Tag Archives: Batik

Simple Steps you can take to extend the Life of your Rugs

4 Feb

In the Northeast section of Pennsylvania the harsh snowy and wintery weather can wreak havoc on your Carpets, Fine Area Rugs, Furniture and Health. You have been closed up in the house with all the salt, ice melt, bacteria and other allergens that can cause damage to your valued possessions and trigger allergies.

Vacuuming carpets at least three times per week, if not daily, can aide in containing the mess until you start your SPRING CLEANING. Particulate soils can build up causing abrasion and an early demise to floor coverings. It’s best to use a HEPA filter vacuum to capture and prevent these contaminants from affecting your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Proper entrance mats outside can assist in removing some of the slop from shoes prior to entering the home. Be sure and purchase a mat that is specifically designed for this purpose. Be sure to clean out the mat often.

Rotating your rugs frequently will allow area rugs to wear more evenly and prevent one area from becoming sun bleached. A good pad under the rugs is a good way to soften the blow from traffic too.

Mountaintop PA, Berwick PA, Hazleton PA and surrounding area residents can contact Services Etcetera Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, an “IICRC Certified Firm”, by visiting www.nepacarpetcleaning.com.

What is “Batik” and how would you clean it?

11 Jun

I was reading a publication entitled Awake the other day and stumbled upon an article entitled, “Batik, Indonesia’s Fabulous Fabric”.   As a certified Journeyman Textile Cleaner, I’m always amazed by the construction and skill that goes into specialty and hand made fabrics, carpets and rugs.   I’m equally as curious on how to clean them.

Batik is a piece of cloth, usually cotton or silk, on which a craftsman draws intricate designs and patterns using liquid wax.   After the wax has dried, the fabric is dyed and the waxed areas keep their natural color.   At first, small copper tools were used to apply the wax but by the mid 19th century a copper stamp was being used.   Dyes are made from locally grown leaves, wood, bark and spices, although synthetic dyes are also used.   A brief video showing the stamping of fabric can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/12434053.

Nobody knows for sure when Batik was made for the first time but some fragments of Batik date back to 6th century C.E. in China.   In the 17th century there is evidence of Batik trade to and from Indonesia.  The fabrics are used in traditional garments and can be used for paintings, wall hangings, tablecloths, bedspreads, handbags, lampshades, sandals and more.

Before attempting to clean a piece of Batik I stress the importance of remembering the basics.   If possible, consult and follow the producers recommended cleaning instructions, gently vacuum away any dust or dry soils and pretest any cleaning solutions on an inconspicuous spot.   Since Batik can be made from cotton, silk, rayon or other material, it would be helpful to identify the type of fiber used in the construction of the fabric.

If the fabric is in a frame or a rack you should take a few reference photos prior to removing the piece from its mounting.   The pictures will come in handy when trying to remount.   Do not machine wash or tumble dry.   Hand wash and rinse items individually and avoid soaking for extended periods.   Use cool or lukewarm water with a mild detergent.   Never use bleach, chlorine or any type of brightener.   Specialty quilt and bedspread stores usually carry a less aggressive cleaning solution designed specifically for such applications.    When cleaning cotton and rayon you can add a tablespoon of vinegar to some lukewarm water in a basin and rinse first to help avoid color running.   Hang dry in the shade and avoid direct sunlight.   Note, some Batiks require them to be flat dried.

Be sure to consult my video on basic spotting tips and tools at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyZR8fhipK8&feature=plcp.   If you need assistance or have questions you can contact us through our website at http://www.procleaner.biz.