Interesting way to clean wool
One of the reasons I have wearable outfits that are older than many re enactors is that I never wash my wools and silks.
You pay for the finish with decent wool – washing destroys that. It also ruins the shine on good silk.
Washing is also the quickest way known to man to obliterate any embroidery on costume, especially if you’re dumb enough to throw it in the washing machine, as I’ve seen so many people do.
And no, I don’t smell. I wear a linen shift and I wash it. I air my wool when it needs it.
But I have had a problem with the royal surcotes. The pale yellow of the appliqued lions shows every stain, and because most men tend to oil thier chain mail (and we had several suits of riveted mail that came out from India heavily oiled) and the coif is worn over the surcote, there has been staining from the oil around the neck of the surcotes.
One surcote was getting so bad that I thought sod it, it was ruined anyway, so I threw in a gentle wash with woolite…
…aaand it made absolutely no difference whatsoever.
Gareth found a better, more efficient solution.
He’d been using it on his persian rug. So he brushed it into the surcotes, left it for half an hour, as per the instructions, and hoovered them.
It hasn’t removed all of the staining, but its done a damn sight better job than washing, it looks better, smells better – quite frankly it was brilliant. I wish I’d taken some before and after photos. It’s going to be my dry cleaning agent of choice for wool costume from now on.