I took several of my handmade products with me backpacking to Emigrant Wilderness a few weeks ago. When you come home from a trip like that, all you really want to do is take a long hot shower and sit down on the most comfortable chair in the world-- which, after sitting on granite for days, is any chair, by the way. Then you look over at your backpack, which you can smell from across the room, and contemplate how long you can put off the task of washing its ENTIRE contents.
But don't feel too sorry for me:
There's my reversible sun hat! In the wild! It was the perfect hat to bring because it had a large brim, and was lightweight and highly packable. But man, did it get dirty! I'm talking sunscreen-sweat-bug spray-dirt-dirty. Washing it an alpine lake is a fantastic option for cleaning out in the woods... but back in San Francisco, I wanted to get everything CLEAN-clean. Which, by that I mean actually using soap.
So I'm taking the opportunity to share some important washing instructions for a few of the products I make.
Photo by Isabel French.
This felt like a good opportunity to make a really grainy GIF. Please enjoy!
Basic instructions: Hand wash exterior, sponge wash interior.
Detailed instructions: Pull the interior out of the bag. Using lukewarm soapy water (I use a clean and free detergent), hand wash the exterior. You can soak it up to the zipper, just avoid soaking the interior. Then, take a sponge and wipe down the interior. Hang to dry or rest on a drying rack. Just 'pop' the inside back in once dry!
This is where I'll point out that people DO wash laminated cotton in the washing machine, and have no problems. It's up to you, in the end. :)
2.) Reversible Sun Hat:
Basic instructions: Machine wash, hang dry.
Detailed instructions: Machine wash with cold water in a regular load of laundry. To dry, I used a vase to prop the hat up so it dries in its original shape, but this is not necessary.
3.) Sleep mask:
Basic instructions: Hand wash, dry flat. That's it!
All of these items came in handy on my backpacking trip, by the way. Some things that I'd add to my list of handmade items to bring for next time: A variety of bandanas (for ascot purposes) and several small drawstring bags for separating and sorting items inside backpack.
All in all, 31 miles, four days, one blister, and a lot of dirt. But worth every bug bite.