PRODUCT CARE GUIDE
Our products require a little care and maintenance to ensure they look their best and can be enjoyed for many years by you and your family. Please see the care instructions below for our different materials.
Most of our furniture is made from solid timber. We use European Oak, American Oak, Elm, Birch, Ash, Asian Walnut and Beech.
As a natural product, timber responds to environmental conditions such as changes in temperature and humidity. The timber can expand and contract, warp and split if exposed to extreme heat sources such as open fires and gas heaters, heavily air conditioned environments, direct sunlight and prolonged contact with moisture. Please be careful when moving your furniture as dragging it across the floor will cause damage to the joins. Both of our surface treatments – polyurethane lacquer and vegetable based oil provide protection from sunlight and stains but there are measures you can take to further care for your furniture.
The majority of our range is lacquered with a light polyurethane coating that seals the wood and provides excellent protection against liquid penetration, stains and hot dinnerware. The resulting hard layer of lacquer gives our furniture a satin finish. Lacquered furniture doesn’t need to have wood oils applied and it can be washed with warm mild soapy water. Though the lacquer is durable we still recommend people use placemats on tables and try to avoid spillages because the more water and soap that is applied to the table over the years the more the surface will gradually become dull in appearance. Also avoid harsh chemicals and dropping hard or sharp objects onto your lacquered furniture, this will cause the surface layer of lacquer to crack and to repair the piece the entire surface will have to be sanded and re-lacquered, which is a big job.
A few of our styles now have the option of an oiled finish as well as a lacquered finish.
Our oiled furniture is very natural looking as the oil brings out the warmth and depth in the grain of the wood. It penetrates into the timber, which gives the furniture protection against stains and sun from the inside, rather than from a layer sitting on top. Oiled furniture requires more maintenance and we recommend that it is oiled with a good quality vegetable based oil every 12 months to hydrate and protect the timber. The Modern can provide you with an Australian made natural vegetable oil which is suitable for this job. Oiled furniture scratches and stains more easily than lacquered but the positive side is that you can repair a small area without having to sand the entire piece. A customer can do these repairs at home by sanding and oiling the affected area. Do not use strong cleaning detergents on oiled furniture as these can react with the finish and leave a mottled or cracked finish on the surface. As with the lacquered tables we recommend people use placemats on tables, try to avoid spillages and wipe up any liquid immediately.
To oil a piece of furniture, place a protective sheet underneath it to catch any drips. Always follow the instructions on the oil container and test the oil in an inconspicuous place. First sand with fine, 400 grit sandpaper along the grain of the piece to make the surface smooth. Apply the wood oil evenly with a dry cloth, wait until it is dry and repeat. Leave the second coat to partially dry for 10 – 20 minutes and wipe any excess oil from the surface. Buff with a clean dry cloth then leave the furniture before using it for at least 24 hours. Always wash your cloth thoroughly in water afterwards as oily rags left in balls can self-combust.
Extra leaves for both lacquered and oiled dining tables should be kept flat in a dry, cool environment to prevent warping.
Like timber, leather is a natural product which responds to environmental conditions such as changes in temperature and humidity. Good quality leather must be looked after to avoid it drying out and cracking. If care is taken your leather will last a lifetime and develop a beautiful patina that looks better with age. Some softening and marking of hides is to be expected.
Full Grain Leather
All of the leather we use in the manufacture of our furniture is full grain leather. This means it is 100% leather and not bonded leather (also called constituted leather) which is a mix of leather and paper or fibre pulp, often stuck to an acrylic backing, with a polyurethane coat. This can often crack and peel apart. We will never use bonded leather. Full grain leather can have different thicknesses depending on where the hide is taken from the animal. The thickness, pores, smoothness and patina will vary on different pieces of furniture and from batch to batch. Colour can also vary so when a customer buys multiples of one style we always sell them from the same batch.
Care of Full Grain Leather
Leather should be wiped regularly with a warm damp cloth to remove dust and dirt which can affect the surface over time. For stains you can spot clean with agood leather cleaner and a colourfast cloth and we recommend contacting a specialist leather cleaner to treat difficult stains. To nourish and hydrate your leather pieces we recommend you use a good leather conditioner designed for full grain leather every 6 months or so to restore a soft and natural feel. Always read the instructions on the container and test on an inconspicuous area first.
