If the trim is an integral part of the garment and cannot be easily removed, it is covered by the care label. However, while bearing this in mind, cleaners have a duty to customers to handle their clothing with professional care.

Irrespective of the care label, if the trim cannot be protected or removed and if it is obvious that it will be damaged by cleaning, the cleaner should explain that he cannot accept the garment and refer the customer to the retailer.

Care instructions such as “Dry Clean Only – Exclusive of all Embroidery” are meaningless and the garment should not be accepted.

Garment trims can pose problems. If you are not entirely confident that a particular trim will withstand cleaning, there are a number of options.

Check the care label. If the garment is washable, hand-washing will probably be the safest option.

Test trims, beads and sequins for colourfastness and resistance to solvent.

After discussions with the customer, remove and replace the item. A charge may be appropriate.

Clean on a short, high-dip, cycle to reduce mechanical action.

Cover the trim. Buckles and similar items can sometimes be covered with foil, but this is not always suitable. In some cases beads and sequins can be covered by sewing fabric over them.

Cleaning in hydrocarbon, if available, will be a lot safer than cleaning in perc.