5 Types of Fabric That You Can (and Should) Dry Clean

May 25, 2022

When you've run out of time and need to get something dirty cleaned, a trip to the dry cleaner just might be the answer. But before you can get any kind of work done, it's important to know the different types of fabrics you can dry clean. 

It's also essential to know what techniques must be applied to which kinds of fabric. Some fabrics require handwashing, for example, and others should only be machine-washed.

Here are five kinds of fabrics you would expect to dry clean.

1) Suede

When it comes to suede, dry cleaning is the only way to keep it maintained and looking great. This is because the chemicals in the dry cleaning process will help prevent stains and the wear and tear of everyday use.

Most suedes have a coating of wax on them that prevents the fabric from getting dirtier. When you dry clean it, the cleaners will use a solvent to take off the top coating and then restore it, leaving the suede looking beautiful and clean.

2) Silk

Similar to suede, silk is also a fabric that should be dry cleaned. It's mainly used for dresses and nice shirts, but you can also dry clean silk ties and other accessories.

Unlike suede, silk doesn't have a protective coating on it. This means that it can get dirty pretty quickly, but with dry cleaning, it stays looking great for years.

3) Wool

Though it is one of the most common fabrics used to make suits, sweaters, and other types of clothing, the cleaning process for wool is much more delicate.

Dry cleaning should only be used for wool that is not made with a stain-resistant coating. You can tell whether or not the fabric has a coating by running a fingernail over the fabric. If it makes a scratching sound, there is a coating on the fabric, and you should have it dry cleaned by hand.

4) Linen

Linen is one of the most durable fabrics, which is why it is often used to make bed sheets and napkins. You can, however, also dry clean it.

When it has a coating on it, however, you should not dry clean it. Instead, you should use a special dye and wash the fabric by hand. This will return it to its original state, which is why it's important to know whether or not it has a coating before you wash it or dry clean it.

5) Rayon

You can dry clean some types of rayon fabric, but it's not recommended. Most types are made with a coating that makes them water-resistant, which means they are easier to clean, making dry cleaning unnecessary.

If it's not treated, you're better off just washing it in your washing machine. It will be able to hold up to everyday use and reduce the need for dry cleaning.


If you want your garments to last longer and get better results, you need to be careful about what you dry clean, how you dry clean it, and when you dry clean it.

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