Tips on Cleaning Your Civil War Uniform
- 5 Tips on Cleaning Your Civil War Uniform
by Paula and Coach McCoach
How necessary is cleaning your Civil War Uniform?
The every day Confederate or Union soldier's uniform was actually
never made to be washed. They wore out so fast that many of them
were never cleaned - ever.
This leaves us with the question
Do you really need to wash or dry clean your Civil War uniform?
Some reasons for cleaning a uniform may be
1. To prevent it from smelling really bad.
(Some hardcore reenactors feel that smelling really bad is part of
What do you think about having an "authentic smell?)
2. To prevent the various body chemicals that the uniform can
absorb or acquire like sweat, body oils, from destroying the
integrity of the fabric.
3. To have your uniform look good.
4. To do some type of seasonal, yearly, monthly maintenance to
preserve your uniform.
So, considering all of these things, if you still want to clean your
uniform, here are my suggestions.
1. Do as little as possible. Less is better.
2. Jackets, pants, and vests (wool/jean cloth) - None of mine have
ever been laundered.
3. What I do is I put them outside on the porch on a hanger and let
them air out.
4. If I want to get some of the dirt out, I use a nice stiff brush
and brush the dirt out of it.
(A stiff hairbrush works fine.)
5. If you still really want to clean it, I would suggest soaking it
in cold plain water
with some type of wool fabric cleaner like Woolite.
Any cleaning tips you have please send them to
coach@..., so we can pass them on to other
Coach McCoach has been creating patterns and making Civil War
uniform items for 25 years. His Civil War uniform designs have been
seen in the movies GETTYSBURG, ANDERSONVILLE and the Antietam
Visitors Center. For more information, contact
coach@... or visit http://www.civilwaruniforms.net
2004 permission granted to reprint this article in print or on your
website so long as the contact information is included to
coach@... and http://www.civilwaruniforms.net