Ways to Clean the Cotton Fabrics

by : rhusain

Cotton fabrics, even it seems very difficult to handle, sometimes they can become a problem. In this article you will find on how to clean the cotton fabric.

HANDLING SPECIAL FINISHES. Most finishes do not require special treatment in laundering or dry cleaning, but a few do. Materials with crease-resistant finishes are best laundered with warm water because some of them are removed by repeated laundering in hot water, which also causes heat-set wrinkles. Chlorine (household) bleaches must not be used on cottons and linens with such finishes unless the label stipulates that they are safe. The finishes are usually made with resins, some of which react unhappily to the chlorine in the bleach, to cause stains and to weaken or even to destroy the fabrics. Some glazed finishes on cotton, rayon, acetate, and nylon go with the first washing; others last for a long time. Since you may be asked to pay a higher price for a "finished" fabric, look for a label that says "permanent," and for any special washing instructions. Moth-resistant finishes on woolens also vary in the length of time they last so that an accurate label is needed there. Another important label is for water-repellants. Some finishes of this sort are removed with one dry cleaning while others last through several washings or dry cleanings. One kind can be renewed by the dry cleaner.

OTHER SPECIAL COATINGS that are given to various kinds of cloth are the anti-curl finish for organdies, flame-and fume-resistant finishes for rayons, metallic coatings on coat linings, and finishes that resist mildew, perspiration, shrinkage, slipping, spots, and stains. There is a finish to reduce the static in silks, wools, and synthetics, and there are finishes for minimum-care and permanent pleats. And now for a rundown of various materials, both old and new, to see what has happened to them and how best to keep them bandbox clean.

COTTON, of course, comes from a plant and is one of the oldest textile fibers known. From the standpoint of world use, it is still the king of fabrics. More clothing is made from cotton than from any other material. Cotton with a long fiber, or staple, is the finest, and "pima" is an outstanding long staple variety. Long cotton fibers are combed to make them lie parallel and produce smoother yarn; these are "combed" cottons. Mercerization is a treatment that adds a silky luster to cottons, increases their absorbent capacity, and makes them more comfortable to wear. Mercerized cottons do not require special care.

ORDINARY COTTON FABRICS, unless of delicate weave and color, can stand hard laundering with hot water and almost any soap or detergent, and ironing with a hot iron. They give very little trouble. White cottons, unless treated with a special finish which might interfere, can be bleached, and sterilized by boiling. They look their best if they are blued and starched.

VERY SOILED COTTONS. Ground-in dirt is hard to get out of any fabric and it is better to launder clothes before they are too badly soiled. However, when cottons are very dirty, here are a few tricks to help:

SOAK GREASY COTTON OVERALLS and work shirts for fifteen or twenty minutes in hot suds containing about half a cup of household ammonia. You can use the tub of your washing machine for this. After the soak, spin or wring out the water and wash the clothes as usual. For slipcovers, curtains, and play clothes that are very soiled, try a soak in warm water containing a detergent or a non-precipitating water softener. Use one half to one tablespoonful of either of these for each gallon of water. Soak the soiled items in this for ten to twenty minutes, then extract the water and wash them as usual.

In this article, we've learned that Mercerized cotton does not require special care. For ordinary cotton fabrics can be clean in hot water with soap or detergent. Use a hot iron when ironing. Most finishes do not require special treatment in laundering or dry cleaning, but some of them needs attention before laundering.