We recommend washing cotton garments at a maximum of 40 ° C and not adding them to the dryer. In order to protect the color from the first wash as much as possible, you can place the garment overnight in a cold water-vinegar mixture (approx. 1 cup of vinegar is enough). For the first proper wash, you wash the garments separately.
Please make sure to use Color safe detergents when washing colored garments, as other detergents may contain bleach.
You should not wash velvet, especially cotton velvet in the washing machine, because it will irrevocably wrinkle the fabric. Likewise, you should not iron it, because the pile loses its depth. Light stains can be brushed out well with the garment brush in the pile direction. Smells usually evaporate in the fresh air. And with lint, a lint roller is usually enough. However, you should have coarser impurities removed by a professional cleaning.
Keep in mind that it is better to avoid wrinkles from the outset, as the velvet fabric should not be ironed. To prevent wrinkles, it is best to keep your velvet garment hanging.
If possible, you should not wash your Gambeson in the washing machine. The colors mix otherwise and are also not as stable in shape after washing as before. The reason for the color running is mainly the different fabric layers of your Gambeson. They are important to ensure maximum padding.
You can rub a dirty Gambeson with a damp cloth and hang it in the fresh air. Applications made of leather (e.g. leather straps) are best maintained with leather grease, otherwise the leather will dry out and become brittle over time. If you wear your Gambeson under chain mail/or plate armor, it will get a slightly oily patina anyway. This is completely normal and in our experience many fighters prefer their Gambesons with such a patina.
Whether shoes, armor, straps or other parts made of leather: you should not forget to maintain it regularly in order to enjoy it for a long time. On the one hand, the leather does not dry out and on the other hand you protect it from mould.
Before care, you should clean the leather with a damp cloth and then let it dry in the air. For leather care you use either a leather grease or care oil, for example Ballistol. Ballistol has the advantage that you can spray it and thus also get to the hard-to-reach places. Oil your leather equipment well after every use (i.e. after each army camp, medieval market, LARP event, etc.). Leather shoes in particular are heavily stressed when used, so a high level of care is advisable.
Always store your leather equipment in a cool and dry place so that it does not begin to mould. Should this happen, then there are different ways to treat the leather. In the event of a superficial infestation, you should first try to remove the mould with a damp cloth. After that, you can pat the area with vinegar. Let the whole thing soak in well, then wipe the place clean again and do not forget to oil the area again after drying. If the mould has already settled in the leather, you can try to treat it with saddle grease.
By the way: Due to external influences and regular oiling, leather darkens strongly. This is completely normal and should not worry you.
RING ARMOR / CHAIN EQUIPMENT
Ring armor refers to armored parts made of chain braid, such as Hauberk and Haubergeon (also called chain shirt), ring armor hood or chain hood, ring armor collar or chain collar, etc.
The best care for your chain armor is to wear it regularly. Through the movement during wear, the rings rub against each other, this leads to the removal of any rusty spots. Your chain shirt almost cleans itself. However, the longer you leave it unused (and unprotected) and the stronger the rust is already active, and the more time your ring armor needs for self-cleaning.
If the ring armor is not in use, you should store it where it is cool and dry. It is important that moisture can escape, so please do not use plastic bags. If the chain mail not used for more than a week, oil it a little for protection, for example with weapons oil. Put a little on a dry cloth and rub lightly over the chain mesh. To ensure that the oil is distributed well, you can shake the mail about back and forth in a cloth bag. Aggressive cleaning methods such as something with a wire brush or even sandblaster are not suitable. They create tiny scratches on the surface that make your chain armor even more susceptible to rust than before.
Further information can also be found in our blog post on the topic of maintenance of the chain armor: https://www.battlemerchant.blog/kettenruestung-pflege/
Unlike mail armor, which virtually cleans itself, you should pay even better attention to good care and to rust prevention after wearing. This means that you regularly (after each fight) clean your armor parts with Ballistol. Light, superficial flying rust can be easily polished away in this process. If you take this into account, there will not be a serious amount of the rust. And the good thing about ballistol: This also allows you to treat leather, so that you don't need another care product for straps, buckles, etc.
If rust has already taken hold, you can try to remove it with steel fix. But beware; please not with polished, but only with bare equipment. With burnished armor, you should be aware that you may damage the burn when if you remove the rust. In this case, you can re-blacken the area with brewing paste after the rust removal.
We do not recommend the use of wire brushes, sandblasters and the like, as these tools – as well as with chain braiding – leave slight scratches in the metal, which promotes the development of rust.
Like any natural product, you should also give wood a minimum of care. In concrete terms, this means above all that you regularly oil the wood. It is thus protected from any ingress of moisture, remains supple and still breathable. Cracking is also prevented with oil. In addition, natural grain is much better in oiled wood products. You can take special wood oil from the DIY store for this, but also normal cooking oil does the same job. It is food-safe and has been used by mankind for many centuries as a wood care. In addition, the universal oil from Ballistol is recommended. This is now also food-safe, but at first it smells a bit strange.
After it has been oiled and before you use it for the first time, you should fill our Böttcherware with water once overnight, so that the wood swells up and the Böttcherware becomes dense. This applies, for example, to our wooden buckets, the butter barrel, or the beer jug. Just all things made of wood, which consist of several parts. If you haven't used it for a while, you may need to repeat the water procedure. In addition, however, you should not leave wood in water for too long, because it harms the material.
STORAGE EQUIPMENT MADE OF IRON
Before first use, all parts such as pots, pans and cutlery are thoroughly rinsed out. Special attention will be paid to your pot or pan. Because they are burned in before the first use.
If you want to store your iron cooking utensils such as pots, pans or cutlery, you should clean them first. You can wash off cutlery normally and let it dry well. Please wipe burnt-in pans and pots with only a cloth; otherwise you will have to burn them again before the next use. Pegs are freed from earth residue by means of a brush.
If you don't plan to set up your storage kitchen in the garden in winter, you will probably make it winter-proof and store it. For this purpose, it is first cleaned as just described and then thoroughly oiled, for example with ballistol. This applies not only to the iron parts from the storage kitchen, but also to other equipment such as pegs made of iron. Allow the oil to take a little time. For storage, you now pack the items into dry cloths and store them in the coolest possible, dry place.