Tinted conditioners can restore the colour to leather that has faded from over exposure to sunlight. This can be done by you or by a professional leather cleaner.
You can add further protection to full grain leather by having it Microsealed ( microseal.com.au ) this permanent, non-toxic and natural application penetrates the fibres of the leather and will prevent stains and provide UV protection, which slows down fading. Protection will also prevent damage from body oils and make the leather easier to clean.
Some of our furniture is made from aniline leather – this is a term for the way the leather is dyed. It is full grain leather that has been dyed with soluble dyes rather than covering the surface with a topcoat (pigmented leather). This results in a product that retains the hide’s natural grain. Aniline leather is considered the purest form and best quality leather as the best hides are selected to produce it, therefore it is the most natural looking of leathers. It is characterised by the individual markings and tonal changes of an animal hide.
The pieces that are made with full grain aniline leather are the Map and Den series in red and black.
Care of Aniline Leather
Because the leather has no protective coating on the surface and has an open waxed finish normal usage and wear does cause it to scratch and mark easily. This marking is not a fault and it is considered a unique and attractive feature of aniline leather which develops a beautiful aged patina over the years. Aniline leather has no UV properties so it is more susceptible to fading as the dyes are affected by sunlight, therefore it is even more important with aniline leather to avoid exposure to harsh UV light. As with all full grain leather it should be wiped regularly with a warm damp colourfast cloth to remove dust and dirt and it can be spot cleaned with good quality aniline leather cleaner. A good leather conditioner designed for aniline leather can rehydrate and condition the leather to restore a soft and natural feel. We recommend customers apply it every 6 months or so. Always read the instructions and apply the conditioner on an inconspicuous area first. The best protection for aniline leather is having it Microsealed ( microseal.com.au ) this permanent, non-toxic and natural application penetrates the fibres of the leather and will prevent stains and provide UV protection, which slows down fading. Protection will also prevent damage from body oils and make the leather easier to clean.
Regarding cleaning all types of leather thoroughly we recommend that customers contact professional upholstery and leather cleaners to get the best results.
Our fabrics are a combination of synthetics and cotton. They are all selected for their durability and easy care requirements. To care for your fabric we recommend having your sofa or chairs Microsealed ( microseal.com.au ) to provide extra protection against dirt, dust, body oils, stains and UV fading. Microsealing is a permanent, non-toxic and natural application so it can take place in your home and your furniture can be used straight away.
As with leather keep your fabric upholstery out of harsh sunlight and avoid contact with liquids.
Please vacuum your furniture regularly and treat stains immediately by sponging warm water onto the affected area, do not rub or treat with harsh cleaners.
Many of our upholstery covers are removable. If your cushion or seat covers can be removed you can have them dry-cleaned. If they are not removable it is best to have specialist upholstery cleaners service them once a year.
Pilling is often a result of wear and tear but climatic conditions can also have an effect. Fibres in some clothing can transfer pills to the furniture. Pilling is not a defect and can easily be removed using a pilling appliance.
FOAMS AND INSERTS
Back and seat cushion inners will soften and conform to the shape of your body over time. We recommend rotating all seats and cushions if possible to distribute the cushioning evenly. Cushions need to be ‘plumped up’ regularly to maintain their appearance and shape.
Some of our dining chairs are upholstered with paper cord. Paper cord is a 3 ply paper product that is commonly used to weave a seat on Danish furniture. It is very strong and can last many years with normal use but it has no surface finish. Overtime through exposure to UV it will change appearance and age beautifully if cared for correctly. Paper cord can be protected with Microsealing ( microseal.com.au ). This will provide protection against dirt, body oils and UV light.
Cleaning is best done with a solution of 1 TBS of white soap flakes (like Lux) in 1 litre of warm water. Use a soft cloth and wash gently, it is important that the papercord is not drenched in the solution and that it is moistened evenly to avoid staining as the surface dries. Without rinsing allow the furniture to dry at room temperature so the soap solution is absorbed into the paper cord.
Repeat the process if the cord is badly soiled.
For harsh stains please use a specialist upholstery cleaner.
Our Marble coffee tables and side tables are made from hand polished marble so the surface has a handmade and uneven appearance. The variations in tone and the individual markings in the surface of the marble are not a fault but a characteristic of this natural product. Marble is a porous material so it is important that you use coasters and placemats and avoid liquid sitting on the marble for any length of time. Wipe up spills immediately and clean regularly with a warm damp cloth and soapy water.
