Cleaning Old Horsehair for Upholstery
Horsehair was commonly used during the 19th century when upholstering. Horsehair as the name implies is taken from the mane and tail of the horse. Horsehair was always used because it’s known for being durable when used in upholstering.
So if you are upholstering an item, you will most probably find horsehair when taken your piece of furniture apart. You can re-use horsehair for your re-upholstering project but before you do you need to wash it.
Horsehair washing Instructions
Before you take you piece of furniture apart it’s recommended to vacuum the outside of the sofa/coach using the brush attachment.
When you have taking the piece of furniture apart then take the horsehair out and place it in a big container it’s most probably smelly and dusty!
When it’s a nice day outside go out in your back garden and fill up two big buckets with hot soapy water, immerse the horsehair and start to wash it. You can wash in the first then wash it again in the second bucket. Then rinse in clean water. Then allow the horsehair to drain.
You’ll find that after its wash the horsehair is very soft. Now you will still need to go through it and pull out any dirty old bits that are stuck in it.
After this wash the horsehair again in hot soapy water. You’ll find that the water is really dirty but that’s no wonder when it most probably has been inside the sofa/coach for 50 years or more.
After rinsing you now need to place it somewhere where it will dry. You can leave it outside on a garden table or on a clothes-drier and let the sun dry it naturally.
If it’s drying on the table you will turn the horsehair a few times so that the underside will also dry.
Once it’s dry put it in clean bags somewhere safely so you can use it in your upholstery project when you need it.