4 days ago

TIPS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR CLEAN CURTAINS

Robert Anderson from Curtain Clean Wellington

Before re-hanging your clean curtains, we recommend you thoroughly wash the inside of your windows and frames with warm soapy water with a small amount of bleach in to get rid of any mould spores that are present, taking care not to splash on your carpet or other soft furnishings.


Mould grows … View more
Before re-hanging your clean curtains, we recommend you thoroughly wash the inside of your windows and frames with warm soapy water with a small amount of bleach in to get rid of any mould spores that are present, taking care not to splash on your carpet or other soft furnishings.


Mould grows as a result of sun, moisture and dust or dirt so any attempts to minimize these environmental conditions will help.


- Removing the moisture from your windows each morning.
- Curtains can be vacuumed using the round brush attachment to remove dust
- Ensuites can be a major source of moisture in a bedroom, ensure these are well ventilated
- Avoid drying washing inside
- Opening windows for a small amount of time each day to let the moisture out of your home
- Curtains can be spot cleaned using a solution of washing powder and warm water – this will often leave a watermark so spots should be patted dry with a towel, then dried with a hair dryer.

- Please note: “Exit-Mould” & citrus cleaners will most often strip the colour out of your curtain and leave chemicals in the fabric that will cause it to rot

Call us today on 0800 579 0501 to book in for a clean!

5 days ago

Increasing the lifespan of your textiles

Robert Anderson from Curtain Clean Wellington

- AN EDUCATIONAL YARN -


As well as focusing on the aesthetic and functional needs of interiors, it is important to understand that all fabrics have different qualities and constructions which can be affected by the environments they are installed in. In our next topic for our blog series – … View more
- AN EDUCATIONAL YARN -


As well as focusing on the aesthetic and functional needs of interiors, it is important to understand that all fabrics have different qualities and constructions which can be affected by the environments they are installed in. In our next topic for our blog series – An Educational Yarn - we look at these common issues and how we can increase the lifespan of textiles in our interior applications.

- STABILITY & MOVEMENT -
Best choice: Polyester, acrylic, cotton and blends
Caution: Silk, linen, viscose in lightweight constructions.

Fabric stability is particularly critical for curtains and blinds and while a degree of tolerance is essential because all fibres expand and contract as a result of atmospheric changes, some fibres are more affected than others.

Generally fabrics alter in length when they absorb or release moisture. Fibres that release a lot of moisture will obviously ‘move’ more. Most natural fibres absorb moisture readily, which is why they are used for towels etc. Synthetic or man-made fibres have very poor absorption which can make them uncomfortable to wear, but in furnishings they ‘move’ less. However, other factors must also be taken into account such as location, for example the proximity to the sea.


As sea air is heavy with salt, being anhydrous (it absorbs water), when this adheres and settles amongst the fibres, this will naturally attract moisture and this will cause additional weight.


- DURABILITY / PILLING -


Though this applies mainly to upholstery fabrics, pilling and abrasion damage can also occur in drapery if there is constant rubbing against walls and frames. Different weaves greatly affect a fabric’s performance, such as the density of weave and the number of floating fibres, but if woven for a situation where strength and abrasion resistance are the prime consideration, then cotton, linen, polyester, nylon, acrylic and wool can make strong and durable upholstery fabrics. Nylon particularly, when even 10% is blended with cotton or linen, produces a far more abrasion resistant fabric.
While the above are guidelines, understanding the properties of fibres will help in discerning their suitability in certain situations.

Many fabrics contain combinations of yarns in order to achieve the best performance and effect.

Abrasion ratings are part of assessing upholstery fabrics, but understanding ratings of tensile seam slippage and pilling is also critical. Quality suppliers with reputable brands and standards will supply only ‘fit for purpose’ products.

- HUMIDITY -

Best choice: Polyester, acrylic
Caution: Cotton, wool, silk, viscose, linen
In humid conditions, bacteria, fungi (mildew) and sometimes moth larvae can create unsightly problems and in some cases totally destroy the fibres. Generally mildew thrives on natural and cellulose fibres e.g. cotton, silk, wool, linen and viscose.

While good air circulation in a room coupled with hanging curtains at least 10 cm from the glass helps, selecting fibres such as polyester and acrylic, which are mildew resistant, is a better option. However, even this may not completely eliminate the problem.

While mildew will not grow on these fibres, it will grow on dust or dirt which may become trapped between the fibres. Regular vacuuming and washing or dry cleaning will help prevent this but in extreme conditions, this is no guarantee. High levels of humidity are the largest contributor to drapery movement.

