Nowadays, Orenburg shawl is a full-fledged element of the so-called urban fashion. Decades ago it was worn by bold Cossack women, and now it is popular with stylish modern ladies who drive fast cars and chill out at nightclubs. However, life in a big city has its own aspects, one of which is the increased level of air pollution, dust and dirt. These and other factors make the delicate items from Orenburg lose their freshness, too. This means that the issue of how to wash a downy shawl is very relevant.
Washing downy items: peculiarities
Hand-made downy items require good care and delicate washing. Wash the accessory in warm water (20-30 degrees Celsius). Use baby soap or shampoo as a cleaning agent. You can also use hair conditioner. Washing powders, especially those containing alkali, are not to be used here. Having washed the item in the cleaning solution, you'll have to rinse it with clear water. Water should be changed several times - until the detergent gets completely washed out.
The shawl has to be washed very carefully, make sure you don't rub, stretch or twist the item. To make the water leave the shawl, just press it very lightly with your hands. Then it would be good to put it in a nylon mesh and hang it over the bathtub, to let the excess water drip out.
Next, the shawl is spread onto a towel and left to dry; don't forget to change the towels from time to time as they get soaked.
Answering the question of how to wash machine-knitted downy shawls, experts give the following recommendations. Factory-produced Orenburg shawls could be washed in warm water (+35 - 40 °C), by hand and using a delicate detergent. Then a factory-made shawl gets wrapped into a cotton cloth - and the entire roll gets pressed a bit (for super-delicate water removal), but never squeezed or twisted. The final drying process copies the one used for hand-made products.
In order to treat a creation of Orenburg masters the way it truly deserves, it is important to know not only how to wash a downy shawl, but also how to store it properly.
Be it either a closet or a chest of drawers that you store your downy accessory in, do make sure it is surrounded by clean things only but not pressed by them. Most disciplined owners roll their downy treasures up, wrap these rolls into cloth made of natural materials, and do not forget about scaring moths away.
What if I bleach my shawl
If your Orenburg shawl is of white color, then, of course, you would want it to remain white (and not get grayish over time). But how can one get crispy-white natural down without damaging it?
It is better to use boiled water for bleaching delicate items. Do not plunge the item into the bleaching solution immediately; treat a spot by the edge first and wait for the result
You can find high-quality bleaching agents for wool products in stores. All necessary instructions are provided, too. If you have managed to purchase such an agent, it is best to follow the step-by-step recommendations specified by the manufacturer.
You can also use some traditional methods of bleaching. Take two tablespoons of sodium hydrosulfite (this chemical agent is sold in stores, too), dissolve it in ten liters of water (the water temperature has to be up to 50 °C). Keep the shawl in the bleaching solution for 30 minutes, turning it over from time to time to ensure good soaking.
Half an hour later rinse the shawl thoroughly with water mixed with a bit of vinegar (2 spoons per 10 liters of water). The procedure of drying the downy shawl after bleaching is the same followed after its regular washing.