SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 37 Faux Suede & Flock Velvet Finishes What Is The Problem? Some fabrics are made with a surface finish of imitation suede or velvet-like pile. The fabric, called flock velvet or flock suede, can separate from the base fabric during drycleaning. What Does It Look Like? The original faux finish imitates a real velvet or suede garment. Sometimes the entire garment has this synthetic flock finish, while in other garments the surface flock is only a trim used for special effect, style and/or contrast. After drycleaning the smooth flock velvet or suede finish has been flushed away, peeled or blistered in some areas. What Caused It? A bonding adhesive used to attach the surface flock material to the base fabric solubilized and softened during professional drycleaning. Some flock bonding agents can be softened by perspiration, body oils or lotions, so areas in contact with the body when worn may be more damaged. When the adhesive softens in use and/or dissolves in cleaning, the surface flock film can blister, tear or peel away. Can It Be Prevented? Only the manufacturer can prevent such damage to the flock finish by using a better quality bonding material that will be more durable under expected conditions of repeated use and cleaning. Who Is Responsible? It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to select the proper materials and use durable methods of construction that will withstand normal circumstances of wear, as well as later cleaning. The cleaner has no means to prevent damage to defective flock fabric during cleaning. Is There A Remedy? There is no restoration. By Jim Kirby, DLI Textile Analyst TABS T E X T I L E A N A LY S I S B U L L E T I N S E R V I C E BULLE TIN NO. 482 This navy blue skirt has lost most of its faux suede finish during drycleaning. The corduroy flock velvet finish on this coat peeled away after proper professional cleaning.