The client submitted the following enquiry:

We have had a black and white stripe chef apron bleeding dye onto some other garments we clean for a hotel. The dye is bleeding during and after wear and does not require the garments to be wet. I have contacted the manufacturer to notify them of our cleaning process and for rectification. As per my email below I have notified the manufacturer that our cleaning process is, “dry clean in perchloroethylene solvent followed by a cold wash cycle.”

 The manufacturer is claiming that we have not followed the care label which reads, “Warm wash, gentle machine wash, rinse well, warm iron, do not soak, do not bleach, dry cleanable (A).” Their specific claim is that the dry cleaning solvent, perchoroethylene is a type of bleach. Could you possibly make comment as to what defines “do not bleach” and what defines “dry cleanable (A).”


The representative of the manufacturer has responded to this situation with the following letter:

I have had some research done on the issue you are currently facing with our aprons.Our customers Palazzo Versace have never purchased these aprons from us before.The aprons they normally purchase is the C808 Navy&White TV – 100% polyviscose colourfast fabric. Recently purchased aprons are 65/35 polycotton blend. (it is the reason for the colour to run in reaction with bleach )Our care instructions recommend NOT to use bleach on these items.Perchloroethylene is a type of bleach which would cause the colours to run and eventually will deteriorate the natural fibre (cotton) in those aprons.These facts do not mean that C810 (B&W pinstripe aprons) are no good for commercial use but the care instruction must be followed whilst launder these items. As a professional laundry you off course know these facts.

Having said that I am well aware that you are seeking for a solution to move forward. I would like to offer you a 2 options.

Option 1: You can purchase 50 of these aprons from us to replace the affected aprons at a discounted rate of $12 each Inc. GST and make sure you will use a different method of cleaning these items without using any bleach.

Option 2: You can purchase 50 of the C808 aprons from us to replace the affected aprons at a discounted rate of $11.5 each Inc. GST and you would probably be able launder them in the normal way, however bleach is not recommended in any of our products, but being 100% polyviscose will stop the colour to run to a certain extent.

Please advise you suggestions.

Looking forward hearing from you.



  • Fibre Content Labelling: 65% polyester/35% cotton,
  • Care Labelling: Warm Wash, Gentle Machine Wash, Rinse Well, Warm Iron, Do Not Soak, Do Not Bleach, Dry Cleanable (A)
  • Size Labelling: N/A
  • Country of Origin: N/A



The following statement was made in the manufacturer’s representative’s letter:

Perchloroethylene is a type of bleach which would cause the colours to run and eventually will deteriorate the natural fibre (cotton) in those aprons.

This statement is completely erroneous. Perchloroethylene is an organic solvent which is the most widely used solvent in the dry cleaning industry and is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as follows:

Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene, or perc, is the predominant chemical solvent used in dry cleaning. Perc is also used in the cleaning of metal machinery and to manufacture some consumer products and other chemicals. It is a clear, colorless liquid that has a sharp, sweet odor and evaporates quickly. It is an effective cleaning solvent and is used by most professional dry cleaners because it removes stains and dirt from all common types of fabrics.

A bleach can be defined as follows:

A bleach is a chemical that is used specifically to whiten or lighten products, such as textiles and paper, which work either by an oxidising action, such as hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, or sodium hypochlorite, or by a reducing action, such as sodium hydrosulphite, which can be used to whiten delicate textiles, such as wool or silk, prior to dyeing.

Clearly, perchloroethylene solvent would not be so widely used in the dry cleaning industry if it were a bleach and caused colour loss in textiles. If the manufacturer’s representative is suggesting that this solvent should not be used on these aprons, then this is in complete contradiction to the care labelling instructions attached to the aprons which state Dry Cleanable (A). The circled A in this instruction means that any recognised dry cleaning solvent can be used on these aprons including perchloroethylene..

If the manufacturer’s representative believes that perchloroethylene is causing the colour loss in these aprons, then this means that the manufacturer should be held responsible for this problem as the manufacturer selects and attaches the care labelling on the aprons.


Perchloroethylene is an organic solvent, not a bleach, and it cannot cause bleaching type colour loss in correctly dyed or printed textiles. In addition, the attached care instructions clearly state that these aprons can be cleaned with this solvent and if this is considered to be the cause of the colour loss problem, then the responsibility for the problem clearly lies with the manufacturer, rather than the professional cleaner.


Steven Pyott

B.Sc., M.Sc., CText A.T.I., Grad.Cert.Ed., Adv.Dip.Ed.

Consulting Chartered Textile Technologist




I, Steven Donald Pyott, do hereby certify that to the best of my knowledge and belief, the above information is accurate. Being an Associate of the Textile Institute, I have agreed to be bound by the terms of the Institute’s Royal Charters, By-laws and Professional Code of Conduct for the time being in force. The Textile Institute accepts no responsibility for the information contained in this reply to your enquiry.

Steven Pyott