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Re: [Italian Renaissance Costuming] Re: Linen vs Cotton debate- Any suggestions?

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  • Holly Frantz
    I have to weigh in on this. I ve been doing Italian Renn (Florentine, late 15th century) for three years and in the last year have moved over to using 100%
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 24, 2002
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      I have to weigh in on this. I've been doing Italian
      Renn (Florentine, late 15th century) for three years
      and in the last year have moved over to using 100%
      linen instead of cotton for summer weight dresses. I
      buy online and can usually find 100% 54" linen of
      various weights and colors for between $6-7 a yard.
      This may seem a lot more than cotton but the only
      cotton available at the local stores tends to be
      handkerchief weight or calico prints. What's more,
      I've found there is a huge difference in the comfort
      level between wearing cotton and linen (suggestion, if
      you want to get the full benefit of linen, then your
      all your layers need to be of linen. One layer of
      something that doesn't breathe as well and you've
      nulled the linen benefit.)

      I find linen by far cooler than cotton and the wrinkle
      factor isn't any different. I've never had my linen
      shrink or bleed, either. And I sweat lots in it, too!
      I live in the Barony of Stargate in Ansteorra and
      most of our outdoor events take place in 85 plus
      degree pweather with 70% humidity so there's lots of
      sweat.

      The first thing I do with my linen is set the color
      using lots of kosher salt. Then I wash the linen in
      extremely hot water so it can go ahead and shrink and
      do what it likes. Once the garment is finished, it's
      only washed in cold water.

      Niccola Setaro

      --- curvess2000 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      > I have a lot of linnen cotton blend dress in my
      > wardrobe. the usual
      > mix is 55% 45%, this is a great mix and helps keep
      > the costs down
      > too. the tendancy is for it to crease, unavoudable
      > really. One
      > thing I have found that helps is to hang it out wet
      > on a hanger. the
      > weight of the water pulls the creases out and
      > reduces the need for
      > ironing.
      >
      > Some of these clothing pieces I have had for over 5
      > years, and have
      > not shrunk in all that time. I do however cold wash
      > only and, pre
      > wash all my fabrics, regardless of fibre content
      > prior to making up.
      >
      > Hope this helps,
      >
      > Cheers
      >
      > Deb
      >
      >
      >
      > --- In italianrenaissancecostuming@y...,
      > aubergine_dreams
      > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > Hi all
      > >
      > > I know that Cotton was not around in the time we
      > bring forth, or I
      > > should say not as prevalent as it is today. In
      > fact I hear they
      > made
      > > cheap common fabric with wool!
      > >
      > >
      > > So I have been using linen for a little while, and
      > MAN! the
      > wrinkles
      > > and stuff I have to deal with and the loss of
      > color oh! and the
      > > continuing shrinkage!
      > >
      > >
      > > I am more ready to go with a good satin or silk!
      > >
      > > But for tourney garb I am still working with
      > cotton, I am going for
      > > the Twills than the lighter cotton.
      > >
      > > Anyone work with this?
      > >
      > >
      > > Cilean
      >
      >
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    • n2kye
      ... How do you do this? (How much salt, how much solvent, which solvent (I presume water?) at what temperature, etc.) ... If both color and shrinkage have been
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 24, 2002
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        --- In italianrenaissancecostuming@y..., Holly Frantz <hefrantz@y...>
        wrote:

        > The first thing I do with my linen is set the color
        > using lots of kosher salt.

        How do you do this? (How much salt, how much solvent, which solvent
        (I presume water?) at what temperature, etc.)

        > Then I wash the linen in extremely hot water so
        > it can go ahead and shrink and do what it likes.
        > Once the garment is finished, it's only washed
        > in cold water.

        If both color and shrinkage have been set, is there a difference that
        you would not want to wash in a warmer temperature water?


        Brenda, another newbie to this list
        webwarren@...
      • Holly Frantz
        ... Let s just say I d prefer to be safe than sorry. I have once washed the linen in warm water to make sure that some mud was removed and didn t have any
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 24, 2002
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          > If both color and shrinkage have been set, is there
          > a difference that
          > you would not want to wash in a warmer temperature
          > water?

          Let's just say I'd prefer to be safe than sorry. I
          have once washed the linen in warm water to make sure
          that some mud was removed and didn't have any
          shrinkage and didn't notice any fading in color (the
          outfit was red and black).

          If you search through the SCA garb archives there are
          many discussions on how to set color in fabric, what's
          best for naturals v. synthetics, etc. I think the
          general rule is salt for naturals and vinegar for
          synthetics but I've used the reverse and didn't see
          any real difference in the two. You do have to let
          synthetics sit longer, though. What I do has been the
          result of trial and error, what works for my water
          (chlorinated, very low mineral content), etc.
          Different people have different procedures.

          For linen, I run an old washer (or bathtub, large
          plastic bin, etc.) full of enough luke-warm water to
          cover the fabric about 1". You want as strong a
          concentration as possible so only use as much water as
          you need to submerse the fabric. The water shouldn't
          be cold and shouldn't be hot either, just a nice "been
          sitting out on the table for a few hours" type of
          warm. For 10 yards of linen, I use two large boxes of
          Kosher or Pickling Salt. (These are the boxes that
          are about 8" high. I'm currently in the UK on a work
          project and can't run to the cupboard to find out how
          many oz. in a box). Stir well to make sure all the
          salt is dissolved before you add the fabric. Add the
          fabric and stir well to make sure that all the air
          bubbles are removed and all parts of the cloth are
          wet. Let sit for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring
          every 15 minutes. I then stick the fabric in the
          washer on the spin cycle to try to remove as much
          water as possible. I then let the fabric air dry
          before dumping it in the washer with hot water and
          soap. Linen can go through the dryer to at this
          point. Again, once I've got the garment made up, I
          don't put it in the dryer except to get out wrinkles
          (I know it probably won't shrink after what I've put
          it through but I don't like to push my luck!).

          If you're looking for a commercial product to set the
          fabric, try Dharma Trading's dye set product.
          http://www.dharmatrading.com/other_ingredients.html
          I've used it a few times with good results. Be
          careful though b/c the instructions say you need to
          wear gloves and protective goggles, etc. I think the
          Ritz dye company in the U.S. makes a dye fixative but
          I've never been able to find it.

          Niccola



          --- n2kye <webwarren@...> wrote:
          > --- In italianrenaissancecostuming@y..., Holly
          > Frantz <hefrantz@y...>
          > wrote:
          >
          > > The first thing I do with my linen is set the
          > color
          > > using lots of kosher salt.
          >
          > How do you do this? (How much salt, how much
          > solvent, which solvent
          > (I presume water?) at what temperature, etc.)
          >
          > > Then I wash the linen in extremely hot water so
          > > it can go ahead and shrink and do what it likes.
          > > Once the garment is finished, it's only washed
          > > in cold water.
          >
          > If both color and shrinkage have been set, is there
          > a difference that
          > you would not want to wash in a warmer temperature
          > water?
          >
          >
          > Brenda, another newbie to this list
          > webwarren@...
          >
          >
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          >
          > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          >
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          >
          >
          >
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          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >


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        • empathia50
          I have found that helps is to hang it out wet on a hanger. the ... I do this too Deb, I use white fabric hangers ( you can make some with batting) to keep
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 24, 2002
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            "I have found that helps is to hang it out wet on a hanger. the
            > weight of the water pulls the creases out and reduces the need for
            > ironing. "

            I do this too Deb, I use white fabric hangers ( you can make some
            with batting) to keep those awful hanger lines out.

            Unes*
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