We can't always have a tour around our favorite dry cleaners but it is important for costumers to understand the dry cleaning process. Here's some things that I've learned that will help.
Remove all dry cleaning bags from garments as soon as possible and allow them to air in a well ventilated area for as long as possible.
Some performers may request that dry cleaned costumes not be stored in the dressing room because the dry cleaning chemicals become airborne and are very drying to their throats. Try to accommodate such requests, but check with your supervisor, just to be sure.
For the most part, show laundry is the same as regular, home laundry. Costumes worn by performers need to be cleaned; one way or another and the cleaning can be unconventional at times because costumes are often made of unconventional materials. Those breathtaking costumes made with fabric, feathers, grasses, sequins, crystals and painted plastic require special care in order to look good for each show. Costumers are aware that costumes last longer if they are stored in a clean, dry condition; make-up stains, sweat and body odour left in a costume may not come out.
Here is a tip for the laundry area in the Costume Shop or at home - put up a laundry chart or poster for quick reference. Find one that is attractive and lists accurate solutions to laundry problems. Make sure the list reflects your lifestyle; if you play soccer, you may need advice for removing grass stains or if you work in an office, you may need advice for removing pen ink. Develop a Laundry Caddy for the laundry area and include all the items need to battle those laundry-day blues.
The book The Costumer's Notebook is a 295 page comprehensive handbook for Costumers for stage and film including a full Glossary of stage and film industry terms. Sections include methods and tricks for laundry, dyeing, breakdown, Dresser guidelines and protocols for Stage or Film and various size charts for men and women from shoes to gloves. Other Sections include diagrams showing How to Iron A Shirt, How to Tie a Tie and How to Tie a Bow Tie. Costume fittings, costume lay out and costume storage are also discussed.