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Care Instructions for Jewelry & Accessories

DYES

In the case of work that has been naturally dyed, color fading should not occur with normal wear as the fiber has been mordanted and only dyes reputable for their fastness have been used. It is not recommended, however, to leave the fiber in direct sunlight for long periods of time.

Natural dyes are sensitive to dramatic changes in pH, therefore strong alkaline soap solutions may cause a slight shift in the color of certain dyes. Use pH neutral soap if available.

WASHING FELT

Felted fabric is created by heat, moisture, alkalinity and agitation, conditions also present when washing. Care must be taken when hand washing felt as excessive heat and agitation may continue to shrink wool felt that has not been completely fulled. In the case of body textiles that may not be completely fulled to allow for more drape, hand wash fabric in room temperature water with a small amount of gentle soap and minimal agitation.

Felted forms, such as handbags, that have been stiffened with shellac should not be crumbled when washing. Instead, carefully submerge the item in wash water, gently rubbing any area that is dirty, followed by submersion in rinse water.

RE-SHAPING & DRYING FELT

Either place the item in your washing machine on the spin cycle to extract excess water (felted forms should be stuffed with a towel to maintain the form) or press in a dry towel. Damp 2-D felt may be ironed between press cloths on the lowest steam setting, blocked (pulled into shape) and air dried. 3-D felt may be steamed (an open tea kettle works well if you don’t have a clothing steamer) to provide elasticity for blocking/reforming and then air dried.

MOTHS

Moth larvae feed on keratin or wool protein and are a threat to any woolen, however, seldom do they establish themselves on items that are worn or used regularly and are far less likely if the items are cleaned of oils/perspiration from the skin.  When produced, final rinses of the felt include lavender essential oil and it is suggested that if woolen items are not to be used for an extended period of time, wash the item and store in an airtight container in cool temperatures. Cedar, pennyroyal and lavender have insect repelling fragrance and sachets may be placed in the storage container to further deter moths. I have never personally had a moth infestation (knock on wood-preferable cedar) and I have a lot of wool in house and have only twice had clients report of moth damage in two decades. Fear not, but be smart.

Naturally dyed fabrics drying, Indigo Dyeing Workshop, John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC, 2007

Naturally dyed fabrics drying, Indigo Dyeing Workshop, John C Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC, 2007