How to Care for Your Child's Garment

How to care for your child’s heritage dresses

From the pages of Clark's O. N. T. Book of Needlework published in 1916:

“Just here it may be advisable to say a word as to the laundering of smocked garments.  They may be washed and ironed the same as anything else, but afterward the smocked part should be placed face down on a Turkish towel and the edges pinned down to keep it flat.  Dampen and iron crosswise until thoroughly dry.”

Washing Machine Instructions

Turn your child’s garment inside out so the smocking is on the inside.

Use a mild detergent.

Wash cold on a gentle cycle or hand wash setting.

Hang/line dry (air dry) or lay flat to dry.

Once dry, you can iron the dress on a low setting to remove wrinkles.

Some guiding principles for laundering

 Wash as needed

Not only will you save water, detergent and money, your child’s clothes will last longer.  

 Cool it

When laundering your child’s clothes, set your washer to the “cold” setting to save energy and money.  Not only that, but washing in cold water helps preserve your child’s clothes for longer as heat can break down the fabric fibers.  Choosing to wash cold also prevents 500 lbs of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and reduces your carbon footprint.


Line dry your child’s clothes and save on that energy bill as well as reduce your carbon footprint.  For The Open Road outfits, line drying works best and is also good for the planet.

Spot clean

If there’s only one dirty little patch, use a spot cleaner.  Let your little ones help you spot the patch!

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