Yesterday at the Salvation Army I found a very luxurious-looking fake fur throw, fully lined with cotton twill and measuring approximately 60" x 60". The price was just $5.99 so I bought it.
It looks and smells extremely clean.
I would use this as a sofa throw, since the brown faux-shearling schmatta we have there currently is so worn out that I'm (almost) ashamed to display it in photos; if you follow this blog you probably know it. It's an eyesore and itself a hand-me-down from a neighbor who was getting rid of it a few years ago.
The thing about fake fur, however, is that you're not supposed to dry it in a dryer -- you're not even supposed to put it in a front-loading washing machine. Dry cleaning is usually recommended, but obviously that is not going to involve high heat; it couldn't.
So my question is: Am I putting myself at an unacceptable risk for bed bugs?
I'm not sure if the Salvation Army does any kind of pre-inspection for infestation; perhaps yes, perhaps no. But even if they do, do I really trust the staff at the Salvation Army? (Have you been to a Salvation Army lately?)
I bring many things into my apartment from thrift stores and flea markets. If it's clothing or bedding, however, I generally wash and machine dry it. I certainly wouldn't bring upholstered furniture in from off the street and probably not from a thrift store either, but how about this fake fur throw?
The way I see it is, a visitor could unknowingly track bed bugs into your house ontheir clothes or bags, right? (You don't make your guests strip in the hallway, do you?) Plus, bed bugs have been found in stores selling new merchandise -- there's simply no guarantee you're safe (though statistically it's probably less likely if the item is new). I stayed in a number of hotels this summer and I never checked for bed bugs, nor did I always keep my clothes off the floor as I've read one should do.
I guess the risk of getting bed bugs is a little like the risk of riding a bicycle without a helmet: if you've never been injured riding a bicycle without a helmet, you may not get what the big deal is; if you have (or if someone you know has) been injured, the risk will seem more real.
So what do you think? Should I --
1) Do a close visual inspection, throw caution to the wind and enjoy my new throw, or
2) Take that white plastic bag still sitting on my balcony and throw it down the incinerator?
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!