Caring for Garb After an Event

The event’s over, camping gear is unpacked, dishes are washed, now to tackle the garb…..

I’ve made much more garb lately and the task of keeping it wearable can be daunting. Here is how I’ve been caring for my garb after events, especially longer camping weekends.

Does it need washing? I find the less I wash it, the longer it lasts. If it’s wearable again and not soiled I tend to wait to wash it. This usually works for outer garments and cloaks or hoods. Some times simply spot cleaning and “febreze” are all it needs.

How should I wash it? If you have properly pre washed the fabric before constructing the garb, you should be able to wash and dry it the same as you did before. If you hung it to dry, do that again to avoid shrinking it. Here’s what I tend to do:

  • Wash linen on warm/cold
  • Use regular soap that won’t fade colors
  • Avoid bleach-it makes the fabric stiff and yellow
  • Use “Shout” to clean up dirty areas such as neckline, cuffs and hems
  • Dry in the dryer on low. Fold immediately out of the dryer

Other than linen: If it’s wool or has decorative embroidery or seam treatments I wash it by hand in cold water or just spot wash it. Be careful not to agitate it too much.

Does it need repairing? I’ve gotten better at repairing any seams, etc, before putting it away and after it’s been washed. Otherwise I never get around to it and then the next event is upon us.

How do I store it? Most of my garb does fine being folded and left in tubs.  Heavier items go on the bottom. Garments that are bulkier or nicer I tend to hang on padded hangers. Keep all garb out of light, humidity, and kitchen odors/grease vapor (I actually have to watch out for this last one due to the configuration of our house)

What I do just before the next event: After the garb has been sitting folded up, it likely needs to be ironed or at least hung up a couple days prior to un-wrinkle. I don’t bother ironing right away after washing because it will likely wrinkle before the next event anyway.



  1. Suggest not using regular Woolite since it’s meant to make sweaters fluffy and you generally don’t want fluffy garb. I use the same laundry detergent as I use in the washer.

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