Hand fans are simple-looking but functional implements that make for a long-lasting gift, souvenir, or heirloom piece. They come in a great variety and basically named after the type of material that is made for their leaf, which include cardboard, mulberry paper, rice paper, sandalwood, silk, feather, cotton fabric, silk, and many others. While generally easy to maintain, caring for your hand fans diligently will definitely make them looking brand new for a long time despite frequent uses.
Here are five (5) practical tips on how to care for hand fans.
Open new folding fans carefully until their folds are properly established.
The folding nature of hand fans, in part, is a result of the folds that are made on their paper or fabric leaf. Thus, except for wood fans, the folds of folding fans – especially if they are made of a thick material – usually need a good amount of time to be established so they can be flipped open and closed quickly and easily.
Store hand fans in a box, pouch, or hand fan stand when not in use.
It is always essential to keep your hand fans in their box, pouch, or stand when not in use. Doing so not only helps to keep them clean and fragrant, particularly if they are made of sandalwood, it also protects their metal rivet from damaging, breaking, or getting loose.
Check that the metal rivet of your folding fan is properly secured.
A folding fan’s metal rivet works so hard in keeping its ribs secured and intact. You will easily know, however, when the metal rivet starts to get loose when the fan:
- Feels easier than usual to flip open and close;
- Seems unsteady when waved back and forth; and,
- Needs to be held with added pressure as repeated fanning motion causes its ribs to gradually slide and close.
At the first signs of any of these, check that the tiny dome-shaped cover of the metal rivet is tightly sealed, or else, leaving it that way will further expose it to various pressures that may eventually cause it to break.
Immediately get rid of dirt and stain on your hand fan’s leaf.
Gently brush-off the dirt that comes in contact with your silk, cotton, paper, or feather fan before it creates a stain that becomes hard to remove and that damages its design. Wash your silk or cotton fan, if necessary, and lightly dab a cotton ball that is dipped in oil to your feather fan to keep it looking shiny and vibrant-colored.
Use the right fan for the kind of breeze that you need.
Fans can lend a gentle to strong breeze. However, such is, basically, influenced by the strength and thickness of the material of their leaf. Avoid stressing your hand fans by picking the right one that suits your need:
- Paper fans, due to the wide availability of their material, are regularly cheap but are usually suitable for a slightly breezy to cool but humid weather;
- Feather fans, owing to the delicate nature of feather, are best used for gentle fanning or as an accessory to formal, evening occasions; and,
- Wood, as well as cotton, buri, and silk fans, because of the proven durability of their leaf, are highly useful for long-term and frequent use during a hot and humid weather.
Care for your fans like you would a precious work of art and enjoy them not only for the cooling comfort that they lend or as a summer accessory, but also as a fine masterpiece that is the work of hands by hand fan artisans.