As far as we are concerned costumes should be part of everyday play and so they simply have to be durable and of course washable. As part of our fabric selection and testing process our little uniforms are laundered over 40 times to make sure they keep their shape and colour so that they can go on playing for years.
To make sure you get the most out of your brand new uniform we have put together some guidance on how to best care for them.
Cleaning your little uniform
Close all velcro, buttons and fasteners before washing- it reduces the risk of damage to the fabric and embroidery during washing cycles.
Treat any stains before washing. Stains can become “washed-in” otherwise.
Whilst our little uniforms are made from commercial uniform-grade cotton and so can withstand a very hot wash we recommend that all our uniforms are washed at 30°C/85°F. We are environmentally conscious when choosing a washing detergent and Ecover is a brand we recommend. We have used it when testing and we are delighted with how well it cleans at low temperatures.
It is always best to dry clothes on a clothesline in the open air. It reduces wear on the clothes and obviously uses far less energy but, being realistic, that is not always possible. Our little uniforms are all suited to tumble drying but they must be dried gently to avoid damage. Don’t crank up the heat, keep it on a low setting and you will not only reduce the energy used but also avoid extra creases and protect delicate areas such as embroidery and reflective tape.
When ironing your new costume use a low- medium heat and avoid ironing directly onto the reflective tapes- they will melt.
Caps and hats
For Garda and Pilot caps – surface wash with a warm damp cloth. Do not soak or immerse in water.
Wool Army berets should be treated as wool and hand washed with a mild wool detergent. Reshape the beret whilst it is damp and leave it to dry completely.
Some tips for making laundry go smoothly:
1. Don’t overload your washing machine
It is not good for clothes or for your machine. When you overload your machine a few things happen
*Clothes don’t have the space to mingle with the detergent properly and don’t get cleaned properly
*Clothes can end up with detergent still on them following the cycle. Again there is not enough space for rinsing all the detergent out and you end up with detergent left on the fabric. A tell-tale sign are bubbles still in the machine when a wash is complete
*Your machine will eventually break. It spins at high speed and really doesn’t like it when we put too much pressure on it
2. Avoid wrinkles
The most time-consuming part of doing laundry is the ironing. If you want to save on the ironing then don’t let the washing sit. Once a wash is finished take it out of the machine as soon as possible. The same with drying, if you leave warm clothes in a drier sitting in a bundle then they will crease and be much harder to iron.
3. Treat stains early
Obviously children’s clothing is subjected to a little hardship during play- spilt drinks, muck and grass, food, unfortunately, the occasional cut or graze. All of these can create hard to shift stains. The best advice to ensure stains don’t hang around is to treat them early. So as not to push the stain further into the fabric start on the reverse side of the fabric when treating stains. Begin with cool water and try to rinse the stain out, working up to warmer water and some detergent.
It is important to treat stains individually rather than throwing the whole item into the wash, turning up the temperature and hoping for the best. That never turns out well.Now that you know how to care for your little uniforms so that they can last for years of imaginative play, why not check out our range here