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Terms of Acceptance

Causes & Effects

1) Colours & Colour Variations.  Our colour chart should be viewed only as a guide as different fibres unknowingly containing a particular type of dye, starch, dye fixer or a manufacturer’s treatment, such as a silicone or fire retardant may not produce an illustrated or your own requested shade. Also, the accurate take-up of a new colour (chart or own sample) can be affected if an order’s colour, particularly where wanted lighter, is not first laboratory scanned to help adjust the new formula to take account of the old colour (or remnants of the old colour if part/successfully stripped). As all our own and laboratory colour formulas are calculated off white/ivory, without following this procedure it can be that bit more difficult to achieve some colours in just one process, especially in pastels and lighter shades. Even so, all scanned and chart shades are therefore always ‘predictive’ and though the colour formula will be accurate, for technical reasons even with an undyed fabric a scan cannot determine if the order will take an exact shade although in most instances it will be very close, if not spot-on. An innacurate shade can also be due to a reaction with the original type of dye/finish and degree of fade. Also, should the material unknowingly contain a fixed or only part-discharging dye, a non-absorbing finish, a modified starch, silicones, fluorescence, resin, fire-retardant, or a double sided stain/water resistant finish, it may not absorb any dye or only absorb to a lesser degree. Without a parallel/sacrificial test dye first, we may not not be able to accurately predict some orders wanted to be dyed to shade.

Where additional colour adjustments or other processing is required, apart from taking more time, there can be a statistically increased physical or contraction risk on a small random percentage of orders. Items already containing a strong dye-fixer (put in to give wash-resistance to the colour) or a permanent fire retardant or a silicone based anti soiling treatment may not fully strip or even accept an accurate new colour. For these reasons, medium & dark colours may only reproduce lighter and less deep in shade than requested even after further processing. Although unusual, a completely different colour to the one chosen can appear, (most usually on silk) and even dyeing to black on some silk finishes might only produce a mid/dark grey/blue or brown.  Acetate, polyamide (nylon) and viscose rayon may not  take-up colour easily or at all.. These effects cannot be pre- determined unless a sample order is fully processed first. Although remedial action may be possible, in instances where an adverse result occurs, (and unless not considered technically viable), stripping and/or trying a new colour re-dye might produce an improved result. If this was thought worth trying  (on a returned order), a charge of 65% of the original dyeing price (plus return P & P), will apply. Multi-item orders occasionally show shade variations after being dyed where (unknowingly), more than one roll of material was used. (Attempts to adjust such problems rarely work and black may be the only colour to try). Orders should never be split, as reproducing the exact shade twice in this type of work cannot be guaranteed.

Results on faded items, even when stripped first or just over dyed will not necessarily produce a totally level colour, as light can by various degrees physically damage the dye by oxidising into the fabric and may restrict or alter the new dye take up, whereas chemical colour-reducing (stripping), removes colour overall, not selectively. (See next paragraph).

On some white, pastel and light coloured suite covers and curtains the processing may reveal an amount of fade that was not apparent beforehand. Whether just over-dyeing to the same colour again or changing the colour, some faded materials (or if containing an unknown residual treatment) may still show a two-tone/variable colour although any degree of imbalance is usually more muted and less obvious than before.  Where fade is severe, black often produces a much more level result. Patchy, uneven dyeing or dye marking will be due to staining, a residual finish reacting with the stripping process/new dye or by a previously applied finish erratically applied. In some instances, particularly on faded items a material might acquire an excess of colour that concentrates in seams, faded edges and piping or form streaks/patches/spot-marks, (usually in one or more constituent colour of the dye formula). We assume customers have identified the fibre content and assessed the build quality of their order correctly according to our recommendations, so we cannot be responsible for the result where an incorrectly identified, unknown fibre content or unlabelled order has been presented to us. Where possible this information should be obtained from the supplier/retailer.

