Haitian cotton is an upholstery fabric made from 100% cotton, grown in Haiti or India. The fibers are not thoroughly processed; as a result, bits of cotton seeds, stems and other plant components are in the yarn. These specks of brown give the fabric its natural and rustic appearance. The yarns are thick, coarse and usually off-white, cream or tan in color. Occasionally, they are dyed with colors such as red or blue, or may be two-toned.
Haitian cotton fabrics are very susceptible to cellulosic browning. The spillage of plain tap water is sometimes enough to produce discoloration. The seed particles will also release a brown dye when wet, and this stain may be impossible to remove completely.
Complications of this type could normally be overcome by professional cleaners, who can use a variety of dry cleaning solvents to supplement water-base cleaning solutions. Unfortunately, the weave of Haitian cotton fabric is too loose to stand alone and must be manufactured with a latex backing to bind the yarns together into a fabric. This backing is softened or degraded by dry cleaning solvents, so texture changes as well as color changes may occur with any type of cleaning.
Haitian cotton cannot always be safely cleaned by normal upholstery cleaning methods. Some professional cleaners may have specialty cleaning chemicals and techniques designed for handling Haitian cotton and similar fabrics. These techniques require more time and expense The degree of cleaning that is possible may still be less than is normally attainable, and some risk of staining may be present. We can advise you on the cleaning of your Haitian cotton upholstery.