Monday, July 12, 2010

How to Prevent a Hand Woven Cotton Shawl from Shedding

Hand woven cotton shawl is made from a delicate and highly fibrous material. The fiber sheds off easily due to its low resiliency; however, this can be prevented using the following tips: avoid excessive exposure to sunlight, refrain from using acidic chemicals, avoid application of heat, prevent infiltration of bacteria and limit "wear and tear"

Shawl made from cotton is soft and breathable. Since it is loosely woven, it has the tendency to shed easily. To prevent it from shedding, here are some important things to follow namely:

Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight
Prolonged exposure to sunlight causes fibers to become weak. Therefore, when drying cotton shawl, it is not recommended to leave it under the sunlight for so long. If possible, never expose it directly under the sun since most of the shawls come in average thickness, which easily dries up in the presence of wind.

Refrain from using acidic chemicals
When doing laundry, avoid using harsh chemicals especially those containing acid because these damage and weaken the fiber. When removing stain, as much as possible do not use bleach in treating stain since this can fade the color and shed fiber as well.

Avoid application of heat
Cotton fiber, when exposed to an extended period in an excessively high temperature from 150 Celsius and beyond, will burn easily. This is due to the decomposition of fibers, which is the normal thermal reaction of cotton in response to presence of heat. Sometimes, prolonged heat exposure can lead to shrinkage of material.

Prevent infiltration of bacteria
Microorganisms are one of the leading causes of damaged cotton. The infiltration of bacteria results to the deterioration of the fiber. Always keep the shawl dry and clean to keep it germ-free. Do not allow stain to settle on the fabric because this encourages bacteria to accumulate. Use only gentle, but with anti-bacterial soap when washing cotton shawl to effectively remove and kill germs.

Limit "wear and tear"
Since cotton has a relatively low elasticity, undue force applied on the cotton shawl can lead to shedding. Therefore when washing cotton shawl, avoid too much wringing of the cloth. Just allow any excess water to drip while hanging to avoid loosening of the fibers.

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