2) Colour Stripping & Bleaching. Stripping is applied to reduce, (not fully remove) colour and can often help remove some absorbency-resistant residual finishes and stains. Occasionally only a constituent of the original colour reduces, or it may not reduce at all, but is essential to attempt if a lighter, new colour is wanted or the original colour/finish resists over-dyeing. Although it may not assist in all instances, orders that are stripped before dyeing statistically result in a better take up of a new colour. In the long run, stripping can often save time, extra costs and fabric stress by reducing the number of processes the order would otherwise need. Note: bleaching does not necessarily remove all the colour, and is especially difficult to eliminate in corners/beading, stitching and will not work on polyester stitching. Adhesive and paint will not bleach out and old wine, beverages, fruit juice and ink stains, etc., may not fully remove or reduce. In some instances stains/residues may show up darker or a different shade against the background colour.

Some stain residues and fade might only show up after dyeing, depending on age/severity and the new colour being applied. If the old colour is too resistant for the new dye to take, where we believe it may help and the order is thought sound enough, but it was not specified on the order form and subject to agreement, but without guarantee, we could try stripping the original colour (at 35% of the original dyeing cost) and if successful there would be no further charge to attempt a re-dye to the requested or an alternative colour. It is not usually possible to revert an order completely back to its original colour, once attempted to be dyed to another shade.

3) Physical Effects, & Shrinkage Factors. Garments at risk are those with front-panel interlinings, linings and lined tops & hems with attached linings where differential contraction (between materials) may occur. Structured, lined garments, i.e. jackets & coats (particularly dry-clean only) may be too inherently weak in construction to withstand a process that can cause darts, seams and linings to open, interlining distortion & overall shrinkage and the outer material and lining to shrink and fray along seams, (especially if not over-locked). Wool Melton backing on collars will also shrink. Worn/weakened zip-ends and pullers on garments and cushion covers can randomly break and stressed zip seam ends split. (Repair & zip replacement service available). All curtains are at risk of shrinkage (undeterminable) and non-over locked/mitred corners/side/hem stitching opening. Fraying and/or variable degrees of fibre degradation from fade on edges and outer folds (and linings in particular) are a low risk, but without a full test-process on an identical item, an accurate pre-processing evaluation is not possible.           

However, most garments & soft furnishings machine washable at a min. of 40C usually have a higher ‘build quality’ and should have been pre-shrunk to some degree which can reduce these risks. Suite covers, also machine washable (min. 40C) are statistically at lower risk of shrinkage, but because the shrinkage resistance manufacturers impart to a fabric varies and the processing temperatures are much higher than in washing, evn if some are washable at 50 or co degrees, shrinkage occurs at random on a small percentage of orders. Slight relaxation can occur anyway with suite covers but it is not usually sufficient to prevent re-fitting although the risk of excessive shrinkage can never be predicted. If a cover is tight, water mist spraying all over may help the fabric to stretch to make re-fitting easier.

Doubled material layered items can be at some risk of seam glazing when pressed and long-term friction on a fabric (especially if containing nylon) can create a surface prone to bobbling and pilling (like a Velcro effect, attracting loose particles). If an order does show any deterioration or shrinkage it will be entirely attributable to an inherent condition exposed or exacerbated by the processing. Shrinkage predictions are not possible, as we cannot tell if any, or how much anti-shrinkage treatment a material has received in manufacture.  Most ‘dry clean only’ items will have a higher risk of shrinkage/deterioration than machine washable items.

