T he professional dry- cleaner who knows how to test fabrics along with drycleaning and wetcleaning procedures will avoid prob- lems and damages from ru- ined fabrics. Although there are some tests that require laboratory analysis, many tests can be performed by the knowledge- able drycleaner. These tests are used to en- sure drycleaning, spotting and wetcleaning procedures are done correctly. It is also used to test fabrics for serviceability, drycleaning, spotting and wet- cleaning. Drycleaning The visual condition of your solvent is important but it is also important to see the re- sults of fabrics after dryclean- ing. Swatch test. Cut a white fabric and attach it to a gar- ment in a light load that is drycleaned. Testing colors. Saturate a cloth with solvent and rub an unexposed area of fabric with suspected color problems. You may encounter these problems on black and white garments blended with spandex. Trimming problems. Test plastic-coated trimming with amyl acetate.You must always test with a solvent stronger than the one you are using. To test color of trimming and se- quins, saturate a Q-tip with solvent and rub trimming. Spotting Place a white cloth under fabric to be tested. Test dye transfer to cloth when spotting with steam gun and neutral lu- bricant. Test stronger chemi- cals on an unexposed seam. Wetcleaning 1. Test the suspected fabrics for dye serviceability by using a steam gun and neutral lubri- cant on unexposed area. 2. Test for dye crocking by rubbing a white cloth with neutral lubricant on an unex- posed area of garment. Bleach testing Use pool testing strips to check bleaching. 1. When bleaching with sodium perborate or sodium percarbonate, test water solu- tion with pool strips. It should show an alkaline concentra- tion. 2. Test effectiveness of hy- drogen peroxide by saturating a Q-tip with titanium sulphate and then contacting the perox- ide. The Q-tip should turn or- ange if the peroxide is effec- tive. Identifying fabrics and fibers Burn test. It is very easy to identify fabrics using the burn test. This is used when there is no labeling or indication that lists the fiber content. Take a small sample of fabric from an unexposed area and apply a lite match. Silk fries and sizzles and ceases to burn after match is removed. It smells like burning burning feathers or hair and leaves a black bead that can be crushed between your fingers. Polyester is difficult to burn and shrinks from a flame while melting. It has a pungent odor and the bead it leaves can not be easily crushed between your fingers. Wool fries and sizzles and does not support a flame. It smells like burning hair or feathers and leaves a bead that can be easily crushed. Acrylic burns readily with a yellow, purple and orange flame. It leaves a bead that can- not be easily crushed. Caution: To avoid burns, do not attempt to crush a fiber im- mediately after burning until it has time to sufficiently cool. Polyurethane and leather. To tell the difference between these two fabrics, saturate a Q- tip with paint remover. Rub a sample and check if dye trans- fers to Q-tip. Dye on leather will transfer to Q-tip while dye on polyurethane will not. PAGE 22 / NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE / JULY, 2019 THESPOTTING BOARD Dan Eisen, former chief garment analyst for the National Cleaners Association, can be reached at (772) 340-0909 or (772) 579- 5044, by e-mail at cleandan@comcast.net or through his website is www.gar- mentanalysis.com. BY DAN EISEN To learn more, see the Index of Advertisers on page 38 or visit www.natclo.com/ads Testing and examination procedures Dan Eisen conducted a training program for customer service representatives at Oceanside Cleaners in Jacksonville, FL recently. A customer service representative, he told the 25 at- tendees, is the face of the organization and as such must be courteous, friendly and have a working knowledge of the service offered. They also need to know the feel of fabrics — stiff, soft, smooth or rough — and have some rudimentary understanding of stain identification. FASHION CLEANERS in Fayetteville, AR, installed a second Columbia Ipura cleaning machine. Chris Hogard of Colum- bia/ILSA is flanked by Tim and Vickie Brannon of Fashion Cleaners.