Longevity of Household Fabrics

longevity of household textiles

With proper care and cleaning, fabric-covered household items can last for decades. However, not all furnishings are created equal, and some may only last five years at most. If you don’t want to have to replace items such as bedspreads, bed linens, draperies, table linens, slipcovers and fabric upholstery every few years, it’s best to conduct research before buying new items so you can ensure they’re high-quality and that you can manage their required cleaning needs.

Curtains and draperies

When you select window treatments, you choose them because they coordinate with or enhance your interior design while also blocking light and energy loss. Therefore, you want those curtains to last for many years without needing replacement.  According to the Fair Claims Guide for Consumer Textile Products from The American National Standards Institute, Inc., sheer and glass fiber curtains should last approximately three years and draperies should last at least three years, depending on their style. Lined draperies tend to last longer because of their durable, multi-layer design, but without proper care and cleaning, mildew can develop inside them, which may lead to a need for replacements. Before purchasing any window coverings, take into consideration what you want them to do, whether it’s block light, hold in heat, look attractive or all of the above and choose draperies or curtains that can withstand their intended purpose.


The Fair Claims Guide states that bedding including bedspreads, blankets, and comforters should last at least five years, with heavy wool and synthetic fiber blankets lasting up to 10 years. Sheets and pillowcases should last at least two years, but as anyone with a favorite set of sheets knows, they can last much longer with proper care. The standards set by the Fair Claims Guide help determine liability for claims adjustments on textile products, but they’re not absolute life expectancies.

Purchase considerations

The longevity of household fabrics depends on what you choose and how well your treat the material. Before purchasing a household fabric item take into consideration how durable it is, how it resists stains, any protective coatings it has, whether the material is preshrunk and its resistance to fading, pollution, and light. Read all fabric care instructions on the item before purchase so you know how to clean and maintain it.

Importance of proper care

Prolonging the life of household textiles requires proper care to ensure its longevity, beauty, and function. To help your furnishings last longer, follow these tips:

  • Protect from pets, sunlight, fumes, and smoke
  • Repair tears, holes, burns and other damage immediately
  • Remove dust regularly with vacuuming or brushing
  • Treat and remove stains immediately
  • Adhere to recommended cleaning instructions
  • Always clean before placing in storage

Keep your window treatments, bedding, table linens and clothing looking their best by utilizing the dry cleaning, upholstery cleaning, carpet cleaning and tailoring services of Embassy Cleaners.

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