4) Suite covers & curtains.  Some can have acquired marks from cleaning product splashes, colour loss, fibre degradation and/or staining from hand-acid perspiration, bloodstains, animal urine, light, (natural, direct sun & electric) gas-fume fading, smoke & nicotine, condensation marking, mould, mildew, cleaning sprays (often ca carpet cleaning product) and food & drink splashes, etc. Not all marks may reduce or remove as some may have oxidised (fixed), over a period of time. Fade or stain residues and wear & tear can unknowingly degrade material enough to cause breaks when processed or they might react with a new dye to create an indeterminate shade. Curtain materials with a water-mark/moiré design will lose this effect. (Often applied to silk and poly-cottons*4 or all-polyester*5 and acetate which are all unsuitable to dye).  Ascertain a fibre content by checking the label or inside seam, otherwise ask the supplier. Some curtain print patterns are resin based, so may only partially absorb dye or may not dye at all if fully patterned. Only a test can determine. As curtains are at risk of shrinkage, where required hems & linings should be let down first and open seams over-locked. (We can do this on request) Fragile, thinned and sun faded linings may split in vertical folds or break up if severely weakened. Suite covers requiring more than one process will also dye more safely if all the seams/selvedge edges are over-locked (We can do if requested). Seams without over locking (and without a cleaning care label) may indicate the item is 'dry clean only'. Wadded/flannel interlinings, weights  & heat reflective linings must be removed and damaged (spike-hook) split pinch-pleat seam heading re-stitched.(We can do). Decorative heading-trim may not take a true shade or if synthetic, dye at all. Braidings and tasseld tie backs are unlikely to survive intact. Occasionally, some suite covers typically sold by Habitat and Ikea may contain an partial dye-repellent finish. Even with pre-stripping and imparting a high percentage of dye it may not always be possible to achieve a depth of colour or a dark shade. Increasingly, we are finding cotton velvet curtains, often with laminated linings and typically originating in France, will not over dye, discharge the original dye-even with stripping, or accept another colour at all due to a dye-fixing process that does not discharge and often, because of the number of processes involved, the laminate on the linings can become severely damaged. Velcro (hook-type) contact strips can be physically dangerous as they can easily catch on the order’s fabric causing surface friction and folds to occur that can precipitate streaky dyeing and usually, hard-set creasing. Therefore we recommend protective fabric strips are machined or tacked over the Velcro prior to processing.

*4 Depending on fibre percentage only an indeterminate colour will result.

*5 Where there is no label, an apparently all-cotton curtain might be 100% polyester!

Wedding & evening dresses, etc, are best professionally dyed. If having a dress made with the intent of having it dyed, try to ensure: The material is all silk. Allow up to around 5% shrinkage. (We will not know if it’s pre-shrunk and if it is, to what degree and if containing a special enhancing finish and therefore, how the new colour will turn out. See Guidance Notes No.7). The style should be plain and free of fixed pleats, featured rolled folds or tight gathers and any decorative trimming is detachable, (or is only made from the same/similar material as the dress). Preferably, a skirt lining should not be stitched to the hem. All selvedge/raw edge seams must be over-locked. Exposed seams should be stitched with pre-shrunk silk or cotton thread, (as polyester does not dye). Layers of nets/underskirts, hoops and wired trim and boned-stiffening in the bust should be removable. Although there is a slight risk of loss, (so have a few spares made) fabric covered buttons are usually safer if hand-made and are not the clamped, metal backed types. Metallic voile material will excessively shrink. Any exposed or featured outer net/voile material must be of cotton or silk, not polyester. Underskirts can be made of acetate, but may not take a dark shade. We are not able to identify the fibre composition of threads or content of materials and trimmings.

There are several types of nylon (polyamide). Some can be blended with other fibres. One type of nylon absorbs dye well, another only partially absorbs and some does not absorb at all. We cannot determine a particular type or how it will affect a result.

Please ensure if you send a sample or item for test dying, any open edges and selvedge seams have been over-locked.

All orders. We highly recommend the order is first pre-washed/scoured to help remove any residual soiling, old detergent residues and fresh stains (which we can carry out if required - see order form). We also recommend new or unwashed materials are pre-scoured as they often contain a manufacturer's treatment/indudtrial starch finish which can resist dye take up and/or prevent the colour taking up accurately. However this process may or may not help produce a better result as we cannot accertain what may or may not have been imparted to the material and whether the process has been beneficial or not. (See paragraph 1.)

Although all verbal and printed advice and result predictions are given in good faith, no order (in the absence of a parallel test process first) can ever be guaranteed. It is a legal requirement for us to advise you that these causes & effects constitute our Terms of Business and are the industry’s standard terms of acceptance in the UK. for domestic dyeing.


Harry Berger Specialist Cleaners and Dyers. 3 Warren Road,
Cheadle Hulme, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 5AA
TELEPHONE: 0161 485 3421 or 0161 485 7733
FAX: 0161 282 2860 EMAIL: info@harryberger.com
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