TIPS: In curtaining, unless the fabric is a sun filter or sheer, it should always be lined. An allowance must be given for a certain amount of movement as a result of atmospheric conditions.

Considering all the different fibre characteristics, the blending of different fibres into yarns and the combining of different yarns into fabrics can overcome many of the disadvantages of specific fibres.

- SUNLIGHT & UV DEGRADATION -

Best choice: Acrylic and polyesters blends
Caution: Silks, wools

While Southern Hemisphere conditions can be so severe that virtually no fabric producer worldwide will guarantee their products at the window, with modern technology, beautiful fabrics are being created which will perform well with long-term satisfaction, even in harsh conditions. Sunlight degradation is one of the prime considerations of curtaining and man-made fibres perform well in resisting damaging rays. The fibre most resilient to sunlight damage is acrylic, followed very closely by polyester. If fabrics made from these fibres do experience colour change, the problem will probably be with the dye or cleaning process, not the fibre.

Of the natural fibres, cotton and linen have quite good sun resistance and again, any colour change here is usually the result of dye or cleaning. However, it is recommended that for Australasian conditions, these fabrics should be protected with a quality lining.

Silk is admired for its beauty and luxury, however it is sensitive to UV damage and affected by even reflected light. The addition of coated linings coupled with bumf will help protect the fabric, although the exposed ‘leading edge’ of curtains will likely still deteriorate. Where possible, it will increase the life of silk curtains if they can be stacked beyond the window.

TIPS: If your client insists on using delicate fabrics make them fully aware of the ramifications of their choice by recording any ‘industry performance’ notations in your quotes. This can save a lot of issues later on.

Leading edges of curtains (those facing the windows) are particularly vulnerable to sunlight degradation. To help minimise this effect, it is recommended that curtains be rotated periodically where possible, i.e. the left-hand curtain swapped into the right-hand position, annually. A quality sun filter is also important where sunlight is directly reflecting on the fabric behind the glass.

Rotate furniture cushions frequently to ensure sun degradation occurs evenly.

Using a synthetic ‘band’ of a contrast fabric down the leading edge will help to protect the curtains and can also be a dramatic design feature.

It is important to have a realistic understanding that all fabrics, regardless of dyestuffs used, will eventually fade/deteriorate under direct sunlight over time. James Dunlop Textiles utilise the best standard dyestuffs, and whilst no warranty can be made as to colour fastness because of our extreme UV conditions, they should perform sufficiently under normal conditions provided proper care is taken.


- GENERAL TIPS -



Fabrics manufactured from natural fibres that are not dyed may suffer from after bleaching, causing lightening or a deepening in colour when exposed to natural light. As this is a natural phenomenon, allowance must be made for this unpreventable colour change reaction. Some yarns, such as silk, are even susceptible to indirect UV rays and every precaution should be taken to protect the fabric by the use of a bumf or interlining as well as conventional lining. Even then, colour degradation may still occur over time.
A superior quality lining is always recommended for drapery applications. Depending on the situation, there are many different linings available e.g. coated linings for added insulation and protection, and three pass blackout linings where light control is a priority such as in children’s bedrooms.

Curtains should be hung at least 10 cm from the glass to enable air to circulate. This helps prevent mildew and reduces heat build-up that will also adversely affect fabrics. Regular cleaning of windows is also very beneficial as this removes mildew spores, which can accumulate and transfer onto curtains.

Depending on fibre content, there will always be some movement in curtain length (the longer the curtain, the greater the variation) due to temperature change and the absorption and release of atmospheric moisture from the yarn of the fabric. This is normal for heavy yarns such as cotton.


To maintain and preserve the lifespan of your furnishings, regular cleaning and maintenance should be carried out. Call Curtain Clean for all your needs on 0800 579 0501.

17 days ago

Roller blind won’t go up and down straight? Here's how to fix it yourself.

Robert Anderson from Curtain Clean Wellington

t's about time we shared one of our best kept not-so-secrets....

A common problem with roller screens or roller blinds is that they start tracking to one side and eventually will wear away the side of the blind curtain with the threads causing a problem in the mechanism.

The reason can … View more
t's about time we shared one of our best kept not-so-secrets....

A common problem with roller screens or roller blinds is that they start tracking to one side and eventually will wear away the side of the blind curtain with the threads causing a problem in the mechanism.

