A History of Applied Fiber and Fabric Enhancements (Part 2)

The primitive man hunted wild animals for food. He removed the hides and skins form the dead animal carcass and used them as crude tents, clothing, footwear, and bedding.

The earliest record of the use of leather dates from the Paleolithic period. Cave paintings discoverd near Lerida in Spain depict the use of leather clothing.

Excavation of Paleolithic sites has yielded bone tools used for scraping hides and skins to remove hair. These scraped skins rapidly putrfied and became useless, so a method of preservation was needed.

The earliest method was to stretch out the hides and skins on the ground to dry, rubbing them with fats and animal brains while they dried. This had a limited preserving and softening action. Primitve man discovered also that the smoke of wood fires could preserve hides and skins, as did treating them with and infusion of tannin-containing barks, leaves, twigs, and fruits of certain trees and plants. It seems likely that man first discovered how to preserve leather when he found that animal skins left lying on a wet forest floor became tanned naturally by chemicals released by decaying leaves and vegetation.


Fat tanning is the oldest method of waterproofing skins and turning them into leather. Ancient Assyrian texts, as well as Homer’s Iliad, mention this method. Ancients would rub ainmal fat into the skins, stretching them to help the fat incorprate into the hide. The resulting leather resisted moisture and rot because, as we all know, oil and water do not mix.


Brain Tanning is another common method of turning skins or hides into water-resistant leather. Used by ancient Native Americans, brain tanning involves soaking cleaned skins in a mixture of water and the animal’s own brains. Though this may seem disgusting, brains conain both emulsifying fats and softening agents that help preserve the finished leather.


Smoking was another common method ancient peoples used to tan and waterproof leather. Most likely discovered by accident, hides were exposed to smoke, a preservative and drying agent. This helped protect the finish product against moisture and rot. Often used in conjunction with methods like brain tanning, smoking wasn’t absolutely necessary but did give the hides additional softness and an appealing brown color.


All of these methods did improve the natural leather’s ability to withstand wear and limited exposure to moisture. it even gave a small layer of protection against UV damage. It did not, however, provide any redustion in flammability. In fact, it probably made it burn faster!


A History of Applied Fiber and Fabric Enhancements (Part 1)

The subject of textile enhancement is as broad and varied as there are uses and types of fibers and fabrics.



For this series we will be looking at two specific types of material utilization. Residential and Commercial Furnishings and Decor.


We will discover, however, that most of the enhancements we utilize in these two areas came from development in other areas of utilization.


Now, a quick word on “Applied Enhancements”

Obviously, there are hundreds of applications to fabrics that could be considered “enhancements.” Everything from pigmentation to treatments textile feel is technically enhancing the fabric.

We will be concentrating on enhancements that are “appled” treatments and not something that was engineered into the textile or fabric at its point of origin or manufacture.

The applied enhancements we will be discussing in this series will pertain to four areas of improvement.
1. Water Repellency: A fabric’s ability to repel or resist the absorption of moisture.
2. Wear Resistance: A fabric’s ability to sustain use and/or wear.
3. Fade and UV Resistance: The ability to reduce the amount in which a fabric is degraded by Ultra Violet Light. (Sunlight)

PicMonkey Collage

Humans have been applying enhancements to fibers for a long, long time!

This is a leather treatment shop in Morocco that has been in use for hundreds of years.


This is an ancient piece of linen coated with wax.


From its earliest beginnings our relationhip with fabrics has been that of a constant search for improvement to its natural performance. Mankind first used the skins of animals as clothing.

Next came their use in making primitive shelters and later to help make these environments more comfortable.

It can be said that as a species we are never happy with good enough. We are always seeking to make things better, stronger, and last longer. And that has never been more evident than through how we have improved upon nature’s fibers, textiles, and fabrics.


Outdoor Upholstery and Furniture Cleaning in Nashville, TN

When it comes to upholstery cleaning in Nashville Tennessee, Pro-Care can cover all of you furniture cleaning needs. It’s not only important to clean your furniture and upholstery inside the home but outside as well. The same 12 step process is used for both. For more information visit us online.
Upholstery Cleaning

How to Select Carpet by Pro-Care, Nashville’s Premium Carpet Cleaning Company

Carpet Selection Guide (Post 3 of 5)

There are many different types of fiber used to make carpet. In this section we are going to give you the PROS & CONS of the four most popular fibers, Nylon, Polyester, Olefin, and Wool.


  • Good Elasticity – Nylon will stretch up to 33% of its length and still regain its original shape. This is very important in heavy traffic areas where furniture may be dragged across the carpet.
  • Very Abrasion Resistant – It even surpasses wool. Many manufacturers offer wear guaranties.
  • Static Resistant – Not its ancestry, but today’s fibers do very well.
  • Heat Sets Well – When properly heat set, nylon retains its crimp, twist, and dye extremely well.
  • Good resiliency – Nylon can be crushed for long periods and still regain its original shape.
  • Non-Absorbent – Nylon dries quickly since it will absorb less than 8% of its weight in H20.
  • Mildew Resistant – Nylon provides no food source, but mildew can grow on it if another food source is available. Notice the damage that can be done under an over watered potted plant.
  • Nylon responds very well to most professional cleaning methods and treatments.
  • Nylon is almost always acid dyed. It is rarely solution dyed, so it can have problems with bleaching, fading, urine reactions, etc.

