How does one clean an old fukusa?

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My teacher taught me to use fukusa until they can’t be physically used anymore. One wipes their fukusa after a temae, but over the years, the tiny bits of matcha left after wiping build up. I have used damp baking soda on small sections of fukusa with good results. It removes the old matcha, but this method is not ideal for larger areas of the fukusa.

Please enlighten me on any proven methods to clean fukusa.

Or by extension, if you know methods to clean shiose silk from which fukusa are made, please share.

Best bow

Adam

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Hmmm – I have not really had this problem, since after every Tea, I use the damp towel in the mizuya to wipe off the surface of the fukusa.  A few strokes along and across the silk grain seems to lift most of the matcha off of it without significantly wetting the silk.  the one time I did actually wash a fukusa, the texture of the silk changed tremendously, and I had to iron it to get rid of the wrinkles, so there has to be some sort of sizing in the fabric.

 

  • Adam Sōmu
    That’s an interesting approach, Elmar. I’ll give it a go. I always use a velvet fukusa to wipe my silk fukusa. It takes off the matcha better than any other material I’ve tried. But I’ve never tried a damp cloth!
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This is what I do to old, dirty fukusa, kobukusa and shifuku: I put them in a big enough screw-top jar and fill it about 1/3 with acetone. Then I close the jar and shake it as much i can for about 2 minutes. Then I take the fabric out and press it between a whole bunch of cleansing tissues (facial tissues like we use in mizuya). This removes all of oil and most of te other dirt. If the fabric is silk it should survive, if it is synthetic fiber it may dissolve…

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Lately someone asked me what to do to refresh fukusa. I asked my sempai who has some silk kimonos what she is doing and she said she’s giving all her silk stuff, including fukusa, to dry-cleaner’s.

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