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Furniture And Fabrication Care

Updated on March 31, 2012

Furniture And Fabrication Care

To keep your possessions in good order, they need regular maintenance. This means preventive and corrective care.

Fortunately modern cleaning aids have transformed housework from the time-consuming chore it used to be. Nowadays it should be possible to keep surfaces free of dust and dirt without too much effort.

Unless you have no soft floor covering at all you will need a vacuum cleaner. There are two main types, upright and cylinder. Upright cleaners work better on carpeted areas because they incorporate a beater bar which raises the dirt to allow it to be sucked up easily. They are less convenient than cylinder cleaners for use on stairs and under furniture. A large upright model will cover big areas more quickly and easily than a cylinder type, but may be very heavy to lift-especially up several flights of stairs. Look for such features as pile adjustment-which means you can move the beater bar up or down to cope efficiently with all types of carpet from sage pile to cord. A light on the front is useful too for picking out bits of fluff under pieces of furniture.

A cylinder vacuum cleaner is lighter and more maneuverable on stairs. It is also more effective than an upright model on hard floor surfaces such as wood or vinyl. Most models have suction control and have more powerful attachments than uprights.

Wet and dry vacuum cleaners are intended for use both inside and outside the home and are particularly useful for picking up leaves on patios, wood shavings from garage floors and so on. They are really best kept for outdoor work only as they do not perform very well indoors.

Make full use of the attachments which come with a vacuum cleaner. All dirt picked up through them goes straight into the bag and is not merely shifted-as with a duster-from one surface to another. Vacuum cleaner can be used to collect dust from solid and upholstered furniture, curtains picture rails skirting boards and virtually all household surfaces.

Furniture Care

There is a wide choice of home-cleaning products on the shelves of every supermarket and hardware store. Many of them are designed to cope with several surfaces ( wood, plastic, metal) while other are designed for one type only. In general most surfaces only require regular dusting and buffing over with a soft cloth.

It is unnecessary to apply polish very often and a complete misapprehension that feeding wood with regular applications of polish will improve patina.

Try not to mix polishes but always to use the same one on a piece of furniture. The different ingredients of different polishes can set up a reaction which affects the furniture adversely. If you want to change to new brand of polish use turpentine substitute or white spirit on a cloth to remove all traces of the old polish first.

Fabric Care

A good iron and ironing board are essential pieces of equipment for anyone who intends to care correctly for fabrics. Irons are sold as dry, steam or shot-of-steam. Dry irons only work well if the fabric is at the fabric as you iron it but cannot produce sufficient steam to cope with heavier fabric which also need to be damped manually. Steam iron damp the fabric as you iron it but cannot produce sufficient steam to cope with heavier fabric which also need to be damped manually. Shot-of-steam irons provide a blast of steam on a particular spot at the press of a steam on a particular spot at the press of a button and some also incorporate a spray.

The care label on clothes will usually state at what temperature a fabric should be ironed. The one dot setting is suitable for acetate, acrylic nylon, polyester and triacetate. The two dot setting is used for polyester mixtures and wool, while the three dot setting is for cotton, linen, modified viscose and viscose. Rotary irons are particularly good at ironing large flat items like bed linen and curtains but require considerably more skill if you are to achieve a good result with shaped garments. They are rather large to store so for most people a standard iron is a better choice. Look for a model which has a comfortable handle and is a comfortable weight. It is not necessary to have a heavy iron to get a good result; the heat will do this for you. Check that the controls are easy to use and that the iron stands up securely on its end.

Ironing boards come in different shapes and with varying heights. Before buying try to stand (or sit, if you sit to iron) at several heights to see how comfortable they are. Ideally the top of the handle of the are. Ideally the top of the handle of the iron should be about level with your elbow. The more height setting a board has the better chance you have of finding one to suit you and any other members of the household who iron. A big board makes ironing sheets curtains and tablecloths easier.

Fabric Lore

Modern fabrics are infinitely easier to care for than those formerly used for curtains and upholstery. Always check the care Idabel instructions before you buy. You may find that large curtains and the removable covers from sofas and armchairs require a trip to the launderette because when wet they will be too heavy for a domestic washing machine.

If you are making your own curtains, it is a sensible precaution to wash the fabric before you may find that large curtains and the removable covers from sofas and armchairs require a trip to the launderette, because when wet they will be too heavy for a domestic washing machine.

If you are making your own curtains it is a sensible precaution to wash the fabric before you start to sew. This ensures that any shrinkage takes place before rather than after they have been made. The chart below shows the wash programmer for different types of fabric.

Always put loose covers back onto furniture while they are still damp and can be stretched to fit properly. They can be ironed in situ but take care that the iron is not too hot either for the fabric or for the material used to upholster the frame.

Some curtains and upholstery really do need to be cleaned professionally. There are firms which will send someone to your house to do this on the spot or you can take them to be done on other premises. On the spot cleaning does have the advantage that you are not without curtains and covers for more than a day or so while they dry. Don't take curtains to a coin op dry cleaner unless you are absolutely certain that the cleaning solvent is changed regularly. If a lot of very dirty clothing has been cleaned just before you put your curtains in they may come out smelling of perspiration or tobacco smells which are very difficult to eradicate from large pieces of fabric.


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