Pleated Curtains

These are often made of heavy material and may be lined or even interlined. As they are fitted and often expensive dry cleaning may be the best option in cleaning.

Special Considerations When Cleaning

Whatever the material of your curtains if you have chosen a pleated style you have other things to take into account. The primary cause for concern is the buckram that stiffens the fabric at the top (otherwise the pleats would just sag and look limp). This may not be washable even if the fabric you have chosen is, and it may also be affected by heat so tumbling the curtains or ironing them may stick this stiffening in the wrong place. Some movement of the buckram often occurs in dry cleaning so in washing (which gives a harsher treatment) is more likely to give adverse results. The next thing to consider is the lining. 
The majority are a simple cotton but others have a rubber coated back, designed to keep heat in, that is not dry cleanable in the normally used solvent. This means you would have to have special treatment, which often costs more if you choose a fabric that isn't washable. Interlinings (a wadding inserted between the curtain and lining to aid heat retention) cause another problem as these are often not washable and also make it difficult to iron the curtains. Curtains made to fit and which are pleated cost a great deal of money. To take their cleaning lightly may be a costly mistake. It's better to look to a professional solution if any error would be unacceptable.

Finishing (Ironing)

Above is a representation of how to iron a pleated curtain. Start from one side, remembering to always pull the curtain towards you, and do the tops first. You need to iron in between each pleat to where the folded pleats under the gathering begin to disappear. Then steam the pleat itself and pull it in position with both hands (one at the top of the pleat and the other where you finished your iron stroke). Then move on to the next pleat and so on until you have finished the whole top of the curtain. 
Then start at the leading edge again and place the curtains on the ironing board so that the fabric on the board starts from where you finished the pleat tops. Now you'll have a completely flat curtain that you can iron as you would a plain curtain. Keep pulling the fabric toward you as you finish a section making sure you don't miss any section (remembering that most irons taper meaning you have to pull the fabric on less than you may have already ironed). If the curtains are longer than the board simply move the curtain up the board and start from the leading edge again until it's all done.
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