Author Topic: Uniform cleaning  (Read 4731 times)

Offline Pony Racer

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Uniform cleaning
« on: March 22, 2006, 02:00:29 PM »
Ya'll when you get uniforms cleaned for this stuff - just get them dry cleaned right?

I will remove the removable buttons.

PR
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Offline Malachi Thorne

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2006, 02:27:07 PM »
Good Afternoon, Pony Racer;

If the uniforms are dirty enough to warrant a good cleaning, then a reputable dry cleaner is the safest way to go.  If you are just talking about surface dirt, a good brushing will do the trick; for anything ground in or sweat-stained, take your uniforms to a good dry cleaner.  And definitely remove all buttons, epaulettes, etc. beforehand.

A cautionary note: Even the best woolen materials are stressed in the dry cleaning process, as natural oils and other compounds in the wool are removed by the chemicals involved.  You might want to contact one or more local museums, and ask who they use to clean uniforms and clothing in their collections.  A dry cleaner who is used to working with a museum's requirements will know better how to treat your uniforms.  Although I live in the San Diego area, I take all of the vintage uniforms in my collection to a dry cleaner in Pasadena (about 100 miles away, but recommended by two major museums) whenever a good cleaning is required.

When I get home from work this evening, I'll post the cleaning instructions from a Victorian era Military manual in my collection.  The cleaning methods listed in the manuals of the time are an entertaining read.

I have the honor to remain,

Your Obedient Servant,

Bvt. Captain Malach Thorne
I have the honor to remain,

Your Obedient Servant,

Bvt Col. M. Thorne
Department of the Pacific

"Marine Artillery brings dignity to an otherwise vulgar brawl"

Offline US Scout

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006, 03:29:50 PM »
...A dry cleaner who is used to working with a museum's requirements will know better how to treat your uniforms. 


Bvt Captain Thorne offers some good advice.  Now that you're living in an area permeated with military museums, you might check and see who they use.

Also, since your Revenue Cutter Service uniform is very close to that worn by today's Navy, you might also check the cleaners aboard one of the Naval installations.  They will also know how to clean the uniform without damaging the buttons and lace.

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Offline Forty Rod

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2006, 04:04:53 PM »
Some cleaning establishments specialize in uniforms and can clean epaulettes, even ribbons and shoulder cords and sashes, but take them off and have them cleaned seperately.

Had one in Seal Beach when I asked if there was anything they wouldn't clean told me, "that damned bulldog." 
People like me are the reason people like you have the right to bitch about people like me.

Offline Malachi Thorne

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006, 08:25:15 PM »
Good Evening, Gentlemen;

As promised, here is an excerpt from "Her Majesty's Dress Regulations for the Officers of the Army 1900" as promulgated by the War Office, London:

Appendix II

1.  CARE AND PRESERVATION OF UNIFORM.
 
Care and preservation of uniforms and of gold lace

Articles of Uniform liable to be moth-eaten should be unfolded at intervals and well beaten and brushed in the open air.  Russia leather parings, powdered camphor, napthaline, carbolised paper, or turpentine sprinkled on brown paper, or on the garments, are good for the prevention of moth, and one or another of these preventatives should be placed amongst articles of uniform which are to be packed away for any time.

Before being packed away, gold lace, braid, cord, or buttons on garments should be covered with tissue paper, and then placed in tin-lined air-tight cases.  Care must be taken to use paper that is thoroughly dry.  For the prevention of moth, the garments should be well aired and brushed before being packed.

Gold trimmings and gold lace that have become slightly tarnished can be cleaned with a mixture of cream of tartar and dry bread rubbed up very fine, applied in a dry state, and brushed lightly with a clean soft brush.

Removing stains from scarlet tunics or frocks.

In many cases stains may be removed by the part affected being rubbed with dry pipeclay and then well brushed with a clean brush.  Should this fail to remove them the following mixtures may be tried:

1/3 ounce of salts of sorrel to ½ pint of boiling water
1/3 ounce of cream of tartar to ½ pint of cold water

Each solution should be kept in a separate flat vessel.

These quantities will be sufficient to clean 2 or 3 garments

The garment which requires cleaning should be first well beaten and brushed, and a perfectly clean hard brush should be used to apply the solutions.

The solutions should be applied alternately commencing with the salts of sorrel, until the garment has been washed all over, and all the stains removed.

If the weather permit, the cleaned garments should be hung up in the sun to dry; if not, they should be hung up in a dry place, but not near fires or stoves.


NB:
1.  “Salts of Sorrel” are still in use in modern times.  They are now known by their chemical name: Potassium Oxalate, or Oxalic Acid, which is used to remove ink stains from fabric.
2.  "Pipeclay" is literally the white clay used in the manufacture of clay pipes from the middle ages right up to today.

So, Pony Racer, if you cannot find a local dry cleaner you trust to clean your uniforms, or you simply want to clean them "the nineteenth century way", you can always hand a copy of the above regulations, along with your uniform, to a handy Midshipman...

I have the honor to remain,

Your Obedient Servant,

Bvt. Captain Malachi Thorne
I have the honor to remain,

Your Obedient Servant,

Bvt Col. M. Thorne
Department of the Pacific

"Marine Artillery brings dignity to an otherwise vulgar brawl"

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #5 on: Today at 10:30:51 AM »

Offline Pony Racer

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2006, 02:24:18 PM »
Tks MT - you are a tresure trove of great info!!

Appreciate it pard

Your Humble - when you have got to pull it out of the water overnight in a tempest - Coastie

PR
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Having fun learning the ways of the cowboy gun
WAHOOOOOOOOOO YEHAWWWWWWW

Offline Drydock

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2006, 02:34:03 PM »
Midshipmen make mistakes, Ensigns make coffee.   Ya need at least a Lt. to start to get any useful work done.  Best to find a B'osun mate, plied with the promise of good liberty . . .
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Malachi Thorne

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2006, 04:37:12 PM »
Good Afternoon, Pony Racer and Sgt. Drydock;

You are most welcome Pony Racer; I'm glad the information assisted and/or amused you!

As for Ensigns making coffee Sgt Drydock, I'd never heard that one before.  Ensigns may well make coffee, but it takes a Chief to get the coffee to taste right...   ;)

I have the honor to remain,

Your Obedient Servant,

Bvt. Captain Malachi Thorne
I have the honor to remain,

Your Obedient Servant,

Bvt Col. M. Thorne
Department of the Pacific

"Marine Artillery brings dignity to an otherwise vulgar brawl"

Offline Drydock

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2006, 12:10:49 AM »
Ensigns make the wardroom coffee.  Thats why no one drinks it.  They all come down to the engine room for the REAL stuff. . .
Civilize them with a Krag . . .

Offline Pony Racer

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2006, 04:21:01 AM »
Best coffee messes I have been around

Chief's mess - by invitation only for officers

A coffee mess sun by a chief - My coperations center E-8 and i liked good coffee and he ran the coffe mess in the Command Center - by the time I left if we were briefing someone outside the chain - word had gotten out and we served coffee.

Sometimes the little things are most important!!

Sgt D - hope all is well - hope to shoot with you again down the trail sometime.

PR

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Pony Pulling Daddy
Member Fire & Brimstone Posse
Having fun learning the ways of the cowboy gun
WAHOOOOOOOOOO YEHAWWWWWWW

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #10 on: Today at 10:30:51 AM »

Offline Luke MacGillie

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Re: Uniform cleaning
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2006, 09:23:34 PM »
The rain does well enough for anything wool, it it gets to stinkin I just get it saturated with wood smoke

For linen and cotton I wash em in cold water with very small ammount of soap.


 

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