The reason can be that the material has stretched or has moved on the blind shaft. Things like insects or stray bits of stuff can be wrapped up in the roll as the blind is rolled up.

The first thing to do is to make sure there is no foreign objects or insects rolled into the roll and make sure the blind is attached to the roller properly. Do this by rolling the blind down to its full extent and checking.

If the sides are damaged you should make sure any loose threads etc are cleared and you can trim the damaged side with a sharp pair of scissors. To do this remove the blind from the brackets.

Many of the blinds have a spring loaded pin at the end opposite the chain. This spring is retracted by turning the knurled wheel either up or down till the spring is retracted. The blind can then be removed by lowering it and sliding it off the other bracket. The more level the blind the easier to remove from the other bracket. Sometimes it will come down leaving the drive still there. If so, all you need to do is remove the drive and replace in the shaft.
Some blinds have lift up out of bracket ends or plastic roller pins that need a small screw driver to remove.

Some blinds are a spring loaded one end and have a lift up attachment on the other end.
(If you are not sure how, Google, “taking down roller blind shades” and you will find a video for the type you have.)

Hint here, ensure the blind is rolled up before removing. Lay the blind on a table or floor and trim.

Roll the blind up again.
Reinstall the blind.

When doing that make sure that when you fit the drive end back onto the bracket, that the cover over the chain wheel is at the top so the chain can run properly (It should be in the 11 – 1 position.), and that the chain is free. The spring pin should just push up into its bracket. If it is a bit tight you can use the wheel to wind the spring in and then you can let the pin out once in position.

Roll the blind up and down several times.
If the blind is rolling to one side then you can adjust this.

Let the blind right down till you can see the where the fabric is fastened to the roll shaft.
What you need to do is to put a strip of masking tape on the roller shaft, where the material is attached, at the end that you want the blind to roll back too. i.e. the opposite end to the way it rolls across to now.

Depending on the width of the blind a strip 100-150 mm will be long enough for a blind up to a meter wide but for a wider blind you can put a strip 250-300mm long.

Try rolling up the blind and if it is still rolling to the side then you can add another strip the same size on top of the first one. Add more strips as necessary. Simple stuff to do.


Article with Pictures: curtaincleaners.co.nz...

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20 days ago

Does the water on the windows cause mouldy Curtains?

Robert Anderson from Curtain Clean Wellington

The answer: Not Directly.

Only if the curtains are actually touching or touch the window, which most don’t. It derives from and does contribute to the general humidity in the surrounds around the curtain which again contributes to the development of mould. Water on windows is mostly somewhere … View more
The answer: Not Directly.

Only if the curtains are actually touching or touch the window, which most don’t. It derives from and does contribute to the general humidity in the surrounds around the curtain which again contributes to the development of mould. Water on windows is mostly somewhere between 75 and 100 mm from a curtain so how it hops the space to create mould is an interesting question.

I have seen curtains more than a meter from the windows and still moldy and curtains 20 years old with no mould. Not in the sun.

Moisture on windows is caused by the lower dew point of the glass. The warmer the air in a room/house the more moisture it will hold. It is a natural reaction for the moisture in the air to collect on the cool glass as the warm moist air attempts to equalize the air temperature and the glass temperature. The cooler glass sucks the heat out of the air.

Heat always travels from hot towards cold, leaving the moisture on the window and the warmth heating the glass until the outside temperature is the same as the inside temperature.

The closer together the temperature of the air and the glass the less it will happen. Indeed in the summer it works in the opposite where the higher temp of the glass heats the air in the room. This would also occur on days in the winter when the air in the house is cooler than the glass that’s heated by the sun. As soon as the temperature reverses the dew point on the glass lowers and then we have moisture on the windows. Same happens in your car.

Now without the sun or heating of some kind warming the curtains and the room, the curtains would remain at the ambient room air temperature but that’s not what happens. Heating or the sun will warm the curtains which like the air absorb the moisture from the air around them. This is also influenced by the humidity in the air at the time. If the curtains are cooler than the air in the room then any humidity will be absorbed by the curtains.

In doing so they also absorb the bacteria that is entrapped in that moisture. It important to note that that moisture can be from any source both inside and outside of the immediate vicinity of the curtains, for moisture in the air is carried by air currents that swirl around constantly, due to breeze, air temperature, movement by people and so on.

The curtains will adjust their own temperature and level of water absorbed up and down depending on the same factors, i.e. air temp, amount of heat applied to them by the sun and the amount of heat the material is able to absorb and retain and the all this is complicated by the time which curtains retain that heat and for how long.

