Cleaning and care of costumes

Cleaning and care of costumes
Have you obtained a carnival or a historical costume, and are not sure how to take care of it? It can be sometimes a tough nut to crack. We will try to help you with this text, so that you can come to terms easily.

Careful handling

The most important thing is to deal with the costume reasonably. Believe that exactly this it half of the success. Destroyed can be any garment! Deal with the clothes carefully and take into account the following principles.

  • Sweat hurts! Human sweat contains acids that can create stains on the fabrics after some time. The longer you leave the sweat on the fabrics, the harder can be the stains removed by washing later. Therefore we advise you to remove it as soon as possible. Even better is to prevent the sweat stains. There are special sweat pads for the armpits that absorb the sweat and do not allow to contaminate the costume fabric. It is also possible to wear a simple t-shirt from cotton under the costume. But if you sweat excessively, this mightn´t be a sufficient solution for you. An application of antiperspirants that do not cause stains is essential. Please avoid deodorants and antiperspirants that contain alcohol!
  • Use perfumes with deliberation. Perfumes contain alcohol that causes fading of most colour fabrics. We advise therefore against the use of perfumes prior and during the wear of costumes unambiguously.
  • Be careful when eating. While you eat and drink, you push your costume in the greatest risk. You can stain it with food and drinks. Cleaning of a peach, or ketchup is then an unenviable task. You should take a bib, or protect yourself with a towel while eating. You cannot be careful enough!

In a clean and beautifully scented robe you will feel much better than in one that is dirty with food, mud, blood or sweat. And if you even perform in the costume, you will certainly be more confident and will feel better in every respect.

Cleaning of the costume

As far as the cleaning is concerned, each costume should be paid individual attention. The way of cleaning is always determined by the basic material of the cloth (wool, cotton, brocade, linen, duffel, velvet, satin, silk, etc.), from which the costume is made of. Further role plays the material processing, way and extent of the costume decoration and embellishment. If the costume consists of several parts, the whole cleaning process is much easier. If, for example, the bodice and the skirt with a blouse are sewn onto each other and form one piece, while every part is made of a different material – you have a problem.

Of course you have the opportunity to bring the costume to dry cleaners´ and pray that they make it right there, and you get the clothing in the original state. With no doubt, there companies specialized for the cleaning of such clothing - here your costume should not suffer any damage.

Most designers and producers of carnival and historical costumes take pains so that their garments look beautiful. On the other hand they have to consider that the costumes are affordable for their customers. Subsequent cleaning and maintenance of the costume come to their mind hardly ever! And then the whole tricky problem with cleaning has to be carried on the shoulders of the costume owner, i.e. you!

Some costumes cannot be cleaned at all. There are usually very richly decorated. Of course not with genuine jewellery, but with substitutes made of cardboard, paper, or with coloured beads that lose colours. The designers sometimes think up unbelievable things! Such costumes you have to at least air dry properly so that the sweat evaporates. Wigs and shoes should be dried as well.

The actual cleansing of a costume should look like this:

  • Preparation: In preparation for the actual cleaning, it is necessary to remove the jewellery, which could damage the garment during the washing. The jewellery will have to be sewn back onto the costume again after completion of the cleaning process. After the jewellery has been removed, dirtiest parts (contaminated with blood, mud, sweat, etc.) should be cleaned with special cleaning agents.
  • Cleaning: Prior to the cleaning it is necessary to sort the costumes by colour and basic material. Most costumes require only low revs and washing in cold water. For safety, it is good to give the individual costumes in special washing bags or pillowcases. If you intend to dry your costume, make sure that the stains were actually cleaned. Otherwise it could happen that the stains get larger by hot air. In any case, it is gentle and safe for most fabrics to be dried in natural air drying process.
  • Shaping: now the costume needs to be formed and ironed. You have to be careful when ironing as well. Avoid to iron satin at high temperature e.g. If your carnival or historical costume has a sewn-in label with care instructions, stick to them in any case. This will save you unnecessary worry.

Generally can be said that rather simple ONE-COLOR-costumes made from lighter materials (e.g. linen, cotton up to 180g/m2) can washed at home in washing machines. Most of our fabrics do not shrink if washed at temperatures up to 30° C.

Costumes from heavier materials (such as velvet or brocade) and ALL MULTI-COLORED costumes have to be given to the cleaners. The deciding factors are always the laundry care symbols on labels sewn inside the costume.

Storing the garments

Proper handling and cleaning are as important as storing it. Please take the following advice:

  1. The costume should be stored after thorough drying. If it is still a little damp, it could get mouldy. Mouldy marks can never be removed then.
  2. Do not store the costume in direct sunshine. The fabric colours fade under the sun rays.
  3. Do not hang up costumes in the closet if they are richly decorated with pearls, or other heavy jewellery. Just put it down. Otherwise the fabric gets stretched under the weight of the jewellery.
  4. If your costume has a zipper, you have to close it. If it has a velcro put both its counterpart together.
  5. Wrap the hangers in a cloth, on which you are going to hang the costumes! Wooden or plastic hangers can release acids that leave on the costume unwanted stains after a long-term contact with the textile.

No matter which costume you have chosen in the online store Outfit4events, we hope that it will serve you well and long. May every your festive event (carnival evening, historic ceremony, theatre performance, etc.) be a cheerful experience!

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