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Care and Maintenance

Suggestions for Wood & Fabric Projects

Fabric

Fabric is a natural fiber that requires care and attention to keep it's beauty and funtionallity. It is essential to ensure that it is kept away from any dyes or chemicals that could alter the material. If the cloth is to be stored for any length of time, it is important to ensure that is is clean and dry. If at all possible it is best to place the cloth in its natural position instead of folding and scrunching to save space. This will cause creases and potential wear points.

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Quilts

Quilts can be classes into three categories for maintenance. First; is the Art Quilt that has been pieced and embellished to meet an artistic result. These should not be washed as the fabric or embellishments will shrink. Dry clean and dust as necessary. Second; is the Bed or Throw Quilt that is designed to be used and can be washed in cold water with a mild detergent. Fluff dry on low heat. Inspect regularly for loose threads that may catch. These should be sewn in as soon as possible. Third; is the rag quilt that is designed for rough use and can be washed more aggressively. The ragged appearance improves with repeated washings. All quilts are best stored in a open condition. This can be either handing or flat on a surface. If they are to be folded, it is best to roll them and take them out regularly and rearrange them so that they do not develop crease lines and wear. Quilts are to be used for warmth and beauty. Enjoy them.

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Wood

Wood is a natural material that breaths. It takes on moisture and emits moisture on a continual basis depending on the level of humidity in the air. A finish will reduce the moisture transfer but will not eliminate it. Some finishes such as Verathane or Turner's Polish are surface applications that have limited wood penetration. This can provide a durable surface but can be scratched and worn by use. Tung Oil, on the other hand, penetrates into the wood and cures in place. As such, the finish is part of the wood and not just a surface application. The application of wax on top of a finish impacts the shine and feel of the wood. Beeswax is soft but will wear off relatively quickly where as carnauba wax is much harder and will take more abuse. Each project will have a different finish to obtain a desired look and feel. Most my pieces with a tung oil finish can be re-oiled when they appear dull. Applying beeswax and some buffing, can increase the sheen and feel of the article. A wax application will need to be repeated more often than an oil based finish. Mineral oil can also be applied directly to the wood to provide a water resistant finish suitable for use with foods.

For breadboards and butcher blocks, use only pure mineral oil. Apply thin coats to the clean surface until it no longer is absorbed. Repeat as often as necessary. Cleaning should be done with limited immersion in water. Sanitization of the boards can be achieved using course salt and some lemon juice rubbed onto the surface, rinse completely and left to dry. Do not place wood in a dishwasher or let stand in water. Lemon or beeswax can be added to the mineral oil to change the sent or feel of the wood. All boards can be re-sanded but will need fresh mineral oil to fill the exposed wood pores.

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Tools

When the tools are kitchen items and intended to be used around food, the items have been treated with a foodsafe oil and or oil/wax combination. It is best not to let these items soak in water but can be washed by hand to remove unwated residues and dirt. To complement the initial finish, these can be oiled as desided.

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Toys

Toys are to be played with and as such there are minimal requirements for care and maintenance as the enjoyment of the toy is the most important feature. Wash with mild soap, a minimal amount of water, and dry immediately. Keep wood toys out of water as much as possible and ensure that there are no sharp edges should the wood fracture.

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Art

These items are intended for display purpose only and should be kept away from water as it may deform their appearance and impact their structural integrity. Dust as required to maintain their appearance. Enjoy them as they are.

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Furniture

Regular dusting and treatment with a light wax or furniture polish will help keep the material looking great. For furniture with caneing, only one side of the material has been finished to allow moisture to be absorbed through the back side. Occasional wiping with a damp cloth on the back side will help prevent excessive drying of the caneing material.

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Birdhouses

These are intended as functional items to be installed and enjoyed. There is no finish applied as not to add contaminants to the environment. The wildlife will appreciate the natural materials and will make it their home. Over time the natural wood will discolor and decay. This is natural and the item will outlive its usefulness. Enjoy the wildlife when they are there and give them a new home when this one is no longer prime real estate as demonstrated by its use.

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