Not just for kids!
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.
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.
Scissors are not just a basic tool used in costuming, they are a bridge to the ancient Mesopotamian past. In fact,the first scissors may have been used in ancient Egypt and their modern cousins, the spring scissor type are still in use today. Spring snips have two blades connected at the handle, squeeze the blades together to cut, and then release to pull them apart. I have a pair of these squeeze snips in my sewing kit; alongside paper scissors, embroidery scissors, cutting shears and pinking shears.
Mens show footwear requires care and diligence. The shoes need to be clean and in good condition to provide the stability required by performers. The type of show, and type of shoe will determine the shoe care schedule. Dress shoes that must gleam for each performance will probably require daily maintenance, on the other hand, work boots may only require conditioning from time to time.
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.