Textile Content and Care
Our patterned textiles are made from Indian Saris, which is the traditional clothing of the North. The saris, in their original state, are generally about 3-4 feet wide and 18 feet long, brightly colored, embroidered and made with a poly mix blend. We found the poly mix to be more durable and resist sun damage for longer than pure silk. Our artistic trim line is made with poly-silk mix trimmed with Sari borders. The Velvet is a rayon velvet with sari trimming. We recommend that sari, art and velvet fabrics are dry cleaned only to maintain their original shine and to avoid damage to the embroidery. Pinched seat cushions should be steam cleaned like other upholstered products.
Hard Wood Furniture Content and Care
Most of our furniture is made from Indian white rosewood, or sheesham wood (dalbergia sisoo), from renewable sources in northern India. It is kiln-dried and treated prior to manufacture. Sheesham is a heavy and hard wood with both a rich chestnut color and a honey oak swirled together, well suited for furniture making.
Every piece that we offer is made from natural hard woods, such as sheesham wood, neem wood, or recycled woods like old teak, with a rustic look. It is wise to expect slight imperfections, as they are part of the character of the piece. Our wood products will often come with original nails and patching. These are traits that are often sought after when selecting hand crafted pieces and old pieces of art. Slight discolorations in the stain are to be expected, especially in pieces that are made from old parts. Knotting is the most common of markings and is the fingerprint of natural wood. These vary in size and occur frequently in natural products. There will be seams where the carved panels are affixed together. Fissures or thin cracks will occur in the dense wood when transported though climates. The furniture is Kiln dried when it is treated and natural fissures will be created that are wood filled and sealed in India. They are surface separations and will not affect the integrity of the piece.
These characteristics are why every piece of our furniture is unique, no two pieces will be quite the same.
Indoor vs Outdoor Use
As many of our products are made from natural materials, some weathering will occur when exposed to the elements. All of our finishes are indoor finishes.
Position your furniture away from direct sunlight and heat. This will protect the wood from fading, and help avoid any cracking and movement in the joints.
Spills & Stains
Although our furniture is dry-kilned and treated, we advise you not to place anything hot or wet directly onto the surface as staining may occur. Try to use protective mats or coasters. Should you spill any food or liquid on the wood, wipe it off immediately with a dry cloth. If the wood becomes marked, restore the finish using products from your local home improvement store. The product ‘restore-a-finish’ is generally available at Home Depot and other such stores. It can be used to occasionally freshen up your product, and does not require sanding beforehand. Simply clean your piece thoroughly and apply the shade that best matches your finish, with a rag, in a well ventilated area. For serious water rings and marks from hot items that have penetrated the first couple layers of finish, you may choose to sand down your piece first and apply a wood stain to the whole surface to maintain an even finish.
Hardwood furniture is made to be used and enjoyed and accidents happen, especially when there are small children at home. Take these steps to keep damage from everyday life to a minimum:
- Unless your hardwood furniture has been sealed or painted, use coasters to prevent spills, stains and damage from hot dishes.
- Blot all spills immediately. Keep solvents, alcohol, nail polish and polish removers away from your hardwood furniture surfaces.
- When dusting, always lift lamps and other objects - don't slide them across the surface.
- Always lift lamps and other objects - don't slide them across the furniture's surface.
- Always lift hardwood furniture to move it - don't drag it.
- Open and close doors, drawers and lids gently
- Avoid placing hardwood furniture directly in front of radiators, heat runs or fireplaces.
- Don't expose hardwood furniture to continuous direct sunlight. Draw the curtains occasionally.
Heat, humidity and hardwoods
Did you know that up to half the weight of freshly sawn wood is water? Hard wood furniture is crafted from wood that is carefully dried, retaining just enough moisture for the furniture to properly acclimatize to the relative humidity in your home. The wood continues to exchange moisture with the air, shrinking and expanding in response to changes in relative humidity.
Like your own skin, solid hardwood furniture's natural response to extremely dry air is to lose moisture and shrink a bit. The halves of an extension table may part slightly or a few tiny openings may appear on a solid wood surface. This will correct itself as the relative humidity rises, and the hardwood absorbs enough moisture to expand slightly.
Parts of your hardwood furniture may absorb excess moisture from the air and expand, perhaps causing drawers to stick. Once again, this will correct itself as your home's relative humidity decreases. The quality and sturdiness of your hardwood furniture are not affected by these natural changes.
Wood Care Tips
It's surprisingly simple to protect and enhance hardwood's natural beauty. All that's needed is some care. Here are a few tips from the experts:
Hardwood furniture surfaces also can be cleaned with a mild non-alkaline soap and water. Use the suds on a damp sponge or cloth, but be sure to pretest the solution on an out-of-sight-section to make sure it doesn't damage the finish. Dry immediately with a soft cloth and buff lightly, following the grain.
Hardwood finishes benefit from an occasional waxing or polishing. A paste wax can be applied every six to twelve months. Remove old wax first with a mild non-alkaline soap and water solution. Avoid waxing urethane-finished furniture. Waxing these surfaces causes them to gather dust and dirt rather than repel it.
For general cleaning, dusting with a soft cloth will suffice. Most standard household spray polishes contain silicones, which provide a wet 'slippery' sensation when applied to an item of furniture however this will often build up within the wood grain and on the surface of the wood, leaving a white residue. Natural wood needs to be able breathe and contract and expand with differing temperatures and moisture contents and this residue can limit this and ultimately deaden the natural patina or sheen of the wood. Tara Home does not recommend the use of such products.
Repairs made simple
Minor damage to solid hardwood furniture can be repaired quickly and effectively with the right materials, a bit of elbow grease, and some careful attention to detail. More complex repair or refinishing jobs are best left to professionals. Today's high-performance finishes demand special care when it comes to stain removal. While there are countless remedies for stains, some may damage the furniture's finish. If you're at all unsure, you should call a professional refinisher to take care of it. Please also note that Tara Home cannot be held responsible for treatments that you choose to undertake.