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Uniform Maintenance


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Hello all,


So, I keep my uniforms on wooden hangers in my closet. It isn't the biggest closet but its cool, dark, and bug/pet free. I also keep pieces of cedar wood on the hangers and in uniform pockets. I keep my uniforms in the closet and only take them out for lint rolls and to gaze at them from time to time.

My question is how should one proceed on uniform cleanliness. I just lint roll as of now. Should I iron/steam my uniforms or is lint rolling all that is needed? For reference, like I stated above, I lint roll my uniforms. Besides this, I also have two cats but they are not allowed in my room and usually stay on the opposite side of the house. I also have never seen/noticed any larva or new moth holes but I am untrained as to noticing any creepy crawlys on my uniforms.

I've been hearing all of these horror stories of larva and pounds of pet hair on uniform and I don't want to go into the war, err... bed room and have a bunch of FUBAR on my uniforms!


Many thanks for your advice and opinions,


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Do not put heat on it unless it is absolutely necessary. Heat damages cloth and breaks down thread etc.


I also lint roll my uniforms for displays. It does damage the cloth as well. Everything you do does damage, you just want to limit the damage.



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  • 2 weeks later...

The most important thing with uniform maintenance is monitoring the items, which it sounds like you do. This is why it is important to not collect beyond your ability to care for the items. Some of the horror stories I have heard over the years are because the individual just had to much and therefore their ability to properly care for the items simply was not there.

What I do with my uniforms are the following:

I have them on wide hangers to support the shoulders (narrow hangers can cause problems down the road) - don't panic...simply replace narrow hangers with wider hangers as you find them.
(Some museums I have worked with only lay their clothing flat. This prevents stress on the fibers but...the space needed is truly spectacular and unavailable to most of us...other museums will hang, due to space constraints, using the wide padded hangers.)
I have the hangers wrapped in unbleached muslin to create a cushion for the shoulders. Unbleached muslin can be found at any fabric store and is cheap!
I visit my storage closet weekly to keep the air moving. This also prevents any thing like mice, etc. taking up residence as they don't like the movement. I will turn on the light, shift uniforms around, vacuum the carpet, etc.
I will pull all uniforms out of the closet twice a year and hang them outside on the clothes-line in the sunlight (I don't take them off the hangers). This allows me to inspect them in natural light and limited sunlight helps with the dust, etc. (before I put them back I always check inside the coats, inside the pants, etc. just to be sure nothing is going on.)

I am sure others will have more advice but the main thing that I stress and has been stressed to me by various museums is to monitor your collection!

Hope this helps.


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  • 6 months later...

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