FAB­RIC CARE

Want your cur­tains, cush­ions and bed­sheets to re­tain their colour, tex­ture and sheen? These sim­ple tips, tricks and tech­niques help you get there.

India Today - - COVER STORY - By ARYA NERKER

The thing about homes is that they need con­stant love and at­ten­tion. It’s easy to buy a bunch of prod­ucts, but to have them last you for years, and to en­sure your home al­ways feels like a sanc­tu­ary, it’s im­por­tant to put care into it. Textiles, in par­tic­u­lar, need love. For most fam­i­lies this is wis­dom that’s handed down from mother to daugh­ter, and then again through gen­er­a­tions. Re­mem­ber, each time you wash or scrub a tex­tile, lose strands are lost and it suf­fers a de­gree of dam­age. Over a pe­riod of time, clean­ing them in­cor­rectly can re­sult in cor­rod­ing and dam­ag­ing your beau­ti­ful home textiles. AL­WAYS READ THE LA­BEL

Home textiles such as cush­ions, ta­ble linen, du­vets, bed cov­ers, bed­sheets should all be looked af­ter as in­structed on their care la­bels. People of­ten don’t bother to look at these but it takes a minute and you’ll be glad you did when your prod­ucts look great sea­son af­ter sea­son. As a rule of thumb, avoid us­ing a wash­ing ma­chine to clean fur­nish­ings. For in­stance, in­stead of us­ing a wash­ing ma­chine to clean cot­ton cur­tains hand-wash them with hot wa­ter and de­ter­gent. You can also vacuum cur­tains weekly to re­move dust. One of the most ef­fec­tive ways of clean­ing cush­ions is to dust them with bak­ing soda and then vac­u­um­ing them. STORE COR­RECTLY How you store, stack or stash your textiles, when not in use adds to their longevity. Es­pe­cially your cold weather fab­rics. Keep your heavy silks and jacquards away for the win­ter but make sure you wrap them in old cot­ton bed­sheets be­fore you do so. Add a cou­ple of moth­balls, dried laven­der and cloves to the bun­dle be­fore you put it away. QUICK TIPS

Make sure you’re hand-wash­ing ta­ble linen, par­tic­u­larly if it’s ex­tremely del­i­cate lace or silk. For rough fab­rics like jute, spot-clean with a di­luted de­ter­gent. Oth­er­wise just keep them pressed and starched. While iron­ing these put a lit­tle es­sen­tial oil in a spray bot­tle with clean wa­ter (lemon grass or jas­mine are both lovely scents for sum­mer, and el­e­vate any mood). Do this with your du­vet cov­ers as well—right be­fore putting these on the du­vet spray this mix­ture (make sure use a non-stain­ing es­sen­tial oil). The lin­ger­ing fra­grance is just heav­enly. Delhi-based Arya Nerker has worked as the brand and home de­signer for Good Earth un­der founder Anita Lal. She is now at the helm of Ni­co­bar Home. www.ni­co­bar.com

MASTERING TEXTILES Arya Nerker is the De­sign Head (Home) for Ni­co­bar (above); fur­nish­ings from the brand (be­low)

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