight as a protection for furniture or carpets. The latter is only shifting the possible problem from one article to another. Upholstery should be kept well away from sunlight. Fabrics made into window blinds are likely to fade. Products that are hand-dyed and/or hand-woven in India and silks are particularly prone to fading, but this should be accepted as part of their aesthetic charm. They cannot consistently be produced to behave like fabrics made in modern European mills. Cigarette smoke, open and particularly gas fires may affect fabrics even to chemically change the colour.

Roman Blinds - these are part of our interior life, but caution should always be taken when making up the blinds, as, by the nature of the product the fabric is placed in direct sunlight. It is vital that when the blind is pulled up (open position) that the bottom section of the blind hangs below the other folds, thus protecting the face fabric from direct exposure to sunlight. This will eliminate the occurrence of fading on the folds thus creating horizontal barring when pulled down (closed). Similarly care should be taken with adequately lining the blind leaving minimal leading edges exposed, as most fabrics will fade if subjected to direct sunlight. Fabrics with horizontal patterns are not recommended for Blinds.

Natural Fabrics

While continually popular and beautiful in their natural state, it does mean that as a result of these fabrics being "natural" instead of dyed, they are likely to fade more than a chemically dyed fabric. In many cases the colour change is minimal and aesthetically acceptable as part of its natural charm but the customer should initially be made aware of this possibility before making their selection.


All fabrics will crease to some degree, which is a characteristic feature and not a fault. Linen is particularly susceptible to creasing - flax fibres crease! As accepted in the fashion trade, this is normal. Most creases can be removed by hanging and leaving or ironing and/or the application of steam.

Cotton Seeds

These appear in unbleached cotton prints and weaves. These are intentional and should not be considered faulty. Because cotton is a natural fibre, the amount and/or appearance of seeds can vary from batch to batch.

Notes on specific fibres & fabrics

Certain fibres used in the manufacture of fabrics have particular natural characteristics:

Pile Fabric

e.g. Velvet, Chenille, may flatten which will create a colour shading. This is inevitable and should not be confused with fading. Pile fabrics tend to mark and crease in packing, transit and making up. These marks sometimes show as bars or bands which can be mistaken for dye bars. They will drop out as the pile settles over a period of time. For best results curtains should be lightly steamed and gently brushed in the direction of the pile. Pile fabrics should never be left standing on end, as this could cause permanent creasing. Chenilles, particularly lighter weight versions, when tested for upholstery use, often actually fail. Whilst this type of fabric is aesthetically pleasing and currently very fashionable, it is not the hardest wearing by any degree. Chenille weavers will always say this, but by the time the information reaches the consumer, it can easily be lost or misinterpreted. The chenille pile will diminish with wear. Flat Weaves may be subject to pilling or bobbling.


When linen (flax) is used on its own, or mixed with other fibres, creasing will probably become apparent, but this is an inherent feature, not a fault.


Always iron chintzed fabrics on the reverse side with a dry iron (no steam).

Indian Cottons

Indian Cottons are produced by hand in much the same way as fabrics have been made back over the centuries. Consequently, testing does not apply and these materials must be accepted for what they are - aesthetically beautiful 'craft' fabrics subject to fading etc.


Although Silk is considered to be one of the most luxurious fabrics used in soft furnishings its characteristics have to be understood and accepted. It is a natural fibre and therefore will not have the consistency of colour or texture of a man made product. Silk will fade. Colour match cannot be guaranteed from batch to batch. The texture of the silk will vary i.e. the number and scale of slubs in any one piece, and, if drawn against daylight "barring" will occur. Silk curtains should always be lined and preferably interlined for this reason plus the fact that by fully lining silk it will be less susceptible to fading. We would recommend a small leading edge as this is most vulnerable to fading.