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Cleaning and Maintaining Your Marimekko Lounge and Cushion Fabric

If you have been using Marimekko fabric for a while now, you will know that, no matter how stunning and durable the fabric is, it will, like everything else in the house, need a clean. While the fabric used in cushions and lounges is durable, it does require some care. Marimekko makes many weights of cotton. Those fabrics are suitable for use as curtains, pillows, duvet covers, flat panel wall hangings, table linens, roman shades, cushions and slipcovers.

Marimekko also supplies fabric suitable for upholstery as well as outdoor living. Unless otherwise stated, they can are machine washable in warm-hot water with no bleach.

Cleaning Marimekko Lounge Fabric

It is not good to let these fabrics remain damp, and they should never be soaked. Being a screen printed product, soaking the fabrics can ruin the print.

If you really want to brighten and freshen up the fabric, using a professional commercial cleaner or upholstery specialist like Electrodry is best.

A good commercial cleaning company will always inspect your lounge fabrics and upholstery before doing any cleaning. They will want to test colour fastness to ensure the fabrics can be cleaned safely. They will typically use pre-cleaning solutions to help break down the buildup of dirt and oil as well as solutions to help remove fungi and any bacteria.

The pre-cleaning phase would typically be followed by a steam water extraction cleaning process which removes the dirt and oil from your lounge covers without harming the print in any way.

If you want to clean up any small patches yourself, the Golden rule remains the same:  Patch test anything you use on an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t damage the lounge. A good place to do your pre-clean test is on the back or in the bottom corner of the lounge.

As a general routine, vacuum your lounge regularly. If toys or other abrasive items are stuck under the cushions of the lounge, the constant wear will damage the fabric.

For Cleaning Removable Cushion Covers

As I suggested above, it is not good to soak the fabrics as they are screen printed and it can ruin the print

Whenever you are cleaning fabric that contains colour, avoid all bleaching agents. I also recommend you avoid soaking your cushion covers as this too may cause the dye to run, and the colour will lose some of its brightness.

Wash the cushion covers separately in plenty of water.  If you have purchased new fabric and plan to make your own covers it’s best to wash the fabric first.  Being cotton and linen, your Marimekko will ordinarily shrink during the first use.

Also keep in mind that if you use a dryer, it is best to remove the fabric before it is entirely dry and iron it while it’s still a little damp, this will reduce the shrinkage factor to under 3%. I have written more on what not to do when cleaning your curtain or other Marimekko fabrics. Take a look and if you are in any doubt, give me a shout.

Cotton Varieties

Marimekko uses two basic kinds of cotton fabric and both types of cotton are suitable for upholstery fabric. One is a flat weave fabric while the other has more depth and texture to it. Both kinds of cotton are machine washable in warm water. No bleach or tumble drying should be used. Instead use a hot iron once the fabrics are two-thirds dry. The fabric can also be dry cleaned. Be aware that you can get up to 3 inches of shrinkage when using hot water. There are two types of cotton upholstery fabric in the Marimekko range. The first is a simple flat weave while the other has more texture.  Both of these can be washed in a regular washing machine using warm or hot water. But again avoid bleaching or drying them thoroughly in an automatic dryer.

Oil Treated Cloth

If you are using an oil treated cloth, you will find that it has been finished on the printed side. This will make the cotton easier to work with. Nevertheless the fabric is still porous, and you should always clean up any stains quickly with a damp cloth. Since 2008 all oilcloth manufactured by Marimekko is phthalate free PVC.

Metallic Fabrics

If you are using a metallic print finish fabric, it can be washed at 40 degrees celsius with plenty of water. But make sure you only iron it on the opposite side to the print. Furthermore, they should never be dry cleaned.

Coated and Trevira CS Fabrics

For difficult and noticeable stains such as wine and some kind of fruit you will need to remove the stains quickly to avoid them setting permanently in the fabric. Wash them on a delicate cycle and in plenty of warm water.  Similar to the metallic material, they should be ironed on the reverse side.

Happy cleaning!

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