So we have material curtains that absorb and release both heat and moisture all the time depending on the room conditions.


Thus we have curtains that essentially become mini glass houses or incubators, especially in the folds or where the sun has a high heat impact upon the material. A further compounding factor is the closeness of the material bulk to the wall. If as is mostly the case curtains are bunched against the wall, especially after being heated by the sun in the mornings, then the incubator effect is heightened. The same applies to late afternoon except that at that time the sun is intense and hotter than morning so the curtains retain more heat for longer. Midday sun is at a higher angle and so doesn’t affect the curtains so much.


The type of material also has an effect. Many older materials were natural and tended to allow more passage of air. Many of the modern materials are almost impervious to air and in the case of say taffeta’s and blackout material there is no “breathing” at all.

The use of Blackout material on many curtains has both the effect of no “breathing and it also retains an enormous amount of heat where the sun shines upon it. Put taffeta and blackout together and it’s a given that curtains and or more likely the linings will go moldy, even in rooms where there is standard ventilation.

How does the warmth affect the curtains?


As with all incubators and glass houses the warmth creates an ideal condition for bacteria to grow. Longer periods of warmth, especially where the humidity is high, such as in curtain folds, and even in the material fibres themselves encourage the growth of bacteria. Bacteria thrive in colonies and have an enormous rate of duplication, and will grow colonies that live and hibernate and create their spores that continue to reinfect and grow the new colonies.


This growth happens in the warm, mostly summer and on curtains is mostly seen as an orange-y or reddish spots. These colonies flourish and die and then regrow from the spores left in the curtains. This may happen for several years before they become easily seen.


By the time most people notice the mildew the bacteria have died, due to the cooler winter temperature and left their spores which have turned black. That’s what we see. They are hibernating mould bacteria which are responsible for the black stain seen on curtains and linings.


It would be rare for this to contaminate the curtains in a short period of time to a degree where it is very visible and usually we could expect two to three years for this to be readily visible and often longer. The black often becomes visible after winter when the cold has had its effect on the bacteria.

Where does all this moisture come from?
The air always contains moisture to a greater or lesser extent. In New Zealand, area’s such as Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and others have high levels of humidity on any given day because we are close to the sea.
Inside of a house as well as the air humidity level there are other sources of humidity.

People. People exhale moisture when breathing. Closing bedroom doors at night means that that moisture remains inside the bedroom unless there is ventilation to change the air.

En-suites which are now very popular contribute to the moisture in a house, are as do showers and cooking, especially boiling pots of water.
Un-flued Gas Heaters run on LPG are big contributors to the humidity in the room because the gas burns to produce CO2 and water aka Moisture.
Now we want to have these facilities as well as warm houses so we have created an ideal world for bacteria.

Some of the issues can be easily mitigated.


Heat pumps do not remove moisture from a house except at low temperatures whereas dehumidifiers remove the moisture from the air in the house and produce warmth in the process. Tiny ones are not much good but there are a number of larger models.(Remember your science and you will recall that the warmer the air the more moisture it holds, so warming it with a heat pump allows the air to hold more moisture from your cooking, showers etc. Dehumidifiers work by extracting that water, something the heat pump can’t/won’t do.). Using a dehumidifier means not having to install a ventilation system at more cost. Allowing for better room ventilation with cool air. Especially of the windows can be left just open to facilitate cool air inflow.

By changing the curtain rail brackets from the standard 65mm to 80 or 100mm so that the curtains are further from the walls and the windows. This allows for more air circulation around the curtains and thus less higher temperatures. Having separate blackout curtains on a different rail to the other curtains. Install a ShowerDome. In our experience roof ventilation systems and double glazing do not prevent this mildew problem but may delay its onset.


Too late? We can clean your mouldy curtains - visit curtainclean.co.nz or call us on 07-579 0501 to book in today.

28 days ago

When should you clean your curtains?

Robert Anderson from Curtain Clean Wellington

Question; “when should I clean my curtains?”

If your curtains have gotten grubby with handling or your cat or dog has messed them up, something has caused them to be wet or they are getting mouldy, then time to have them cleaned.
Once the black mould is showing then that is a good time.
View more
Question; “when should I clean my curtains?”

