How to Care for Ikat Weaving

I purchased ikat weaving from East Nusa Tenggara few months ago. It has nice yellow color decorated with hand made embroider of various contrast color. It is so soft and warm for cold time. Most of all, i really appreciate and admire the intricacies and the patience of the weaver which might take to 7 days to make such an intricacies pattern.

After several times i wore it to the cinema, to hang out and other several occasions, i thought i would like to wash it. And honestly, i did not even check the correct way to wash it. I think i forgot the the lady who sold it told me not to wash it with detergent but something softer like softener or klerak. So yes, i washed it with detergent and soaked it for few minutes. Ha, wrong big time.

Once i checked to wash the decoration color badly dyed the main color of the weaving. Devastated, i think what i did wrong. I tried to remove the dye by rubbing it using my both hands, but it did not work. I searched online for the solution and could not find one similar case.  Some online cases are dye on one color fabric, usually white. I kept on reading though and figured it out myself from the references.

Finally i could remove the dye though, even the whole color is not as good as new. It is much better than letting the weaving decorated by unwanted dye. People usually do not notice, i removed 90 percent of the dye, it is very subtle now, people would not even think it was a disaster.

This is what i did. I  boiled water, pour on a container and put 2 teaspoon of acid crystal, and then soaked  the weaving for few minutes. I repeated this stage 2 times and then washed with detergent manually also using hot / warm water. The dye was already removed after this. And then i use softener. A friend of mine suggested that this kind of colorful weaving must not be dried by hanging, yet by laid on the ground, to avoid the color to dye worse. In this case i laid the weaving between two chair and tied the four corner ends to the chair. To make it dry quickly, i blow hairdryer over for some 30 minutes. After i was sure it was not wet and dye, i hang nearby air-condition exhaust , to make it dry quickly without hairdryer.  And viola, within 2 hours later it was dry and looks good, ready to accompany me for a stroll at night.

Below is the suggestion to care  weaving that might be helpful for you.

  • Wash it manually, do not machine wash. If the weaving is using natural dyes, you can use lerak to wash it. A friend from East Nusa Tenggara suggest to wash using softener or shampoo , Not detergent, as it is more soft and will not damage the color and the texture.
  • Do not dry it by hanging but drying by laying it on the ground or just hang it horizontally that the color will not dye to the main color. I think it will be problem for bright color weaving, for dark one is not really a problem.
  • Do not keep it fold in closet, better hung or rolled. If rolled put an onionskin  to the weaving will not rub against each other. And you can put cloves, kapulaga or cinnamon or fragrant roots to neutralize the aroma.
  • And this is also an information from a friend from East Nusa Tenggara that they do not wash the weaving often, usually after worn to neutralize the aroma, and kill bacteria, they dry under the sun. Yet when washed only using shampoo.