Q: I’m having difficulty spotting pigment-printed fabrics. They always seem to lose color.
A: Pigment-printed fabrics are created by mixing a powdered coloring agent (pigment) and an adhesive binding agent to the surface of a fabric using a variety of printing techniques. The print is then cured to make the design permanent. If the binding agent is mixed correctly, and if the print is cured for the proper amount of time, the print won’t “crock” off or fade during the drycleaning process.
Unfortunately, dry-side spotting agents such as amyl acetate; volatile dry solvent (VDS); paint, oil and grease remover (POG); and oily-type paint remover (OTPR) have to be avoided, because they will dissolve the binding agents and cause color loss. Neutral lubricants, mild acids and alkalis (tannin and protein formulas) can often be used instead. Test these cleaning agents on an unexposed area before using them — you can apply the test with a cotton swab. Check for dye migration and color loss. Don’t forget that the test area has to be completely dry before cleaning.