Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to clean Indian Shisha embroidery

  1. Jul 18, 2012 #1

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I have two authentic Gujarati Indian decorative cloths that need some cleaning. One has oil residue from being located in the kitchen, the other could use a cleaning all-together.

    I wonder, will I ruin the cloth or the embroidery by cleaning it?

    Here you can see an example of the elaborate nature of the embroidery (not mine):
    gujrati-embroidered-elephants-and-colorful-birds-HF96_l.jpg

    The design of mine is similar, but then the cloth is a circle with elephants, parrots, peacocks and flowers with mirrors at the center (and more delicate/refined than the one above, which looks like a cheap fabrication). Anyone here with experience? :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2012 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It would depend on if the yarns are all color safe. I'd hate to give advice not knowing.

    One problem I find with washing such things is that the material tends to pucker after drying since the background material and embroidered areas don't shrink uniformly. When I used to do embroidery, I would wash and dry the material first in order to pre-shrink the material. You can try wetting and drying a small test area and see what the results are.
     
  4. Jul 18, 2012 #3

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yeah, the color fastness was worrying me as well.. especially since the background is white. I would only wash it in cold water by hand, but still..

    Would dry-cleaning make sense?
     
  5. Jul 18, 2012 #4

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    A professional cleaner might know the best way, but take it to one you trust. I've had things ruined by cleaners.

    Your cloth sounds awesome. Good luck with it.
     
  6. Jul 18, 2012 #5

    AlephZero

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I would ask somebody from the subcontinent, if you know any students, work colleages, etc from there. Traditional Indian (using the term loosely) clothes probably have the same types of dyes, and they will need regular cleaning!

    If this is made from genuinely "traditional" materials, the answer might be something like fullers earth to absorb the oil and grease (and any other surface dirt), and tropical sunlight to bleach the white background. No liquids required. But that's just a guess, and the sunlight where you are might not be tropical enough!
     
  7. Jul 18, 2012 #6

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    All good advice.
    You haven't mentioned how old this thing is or what it might be worth. I would be inclined to approach an antiquities expert at a museum or art gallery. I can't imagine one charging for a simple opinion.
     
  8. Jul 19, 2012 #7

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The cloths used to be part of an Indian household and were a gift to me, they sure aren't antiques. I can have a spot around the city to see if there are any Indian dry cleaners who can give advice.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: How to clean Indian Shisha embroidery
  1. Cleaning upvc (Replies: 2)

Loading...