We use strong safety glass for our coffee tables, though it is very durable all glass can scratch if impacted with a sharp object. Please clean regularly with a lint free cloth and a reliable glass cleaning product.
ARMADILLO & CO RUGS
Armadillo & Co rugs are made from cotton, wool and jute so they must be treated with methods suitable for natural fibres. To provide protection and extend the life of your rugs we recommend having them Microsealed (microseal.com.au). Direct sunlight and heat sources such as heaters and fireplaces will cause the natural fibres to dry out and fade over time, please position your rug away from these if possible. Please vacuum your rugs regularly and rotate any that are in high traffic areas.
Blot any liquid spills immediately with a colourfast cloth to remove excess liquid and place a thick wad of absorbent material (such as a paper towel) onto the stain and cover this with a heavy weight (such as a book) to draw the liquid upwards. Leave it for ten minutes.
If the spill has left a stain blot water based stains with plenty of warm water and oil based stains with warm water and a Woolsafe approved detergent (look for the Woolsafe logo). For both water based and oil based stains the process is the same.
Do not rub the stain and avoid using harsh chemicals on the natural fibres.
For both types of stains finish with a final treatment:
In a trigger spray bottle mix 1 part white vinegar with 5-10 parts water and spray this onto the effected area. Cover with a wad of absorbent material and add a heavy weight. Leave it for 24 hours before removing the weight and allowing the rug to dry completely.
For serious stains with highly coloured liquid (such as nail polish) please see a specialist Woolsafe Approved rug cleaner. For more comprehensive advice on caring for and cleaning Armadillo rugs and their recycled plastic Indoor/Outdoor collection please go to www.armadillo-co.com/care-and-maintenance.
COW HIDES AND GOAT HIDES
Animal hides are great for high traffic areas because they are durable and naturally stain and sun resistant but they require some care and cleaning from time to time. They will still fade slightly if they are in direct and harsh UV light for any length of time so try to avoid sunlight and rotate them every few months. Please vacuum regularly or take them outside to beat with a broom to remove loose dust and dirt.
Mop up any excess liquid with a paper towel or colourfast cloth immediately and push any thick or solid matter off the hide with the blunt edge of a knife in the direction of the hair, try not to push any nasty accidents deeper into the leather. For stains please blot the hide with warm water and a cowhide safe detergent. It is important when looking for a cowhide safe detergent to use one that is non alkaline as this maintains the PH balance of the hide, many brands of organic shampoo are non alkaline. Alternatively, you can use 1 part white vinegar to 5-10 parts warm water. White vinegar maintains the PH balance of a hide and removes any bad odours from the rug. Allow to dry at room temperature.
For really tough stains please use a specialist rug cleaning service.
Printed Fabrics – 100% cotton or linen
Fabrics should be washed separately at 60 degrees celsius before sewing to remove any excess dye and to accommodate a small amount of shrinkage in both the cotton and the linen. Use a detergent that does not contain any bleach or brightening agents. Soaking is not recommended as colour may bleed onto light areas. Marimekko does not recommend dry cleaning the fabric to ensure the original appearance is maintained. Excessive sunlight will eventually fade colours.
Marimekko fabrics are printed using either a flat bed or rotary printing method. Printing large print fabrics using the flat bed method leaves a repeat line at the end of the pattern and the prominence of this line depends on the fabric’s colour and pattern. The repeat line is not a flaw but a feature of the printing technique.
PVC coated fabrics
The easy-care phthalate free PVC-coated fabrics are intended for indoor use. Wipe off strong-coloured stains (such as carrot, tomato, berries, ink, sauces) immediately to prevent the stain from adhering to the porous coating. If the reverse side of the fabric becomes soiled, we recommend machine wash at 40 degrees celsius. Avoid using fast spin cycle. Do not soak, because printed colours may bleed. As Marimekko want their products to be as environmentally safe as possible, they have started to use only wax chemicals soluble in water. Please, remember that continuous machine-wash weakens the waxing, as water-soluable wax dissolves somewhat in washing. The fabric can be steam ironed on the reverse side.
The printed cotton bed linen should be washed separately in plenty of water at 60 degrees Celsius the first few times to remove any excess dye that may have remained on the fabric surface. A slight change in size, not exceeding 5%, may occur in the first wash.