Faire Garb > Garbing

Quick tip for refreshing garb between washes (or for non-washables)

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I'm sure that I've mentioned this before, but we've a lot of newer members, and I thought I'd throw it out again.

I steam pretty much all of my garb in the dryer (this is also how I pre-treat wools before sewing).  It's a fabulous way to shake a lot of wrinkles out and generally give new life to your garb, either for non-washables, or for between washing/ironing/drycleaning  Kind of similar to Dryel or home dry-cleaning kits, but without the cost or chemical smell.

Take a bath towel (preferably one you've washed most of the fuzz/lint off of already), get it completely wet, squeeze out a little of the excess (but don't wring it out--you still want it *wet*), and toss it into a dryer.  Set the dryer to high.  Add your garb pieces.  Run for about 30 minutes (until the towel is dry).  Promptly rescue the clothes from the dryer and hang up.  Voila!  Lovely fresh unwrinkled garb!

This works fantastic on silk and wool (you'll never see another wrinkled kilt or crushed silk chemise), really well on cotton gauze and linen (tough creases may still need the iron), and pretty well on heavier cottons.  This is the *only* way I ever "cleaned" my peacock blue velveteen Irish dress (b/c I didn't pre-shrink the fabric before sewing; silly me).  Use caution with delicate synthetics/beads/embellishments, or with mixing colors that might bleed when wet, and don't ever do this to an item that is stained without actually cleaning it first.

I just did my brown linen gamurra and gold-shot chemise (which have been sitting crushed in the bottom of my sewing tote all summer), and they look *fabulous.*

I've been wanting to try adding a little essential oil to the process to get some fragrance benefits, but I'm a little nervous about staining something.  I'll have to experiment.

There has also been another little quick tip around our faire for several years now. A former costumer was very allergic to Febreze and it couldn't be used on any of our costumes, ever. Instead, she used a 50/50 mix of vodka and water. The alcohol kills any odor-causing bacteria and doesn't leave behind any perfumes or the like. Some still use it and the costumer has also let us know that she started using the flavored vodkas and said they work just as well and leave behind a faint smell of lemon or whatever kind it happens to be.

Lady Rebecca:
^That's what we used this summer for all the non-washable opera costumes. If you're not allergic to Febreze, though, I would still go with that.

Joyce "Delfinia DuSwallow" Howard:
I use Dry Cleaners Secret, so far so good.

I know Texas Christian Univ theatre department uses the vodka/water mixture... except they call it a "secret formula" so no one decides to drink some during a show, heh.  It's serious stuff, after a few sprays, the boys' costumes smell fresh again and the dressing room loses the boys' locker room smell. And it doesn't mask the scent, like febreze, so none of that nasty mixed-smells smell.


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