Fabrics are one which we handle most in our day to day life. The utility of the fabric is enormous and the chance of getting stains is also high. The process of removing the stain and getting the fabric back to shape requires more care and attention.
Stain is a mark or spot of discolouration left on fabrics by the contact and absorption of some foreign substances. Some stains are easily removed by ordinary methods or reagents but there are quite a few which need special treatment. This entirely depends on the nature of the stain.
Stains therefore have to be classified according to the substance that causes them. Broadly speaking they can be divided into;
1. Animal 2. Vegetable 3.Grease 4.Dye and 5.Mineral
1.Animal: Stains are those caused by blood, egg, milk and meat, &juices. As these contain protein matter, heat must be avoided to remove them, otherwise the protein will get fixed in the stain.
2. Vegetables: Stains include those caused by tea, cocoa, coffee, fruit and wine. These are acidic and therefore require alkaline reagent to remove them.
3. Grease: Stains may be just grease spots or some colouring matter fixed with grease. These include butter, curry, oil, paint, & varnish. In removing these stains, some grease solvents or an absorbent is first used to dissolve or absorb the grease before removal of colouring matter. A solvent soap is also very effective for removing these stains from washable fabrics.
4.Dye: Stains may be acidic or alkaline and so the nature of the stain is ascertained before a specific removing reagent is used.
5. Minerals: Stains such as Iron mould, black ink and certain medicine stains are compounds of a metal and a dye. These are first treated by acid reagents to act on the metal and then by an alkaline solution to neutralise the acid reagent and act on the dye.
Neither perspiration nor scratch marks fall into any of the above group. Perspiration has no protein component and cannot therefore fall under any group, even though it is acidic.
Scorch: It is a boron stain caused by a very hot iron and it is a class by itself.
Grass:These stains come under vegetable groups, but a very different method is used for removing the green colouring matter.
Stain removing must be carried out with care and in such a manner so as to restore the garments to its original appearance and texture.
GENERAL RULES FOR STAIN REMOVAL:
*Remove the stains as and when it is fresh and it is easy to remove with simple methods.
*Study the nature and texture of the fabric especially when chemical reagents and bleaches are to be used, as these have injurious effect on wool, silk and synthetic fabrics. The chemical reagents when used on animal fabrics, must be diluted.
*Treat known stains with specific reagents.
*Unknown stains should be treated with simple methods such as steeping in cold or hot water or washing with soap. Then use mild reagents and follow with strong ones. If the stain persists, resort to bleaching only, when all other treatments fail.
*The fabric should be in contact with the reagent only until the stain removed. The fabric should be rinsed several times to remove the reagent, if allowed to dry with the reagent, it may damage the fabric.
*All acid reagents should be neutralised with an alkaline rinse and vice versa.
*If a stain is to be removed by sponging method, dip the sponge in the solution and work in a circular movement from the outer edge of the stain to its center. This prevents stain from spreading.
(to be continued.........)
(to be continued.........)