Our main recommendation is to dry clean pieces on a regular basis.
We have had many pieces cleaned and can say that you needn't worry about dyes or fiber. We use only wool and both the natural and commercial dyes clean beautifully. Find a dry cleaner you trust and take your piece to him regularly.Pieces get softer to the touch from use and from cleaning.
If you decide to wash your weavings we want you to know that this is wool so it can shrink in hot water, and agitating can "felt" it. Naturally dyed yarns will have been washed in soap already. Commercially dyed and undyed wools have not. A professional who cleans oriental rugs will be comfortable cleaning our weavings. Any washing should be done in cold water with a gentle soap (We use Ivory liquid), and as little agitating as possible. A washed piece will probably need to be pressed.
To press use a hot iron over a light damp cloth over the weaving. The steam from the cloth will relax the fibers.
Because moths are a very real threat to wool, we'd like to give you some information here. There are other insects that eat wool, and you might like to become familiar with local threats. These rules apply to moths.
- They're sneaky. You can have moth larvae munching on your wool and never have noticed a little moth fluttering into your house.
- They like it dark, warm, and dry. Closets and drawers are moth favorites. And the back side of a wall hanging is another.
- You can kill them in your freezer. Wrap weavings in plastic bags, and freeze them quickly in a very cold freezer. After a day or two you can remove the piece, let it thaw out, and freeze it again. The changes in temperature should kill all moth eggs, larvae and adults.
- You can moth proof. A dry cleaner can apply moth-proofing, and the Fuller Brush people sell cans of a moth-proofer. Dry-cleaned items also repel moths. And dirty wool seems to attract moths.
- You can spray a mixture of borax and boric acid over the weaving as an effective protection from moth damage. The mixture should be in these proportions: 1.6 oz borax/.8ox boric acid/1 quart water
- We recommend checking for moths at least once every six months. At that point you can choose to clean, freeze or leave the piece.
The warp is the structural foundation of the piece. Our weavings are weft-faced and are structurally stronger hung with the warp vertical and the visible weft yarns horizontal. We recommend the following sleeve mount for our weavings.
Materials needed are "curtain pleater tape" (white cotton polyester blend, 3 1/2" wide), clear nail polish, regular polyester-cotton thread, sewing needle, 1/8" x 1" aluminum bar.
1. Prepare the sleeve. Fold the pleater tape as illustrated and stitch 1/4" from the folded edge. Then match up the selvage edges and stitch in 1/4" from edges. This will leave a small bulge to slip the hanging rod through without causing a bulge on the weaving side. Cut the sleeve to the exact width of the upper edge of the weaving and apply clear nail polish to the cut ends of the sleeve. Let dry completely before sewing to the piece.
2. Attachment of the sleeve. Be careful to decide which side of the piece will be the front and what is top and bottom. Place the sleeve on the back of the weaving, about 1" from the top with the bulge of the sleeve facing out, and the folded edge towards the top. Now stitch the sleeve to the weaving. You'll use a hem stitch, always moving the needle between warp and weft yarns, never piercing the yarns. The hand stitching is between the machine stitching and the edge of the sleeve and is easily hidden.
3. The Aluminum bar. Cut the bar the same length as the sleeve and drill a hole about 1/2" from each end form mounting screws, nails or bolts. Put the rod in the sleeve and make slits on either end of the sleeve towards the holes in the rod.