What is a Cold Water Block Press?

I just purchased a 100% Egyptian cotton matelasse and shams from Peacock Alley Outlet. The cleaning instructions advise to take to the cleaners and ask for "cold water block press" to retain size and shape. What is this and can I do this at home?


I purchased it because it is 100% cotton and said it was machine washable. There is a little card that was folded in with the coverlet and it says the coverlet is made larger to take into consideration possible shrinkage, but then advises against washing at home. I cannot return because it was a final sale. I tried to say the advertising on the package did not match the inside card, no luck. Thanks!

By Fran

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June 18, 20110 found this helpful

I googled cold block press for matelasse and it said the item should be air dried. If you do this at home do you have a large enough area to spread it out until it is dry. It also said that the fibers in matelasse are very delicate, so I would assume that hand washing would be the way to go.

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June 21, 20110 found this helpful

I wouldn't hesitate to wash it in cold water, and then hang to dry. It will shrink a bit and the effect will be to make the matelasse pattern puff up a little and be more visable. I think this makes it prettier. Matelasse (especially cotton) gets softer (and prettier) with use and more washings.


I have found cotton matlasse to be very sturdy. I have mine on the guest bed in the guest room because the cats like to sleep there and I know I can wash the heck out of the spread if I need to. Often a product tag is just a CYA (cover your a**) for the manufacturer.

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