Today, one of the most popular fabrics that went down in history and continue to conquer the hearts of millions of people – ikat, deserves the best attention and of course care. So, in this article we will talk about how to care for this fabric and in what conditions it is necessary to be washed. The question of the day is how to care for ikat fabrics. Let me start with a little story.
In 19th century, a silk yarn was as expensive as gold, ikat making technique was known to a few and the ikat garments were amazingly pleasant to wear. These were the days when Ikat textile was available only to the richest and was considered a real luxury item.
Over time, ikat manufacturers have thought about how to make ikat textiles more democratic. They began to combine luxurious silk threads with more affordable cotton fibers and created the so-called adras fabric. Adras is a beautiful and rich mix of silk and cotton fibers (usually around 50% silk and 50% cotton, but percentages may vary). This led to a decrease in the cost of ikat fabrics, but not so much – the ikat fabric manufacturing process was still an extremely manual process.
This manual process includes the final stage, which is called the “calendar”. In finishing the calendar, a mixture of egg white with special glue is used, which is evenly applied to the surface of the fabric and then pressed into the rollers of the calendar. This process makes the fabric more rigid and glossy, adds a noble moiré effect and serves as protection against dust and dirt.
Rules of washing ikat
Now suppose you decide to wash the fabric ikat. You face two risks:
1) Colors may bleed – this is less likely for new fabrics, but there is a chance of bleeding. That is why, when you wash Ikats, make sure that you wash it by hand in cold water with a mild detergent.
2) The fabric will lose its shape because the final mixture of white egg / glue will wash off, the moiré effect will disappear and you will have a soft fabric. The fabric is still beautiful, and this may be what designers are looking for to create this special worn and organic look. However, the washed fabric in most cases is not suitable for upholstery, curtains, for everything that would require the fabric to retain its shape.
In general, ikat is recommended to be washed by hand wash in cool water (no more than 30 ° C) or dry cleaning. It is forbidden to whiten and squeeze the fabric. Iron at an average temperature of up to 200 degrees. The fabric does not fade, does not crumble, and does not lose the brightness of the color.
Before sewing a dress or something using ikat, the fabric should be washed. The fact is that cotton-based fabrics must be washed before sewing, as the fabric can sit down – that is, it can become shorter and narrower.
In addition, as weavers say – the fabric after being woven, impregnated with casein glue, and stroked with a special ironing device. The glue, however, is remarkably washed off, and is needed for easy storage of the fabric – with this impregnation, the fabric seems to be more rigid, it is more convenient to fold it from the rolls.
Cotton does not sit on the washing conditions, but depending on the type of cotton from which the cotton thread is made. After washing, the fabric becomes lighter and more plastic.
For these reasons, even though the ikat fabric care instructions are “cold hand wash with shampoo”, it’s still better to get ikat dry cleaning products.
“Wash your silks with shampoo …”
Ikat is preferably to be hand washed in cold water, using a delicate product, particularly shampoo. Do not twist, just slightly squeeze. Dry on a horizontal surface. A slight change in the color of the fabric after washing is possible.
It may seem ridiculous, but many people believe that washing ikat fabric with shampoo really works. The reason is that ikat is so pure and soft like silk, so that should be washed with shampoo.
Hand washing of silk in cold water with a shampoo, preferably Pantene ProV shampoo, because silk is similar to your hair and you need to take care of it as well.
Now, if you like any other shampoo, do it.
Due to unusual universal properties, ikat fabric keeps cool in summer and give off heat in winter.
Silk and cotton are far superior to other materials in terms of body comfort. Adras ikat fabric is able to maintain an optimal microclimate for the human body.
Adras can be used in clothing design, interior decoration, as well as for the manufacture of additional accessories – scarves, shoes, bags and hats.
No matter how hard it is to care for ikat, this historical fabric is worthy of better attention and care, because putting on clothes woven from it, or decorating your house with ikat, you give warmth and beauty not only to yourself, but also to people around you. There is no more unusual and beautiful fabric than ikat. And the more species of this fabric appears the more attention of lovers it attracts.