For Part Three we will focus on the Pros & Cons of Nylon.

For more information visit Pro-Care ONLINE.

Spot Cleaning Urine, Part 2

Whether you have a new pet you’re currently house training or one that’s been in the family for years and just can’t make it to the door anymore, this should make the clean up go a little better.

Enzymes are the best cleaning agent for urine, vomit and feces. An enzyme is the only cleaning agent that actually eats up the bad bacteria. For the best results use an enzyme spotter after you have rinsed the carpet, especially if the spot is not a fresh one.

We recommend Nature’s Miracle, which can be purchased at any local pet store. Always read the directions before use! Products to Avoid Try to stay away from products with high pH such as ammonia, Resolve and oxygen bleaches. These products will leave the carpet with a residue and in a high pH state, which will enable the carpet to attract dirt like a magnet. In some instances the use of the wrong product can cause the urine stain to be permanent. Please call Pro-Care first if you are not sure about a product you may want to try.

For a printable version of this article click HERE. For ore information on Pro-Care and our services click HERE.

Spot Cleaning Urine, Part 1

Pet urine can cause permanent damage to your floors and fabrics. It can also create an unhealthy indoor environment. When urine is first deposited onto a floor or fabric, it has a pH of about 5 or 6, which is on the acid side of the pH Scale and is easier to remove when it is fresh. Once it dries it turns “alkaline” or to a high pH between 10 to12 on the scale and becomes more difficult to remove. The warm acid state of the urine offers a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which begin to flourish almost immediately. In this original acid state the urine begins to oxidize and react with the carpet to create a color change, which will become permanent if the urine is not removed immediately. Some of this color change can be attributed to the strong ammonia that forms as the urine passes through bacteria and chemical change. If left for days or weeks, depending on the fabric or floor type, it will change the dye structure, therefore causing permanent staining. Even if the soluble deposits are removed, the damage to the dye structure may already be done.

There are two sources of odors associated with urine. The first comes from bacteria that grow abundantly in dark warm places with a never-ending food source. A pet can feed the bacteria daily! This bacteria growth and breakdown of the urine creates amino acids. These complex organic compounds will often work deep into the fibers to a point of becoming part of the fiber. This can present a challenging situation. The waste materials and gases from the decomposing urine create an unpleasant odor. When dried urine is remoistened, it gives off an ammonia gas. If smelled once it is seldom forgotten.

The second source of odor is chemical odor that is present even when the bacteria have been killed. This explains the reason that more than sanitizing is necessary to neutralize odors from urine. Urine also presents additional odor problems when the relative humidity is high. The salts and crystals that are left behind as the urine dries are hydrophilic and draw water to them. Dried urine is often easy to smell in the humid months because the salts attract the moisture, the moisture evaporates putting out a greater proportion of odorous ammonia gas. You must get rid of the urine salts in and under the carpet to get rid of the odor. That’s why Cleaning existing urine spots WILL NOT remove any associated odor. In fact, it could INCREASE the odor in the air space for a temporary period of time. 

On our next post we discuss spotting options for the home owner.

For a printable version of this article click HERE. For ore information on Pro-Care and our services click HERE.

The Carpet & Rug Institutes* 3 Steps for Proper Carpet Care.

Carpet cleaning is just like exercise! If you get into a routine and keep it up, you will see great results and feel better for it. And understanding the right way to clean carpet will help you save time by doing it correctly the first time with products that do the job right from the start. Not only will Seal of Approval cleaning products help keep your carpet looking great, they can also help meet the warranty requirements of the carpet manufacturer. Below are three simple steps to keeping your carpet clean and looking great:

1.Vacuum at the right frequency with a CRI-approved vacuum.

2.Clean spots and spills quickly with products that do not damage the carpet or cause it to re-soil more quickly.

3.Professionally deep clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months to remove embedded dirt and grime.

Preventing dirt and grime from getting on the carpet in the first place is a great way to start keeping it clean. The following helpful hints can stop dirt in its tracks.

•Use mats — Outdoor and indoor mats or runners can reduce the amount of dirt that enters the house.

•Take off your shoes — You can save wear and tear on carpet by asking everyone to take their shoes off before entering your home.

•Change your air filters — Change air filters in your heating and air-conditioning systems as recommended by the manufacturer’s directions. The more dust and particles removed by the filter, the fewer that fall onto the carpet.

*The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) is the science-based source for the facts about carpet and rugs. Whether you are a homeowner, an architect, or a facility manager, making the right decisions starts with having the facts. CRI’s job is to prove how your environment for living, working, learning and health is better

— thanks to carpet and rugs.

