My Mother Spent Several Years As A Textile Conservator

November 4, 2009

My mother spent several years as a textile conservator

My mother spent several years as a textile conservator.  It was her job to clean and preserve fabrics of all kinds without damaging them for San Francisco’s The Mexican Museum.

When she saw our segment on denim care, she just about exploded out of her seat to send me an email demanding that we use Orvus Paste Shampoo rather than Woolite Dark, which is what we recommended.  And moms are always right.

Let’s start with this admission: Orvus Paste Shampoo is for horses.  And dogs.  On the plus side, though, it’s apparently “great on manure stains.”

Orvus is used by conservators because it’s completely Ph-neutral and exceedingly gentle, even more so than Woolite or Dr. Bronners or any other product on the market.  It’s also used by quilters to care for delicate quilts – if you’re buying the small jar, you’ll find it at a quilting store, rather than the feed stores where you’ll find the larger jars.

Now, all of this is getting a bit precious, I know.  I’ve used regular laundry detergent to wash my jeans, and it was just fine.  But there’s no doubt that the process is part of the fun of raw denim, and I’m not going to keep you from buying some Orvus, in case of manure stains.

Plus, I’ve got a dog who needs a shampoo from time to time… and a quilt Nee-Naw made that could use a wash.  That’s it, it’s settled.  Orvus Paste Shampoo it is.