The cleaning of a flag
Fahnen Kössinger, Feb. 24 at 07:59 a.m.
How do you clean a flag properly?A precious, embroidered flag makes every club very proud. It would be best if it never got dirty - but even the utmost care and maintenance are not able to prevent that there are still stains on the beautiful fabric. This is a case for professionals! For, on your own, you are not supposed to do more than patting of dust or carefully brush it off in the direction of the filament with a soft clothes' brush. Water or not to mention soap have to be kept away at any rate, and a flag must on no account be put into a household washing machine or to the chemical dry-cleaners'. Neither the basic materials nor the fine threads of the embroidery would withstand this strain. And instead of coming out of the machine clean and shining, the flag would be distorted or completely destroyed.
But what happens when a flag is professionally cleaned?In a first step, the worst dirt is being removed with a brush. Afterwards, the embroiderers check if and how deeply the stains have penetrated the texture. If the staining is only on the surface, it is sufficient to put the flag into a tenter frame so that it cannot be distorted when it gets moist. Then, the stains are being washed out carefully with a fine soap sud using a sponge. After cleaning and drying, the flag gets a special impregnation and becomes more stable and longer durable.
The process is more laborious if the dirt has penetrated the filaments deeply, e.g. because the flag has fallen into a puddle of mud and has become wet. Then, our embroiderers have to clean the single layers of the flag separately. In a first step, the flag is being disassembled, and its two parts are put in the tenter frame separately. The parts are both carefully cleaned with a tender soap sud and a soft sponge. When the flag is dry again, our experts examine it and decide if one turn is enough or if a second washing is necessary. More than two or at max three times are not allowed, however, as the fabric might be harmed. When the flag is clean again, it has to be impregnated. The treatment with a special medium takes care that the single layers of fabric remain stable and the flag cannot be distorted. In a last working step, the flag is assembled again by sewing and ready for the next performance.
There is a small step from the cleaning of heavily stained flags to their restoration. Especially when the embroidery was affected in a particularly bad way, it may be necessary sometimes to embroider over the damaged places. During a cleaning, smaller tears in the fabric, lose seams or sticking out threads in the embroidery can be removed relatively simply before they develop into a bigger problem. Thus, a flag will shine like new again even after being exposed to wind and weather for years.
Are you also interested in the maintenance and possible repair works of printed flags? Then visit our service column click here, where we put together usage and cleaning tips for flags in digital and silk screen printing.