Learn more at www.Carpet-Rug.Org

For maintenance and spotting tips, visit us online!



Upholstery Cleaning in Nashville Tennessee

Pro-Care’s 12 Step Upholstery Cleaning Process

Pro-Care is IICRC certified in upholstery cleaning and is recognized as one of the most educated and experienced upholstery care companies in middle Tennessee. Upon a thorough inspection, our certified technicians will determine the proper cleaning procedure for your specific needs. We can also apply MicroSeal permanent textile protector to ensure your fine fabrics continue to have lasting beauty between cleanings. Fo r more information on MicroSeal permanent sealant, visit MicroSealOfNashvile.

For more information on Pro-Care’s 12 Step Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning Process in Nashville Tennessee, visit us at ProCareOfNashville.

Carpet Cleaning in Nashville Tennessee

Pro-Care’s 12 Step Carpet Cleaning Process

• Step 1: Pre-Inspection

Our Technician will do a walk through inspection with you to identify soiling conditions, carpet construction, and potential permanent stains.

• Step 2: Pre-vacuum
Your carpet is pre-vacuumed with a commercial vacuum to remove bonded, insoluble dry soil.

• Step 3: Furniture Moving
Sofas, chairs and tables will be carefully moved. Larger pieces, such as beds and dressers are left in place under our regular pricing structure. Furniture will be protected with disposable blocks and tabs.

• Step 4: Pre-spot
Certain spots are pre-treated for maximum removal.

• Step 5: Pre-spray
Traffic areas are pre-treated with a biodegradable traffic lane treatment.

• Step 6: Pre-groom
Your carpet will be pre-groomed with a carpet groomer or rotary cleaning machine (depending on soil level) to further loosen traffic area soil.

• Step 7: Extract and Rinse
Once the soil has been loosened, our state-of-the-art truck-mounted hot water extraction cleaning process will thoroughly flush the carpet pile. Pressure and heat are regulated to prevent the carpet from being over-wet.

• Step 8: Neutralizer
The pH is balanced on every carpet and fabric cleaned. This is one of the most important steps according to the manufacturers of carpet. It is accomplished during the extract & rinse process or a post spray will be applied.

• Step 9: Post Spot Treatment
Potential permanent stains, as identified by the technician, may not be removed.

• Step 10: Post Groom
The Carpet pile is set in one direction to aid the drying process.

• Step 11: Speed Dry
High velocity air movers are placed on the carpet to lessen the drying time.

• Step 12: Post Cleaning Inspection
Our technician will walk through your home with you to point out the cleaning results and make sure that you are completely thrilled with the job.


Pro-Care is a professional, full-service carpet care company serving the Middle Tennessee area, including Davidson, Williamson, Robertson, Cheatham, Rutherford, Wilson, and Sumner counties. Pro-Care has offered premiere carpet cleaning in Nashville since 1995.

Pro-Care specializes in carpet cleaning, carpet restretching and repairs, color repair, upholstery cleaning, oriental and area rug cleaning, ProSeal fiber and fabric protection, MicroSeal permanent stain and sun fade protection, hardwood cleaning and re-coating, tile and grout cleaning and sealing, natural stone cleaning and sealing, marble polishing and sealing, and urine damage treatment.

For more information and a complete list of services, call Pro-Care at 615-221-4100 or visit Our Website.

Pro-Care’s History

In 1994 Jim Kilpatrick set a goal to establish a service business in the area where he lived. After consulting with people about a variety of businesses, Jim settled in on the carpet care business. He chose carpet care primarily because it was viewed as a service industry needing professional attention and requiring integrity and honesty in order to grow and succeed. Jim spent six months researching the market, and by December 1994 had written his five-year business plan.

In January 1995, Bridgepoint, a national distributor of carpet care products, opened a branch facility in Nashville. Over the next 5 months, Jim was able to acquire the equipment, supplies and some certification classes through Bridgepoint. He also hired his first employee who was attending one of the classes during that same time.

In June 1995, Pro-Care served its first customer, and by the end of the year 2000, its fifth year in business, the client list had grown to more than 800.

Starting in the fourth year of operations, in keeping with Jim’s five-year business plan, he was openly looking for the right person to take over Pro-Care. At that time he met John R Browning, III who had recently established his own fledgling carpet care company. Before John started Browning Carpet Cleaning Inc., in July 1997, most of his experience came from working in his father’s carpet care business. John purchased Pro-Care in February 1999, which allowed him to secure the experience of trained technicians as well as an established customer base. Jim was satisfied that he had found someone who would practice the same high quality and honest business principles he himself had fostered since Pro-Care’s beginning, five years earlier.

After the sale, Jim continued to work with John as a consultant through the year 2000, introducing John to customers as their need for services arose.

John has continued the successful growth of Pro-Care. Pro-Care is also recognized throughout the country as one of the most educated, experienced and organized floor care companies. John continues to be invited each year to participate in training sessions, brain storming sessions and seminars with the leaders in our industry.