If your curtains have gotten grubby with handling or your cat or dog has messed them up, something has caused them to be wet or they are getting mouldy, then time to have them cleaned.
Once the black mould is showing then that is a good time.
The more mould the more risk that it will be on the curtain fabric and the stain may not be removed.
The more mould the greater the health risk from mould spores being breathed in.

Should I leave them until after the winter?”

There is no need to leave them and cleaning them in the winter is actually more sensible.
Mould doesn’t normally grow in the cold.
Mould grows in warm, humid conditions so mould grows on your curtains during the warm summer.

It may not be visible to you as it is usually a yellow/ orange colour when alive.
When it gets cold ( as in the winter), it then goes into the spore form and that’s when you see it as a black, smelly mess on the curtains. Once it turns black it then releases more spores that will come alive and grow into more mould colonies once the curtains get warm again. Ideally, its best to remove these mould spores from your rooms before they spread. The spores may attach to other furnishings and the walls and of course float around in the air. Not healthy at all.
Cleaning the curtains in the winter and removing the mould actually helps stop the spores from spreading.
All curtains are sanitized to remove bacteria and viruses.

Curtain Clean are specialists in removing the mould from your curtains.
We are open again for curtain cleaning. Drop them into the Wash House in Kilbirnie or use our door to door service.

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82 days ago

Happy St Patricks Day!

Robert Anderson from Curtain Clean Wellington

Here are 10 interesting facts about St Pattys Day to celebrate the holiday.
1. St. Patrick was not Irish - Ireland's patron saint was, in fact, from Wales!
2. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in New York in the 1760s.
3. Though we've come to associate kelly green with… View more
Here are 10 interesting facts about St Pattys Day to celebrate the holiday.
1. St. Patrick was not Irish - Ireland's patron saint was, in fact, from Wales!
2. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in New York in the 1760s.
3. Though we've come to associate kelly green with the Irish and the holiday, the 5th-century saint's official colour was "Saint Patrick's blue," a light shade of sky blue. The colour green only became associated with the big day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century.
4. Don’t be fooled by any holiday decorations showing lady leprechauns. In traditional Irish folk tales, there are no female leprechauns, only nattily attired little guys who spend their days making and mending shoes (meaning they earned that gold they're always guarding).
5. St. Patrick never got canonized by a pope, making his saintly status somewhat questionable.
6. Guinness sales soar on St. Patrick's Day. Recent figures show that 5.5 million pints of the black stuff are downed around the world every day. On St. Patrick's Day that figure is doubled.
7. Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000.
8. How did the shamrock become associated with St. Patrick? According to Irish legend, the saint used the three-leafed plant (which is not to be confused with the four-leaf clover) as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was first introducing Christianity to Ireland.
9. According to Irish legend, St. Patrick wasn't originally called Patrick. His birth name was Maewyn Succat, but he changed it to Patricius after becoming a priest.
10. In Chicago every year, the Plumbers Local 110 union dyes the river "Kelly" green. The dye lasts for about five hours.

86 days ago

How to Make a No-Sew T-Shirt Bag

Robert Anderson from Curtain Clean Wellington

Here at Curtain Clean we are big advocates of sustainability. Clean, re-use, recycle!

Help us reduce waste and have fun doing it with our little tutorial on how to turn a T-shirt into a re-usable bag.

You’ll need:
• Old t-shirt – The thicker the fabric, the sturdier the bag
• Sharp … View more
Here at Curtain Clean we are big advocates of sustainability. Clean, re-use, recycle!

Help us reduce waste and have fun doing it with our little tutorial on how to turn a T-shirt into a re-usable bag.

You’ll need:
• Old t-shirt – The thicker the fabric, the sturdier the bag
• Sharp scissors, preferably fabric scissors
• Washable marker (optional)

Step 1: Cut the sleeves off so it resembles a singlet.

Step 2: Cut the neckline area into a circle or oval – these will become our handles. Trace a bowl to get a perfectly round circle.

Step 3: Turn the t-shirt inside out. Determine where you want the bottom of the bag to be and trace a line across. Keep in mind that depending on the fabric used, your tote is likely stretch and become longer when it’s filled with stuff.

Step 4: Cut slits from the bottom of the shirt up to the line marking the bottom of your bag. Keep the slits small to prevent large gaps in the bottom of the bag. You’ll want to cut both the front and back layers together because they need to match up for the next step.

Step 5: Tie the front and back fringe together in knots and turn the shirt right side out. For extra embellishments, tie the straps (handles) in knots, or tie bits of t-shirt scrap to the top.

P.S. We'd love to see your creations!!

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