Help cleaning upholstered chair...

bobandaJanuary 3, 2010

I have a chair which is upholstered in a crewel embroidery fabric. The thread is, of course, wool and the base is a linen/cotton combo. This chair I have gotten from my grandmother has peculiar stains which appear to have come from something leaching out of the chair under humid conditions rather than a spill.

The stains on the shair which I already own are reasonably small and not bothersome but I have just come across a matching set of chairs of the same type, with the same type of stain. This leads me to believe it is a flaw with the materials. The cushion is made of a nasty yellow foam. Do you think the foam is leaching out and causing this and how do I remove the stains.

Is it worth purchasing the set of chains to try to remove the stains?

What are your suggestions?

FYI, the chair I own says do NOT use water to clean and the chairs which I want, the stains feel stiff and starchy.

Thanks in advance! And can someone tell me how to post a photo?

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Put the photos on a hosting site such as Photobucket, then link to it here.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 6:10PM
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Here is the picture link!


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 10:19PM
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I have 2 suggestions. I have had dry clean only furniture for years. It really is not the fabric, but at times it is. It's the backing. I have had Crewel through the years and I had then re-done in Crewel. When selecting the fabric, the backing looked like brown Burlap. This is the reason for the no water cleaning. If you get the backing wet, it browns out. The color of the backing wicks to the surface. This is called a Tannin Stain. My first suggestion is to take white Vinegar on a Q-Tip and touch the spot and see if it does not change back to white. If it does, use you blow dryer and see it if it returns to the real color. Then take a white, face cloth and test the color of the Crewel. If you have no color transfer, there is no need to worry. If you remove any color, work carefully. I would then go to a arts and crafts store and purchase a few artist's brushes, dip them in the Vinegar, and dry as you go. This should work if it is wicking.

There is a cleaner which I have used for years called White Wizard. I buy this online, at Home Trends. It looks like Crisco in a small, whipped, butter tub. It removed red wine, coffee, BBQ sauce etc. It removed black shoe polish from any brand new white carpet after a dinner I had given. It's great stuff as I have used it on my ties for grease and I always seem to drag a suit sleave in some type of sauce on a cocktail buffet. It is like a solidified dry cleaning solution. Always use a white cloth. Let us know if any of this works.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 6:56PM
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Thanks for the comments. I think you may have hit the nail on the head but I am still concerned about the orangey foam. I will try the vinegar and let you know. Can I use white wizard on the Crewel?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 11:06PM
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That is a classic stain from wet or damp old foam connecting with miniscule dust and such on the fabric.

Years ago I made chair pads and used 2 inch solid foam wrapped in a layer of quilt batting. When the foam was new I could sponge off any food stains. As the foam got old it yellowed and any sponging resulted in a stain just like yours. The only way I could get them clean looking was to wash the whole pad. I would ask an upholsterer if it were possible to dry clean the fabric--or how it should be cleaned-- and what they should be stuffed with. It might be new foam but foam has come a long way since mine were done and I'm sure yours.

You might also like to ask on the upholstery forum.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 1:39PM
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Whoops I went back and looked--I thought I had seen an upholstery forum, but I guess not

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 1:43PM
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Thanks. On the new chairs which I want to purchase, it seemed pretty evident that it was from the foam. I asked my upholsterer and he had little faith. I will try this white wizard on the chair I own and see where that gets me, the vinegar only made a larger stain.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 4:56PM
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I have an expensive white linen with dark blue wool crewel. When I steam ironed it the blue color ran. I tried peroxide and q-tip but the liquid pushed the stain farther. Any suggestions? Thanks, Diana

    Bookmark   November 11, 2014 at 11:56AM
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