When she’s dusting painting frames and glassware, style icon and entrepreneur Lourdes “Doody” de Tuason is no slacker. She is dressed in a black Alexander Wang dress with a trendy cutaway hemline and appropriately shod in sexy sandals. Her look is retro, what with the big hair, soft flips and the trendy cat’s eyeliner.
Tuason is the owner of Mentxaca, a singular boutique known for the finest selection of European artisan glassware, crystals, silvercrafts and home furnishings that evoke a rarified lifestyle. To complement these elements, she imported fine goat hair brushes made by a German company named Redeker.
The latest addition was borne out of curiosity and concern. At home, the constant buffing of her antique gold-leaf Buddha encrusted with jewelry could one day lead to abrasions or the gradual chipping away of the finishing.
Likewise, every time she passed a large painting with a silver or gilt frame, she wondered when was the last time it was cleaned, since the top part was inaccessible.
One day, while traveling in Italy, she spotted a woman in a shop dusting the gilded frame of a painting with a special brush. The lady explained that it was made of goat’s hair. With research, she contacted Redeker, the German manufacturer. The brushes were so specialized that he could not supply the quantity she wanted because he had to wait for the goat’s hair to be sheared, which is twice a year.
Finer than human hair
Depending on the goat, its hair can be finer than a human’s. Traditionally, goat hair is used to create a smooth application for makeup finish; for blending and softening the hard edges in a painting; for grooming animals; and for expensive sweaters.
The Redeker speciality brushes are ideal for cleaning delicate products, says Tuason. When clients purchase crystal decanters, they often ask how to remove wine stains or how to keep them from getting cloudy, Tuason discovered the flex brush that can get into tight corners. Similarly, the champagne flute brush and wine stem brush can clean gently and never chip or scratch.
Since tall and narrow vases are the trend, the end brush reaches the bottom and the walls. The compact tufts all along the entire length of the brush prevent scratching or chipping of vulnerable lips of the vases.
Tuason favors the long-handled horsehair brushes that can clean chandeliers and gilded cornices, knock off dust and cobwebs.
As in any animal hair, these brushes are cleaned with mild shampoo and air-dried. Once the ritual has been completed, Tuason recommends dropping cedar oil in the burner. It keeps the bacteria from cleaning at bay.
Mentxaca is at Unit CI-A Karrivin Plaza, 2316 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, tel. no. 8435816.