Purdue University

Cooperative Extension Service

West Lafayette, IN 47907

Dressing Up the Farm Family

Bill Field, Extension Safety Specialist
Jean Goodrick, Extension Textiles Specialist
Purdue University

One of the most frustrating responsibilities facing many farm wives is keeping each family member properly clothed. The unique tastes of individual members usually require that special attention be given to style, color and comfort as well as durability and washability. However, one aspect that is often overlooked concerns the personal safety of the wearer. Inappropriate or poorly maintained clothing has contributed to numerous personal injuries on Hoosier farms. The following case histories identify just a few.

Taking a few minutes to check the clothing worn by family members as they leave each morning for work, school, or play will help keep them healthy and safe. Use the following seasonal checklist as a guide.





Proper care and maintenance, as well as choice of clothing appropriate for the job or activity, figure strongly in the farm family's well-being.

Keep Clothes in Good Repair: Open jackets, flapping sleeves, loose hems and frayed edges can be hazardous.

Replace missing buttons or broken zippers

Secure loose hems, especially at the bottom of sleeves and pant legs.

Refinish frayed edges.

Keep Clothes Clean: Garments that are dusty, dirty, soaked with oil or solvent, or contaminated with chemicals can cause skin rash or disabling dermatitis. Because pesticides can enter the body through the skin, careful handling of garments contaminated by drifts or spills is required.

Clothes worn while mixing and applying chemicals should be washed after each wearing.

Do not mix contaminated clothes with other laundry; they should go right into the washer for laundering as soon as they are removed, or into a plastic bag to await laundering.

Use laundry procedure (Recommended procedure based on results of a study conducted at Iowa State University) normally used heavily soiled clothing:

In the event of a concentrated spill, get clothing off immediately and wash the affected area with plenty of soap and water. Garments contaminated with the concentrated pesticide should be washed several times or even discarded.

NOTE: Some chemicals may require more specialized treatment of laundry than outlined above. Be sure to read product label information, and observe all handling instructions.

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Cooperative Extension work in Agriculture and Home Economics, state of Indiana, Purdue University, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating; H.A. Wadsworth, Director, West Lafayette, IN. Issued in furtherance of the acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914. The Cooperative Extension Service of Purdue University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution.