Useful tips and advice for Kit

I thought we might as well collect all our gathered tips and tricks for kit making into one place for people to trawl through.

Please post up your tips and I’ll edit them into the first post where possible :slight_smile:

Kit-making tips:
-Launder fabrics before making kit - it means the kit won’t shrink or go weird when you launder it after wearing it!
-This isn’t re-enactment, using wool-mix, linen-mix, poly-cotton to reduce costs is fine.
-This isn’t re-enactment, you don’t have to follow historically accurate patterns, if tailoring/styling your outfit in a non-historically accurate way makes you look better and feel better, go for it!

Kit-sourcing tips:
-Charity shops don’t sell real fur on their shop floor, but if you ask sometimes they keep it in the back. If you can get to a charity shop distribution/sorting centre, they sometimes sell real fur off by weight since they don’t sell it in shops.
-When you buy a coat, it’s always worth checking the buttons are attached firmly before hitting the field, and securing any that aren’t!

Kit-fixing tips:
-Covering stains and rips with trim is big and clever.
-Hand-stitching closed a rip adds character to your kit, a rip doesn’t mean your kit is ruined!
-If you spill hot wax on your kit, let it cool, then pick off the surface wax. After this, use scraps of fabric or brown paper, cover the waxy fabric and iron in on a hot temp to get the rest of the wax out.
-Hanging kit up over the bath and showering it down is a relatively simple and easy way to get mud out of it before laundering it.
-If you come across a forgotten bag of damp kit that’s gone mouldy - throw it through a mashing machine. It’s amazing what a good launder will solve!
-If your kit gets horribly stained and is unfixable, consider dying it a darker colour to cover the stain and give you more use from the kit.

If you want to dye a piece of kit, remember that synthetic fabrics will resist taking colour. Blends will come out less deep than 100% natural fabrics, and synthetic thread might not dye at all, potentially leaving visible stitching at the seams. You can take advantage of this to create contrasting effects, of course.