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Tips on Cleaning Your Civil War Uniform

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  • paulamccoach
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 29, 2004
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      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
      the mystique?
      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
      reenactors.

      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
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