The Cleaning of Cloth Goods

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The Cleaning of Cloth Goods

Post by pud » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:43 pm

Source: A Media Plan for Military Animation. William Henry, Toronto. 1977. P. 106.

Alternate Source: The Napoleonic Wars. T. Morris, London. 1845.

"The only contemporary reference found that refers to the cleaning of the coats, mentions the use of Fuller's earth and a brush. Serjeants and Corporals were to have a clothes brush in their possession, that the men's coats could always be clean brushed. I assume the same applied to the pantaloons and other woolen goods. Clean linen was worn twice a week if possible.

Today most citified people have an aversion to wearing clothing which is not frequently cleaned. Thus, any attempt to duplicate what was done originally is certain to meet with resistance. Nevertheless, in the interests of historical accuracy, the coats and pantaloons should be cleaned as little as possible, certainly not more than once a fortnight.

When the time does arrive to clean the coats, one must take care that the buttons are not damaged. The metal is very soft and is easily dented and bent. The buttons can be removed before dry-cleaning and replaced afterwards or the coats may be turned inside out and buttoned shut.

When the coat requires patching, as it undoubtedly will, the job should not be performed with extreme fastidiousness. A simple, serviceable patch should be sewn on with a minimum of fuss. Attempts to match the colour of patch and coat need not be totally successful. Morris mentions the practice of mending the coats with grey trouser cloth. A worn coat kept serviceable with the aid of a few patches would do much to add to the impression of an isolated outpost."

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