Access and Keys:

Costume shop manager and costume designer are responsible for assigning keys to costume shop spaces. Keys will be assigned to student costume designers, advanced costume shop student staff, occasional overhire stitchers, and wardrobe crew heads as needed. Security deposit for keys may be required.

Student stage managers receive keys to costume shop and dressing room from the department of theatre coordinator.

Basic Shop Rules:

We like to have as few rules as possible to allow for the free flow of ideas.
  • No smoking is allowed in any area of the Zoellner Arts Center. Smoking in costume is prohibited, even on the loading dock. Actors who smoke in costume may be asked to pay the repair and cleaning costs if costumes are burned or damaged.
  • Eating is not allowed in the costume shop except when approved by the costume shop manager. At times we will enjoy a shop snack, lunch, or coffee break after appropriate measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the costumes. Beverages must have appropriate lids and care must be taken with cups at all times.
  • Shoes must be worn in the costume shop.
  • No personal listening devices (ipod) are allowed during shop hours.


  • Return all costumes and costume pieces to the appropriate racks or labeled drawers. All garments which are hangable should be on hangers placed behind an actor’s name.
  • Clean off all workspaces; table tops, machine areas, straighten shelf storage as needed. Check to make sure that whatever you are throwing away is scrap and not a pattern piece or garment piece.
  • Dust off sewing machines and tables, pick up straight pins and other tools and return to the proper storage area. Return all notions, bobbins, threads, etc. to proper storage areas.  Brush out the bobbin drawer with a lint brush.
  • Remove lint from the sergers.  Dust off machines and tables, return threads to storage.
  • Brush off ironing boards, straighten the ironing area and return hams and sleeve boards to the proper storage areas.
  • Turn off the irons:
    • shut off water flow from water tank above by tightening valve
    • press the thumb switch to let the steam inside the iron escape
    • set the thermostat dial to 0
    • turn off the power supply switch
  • Straighten shop area: return dummies to storage if no longer needed, arrange stools around tables, pick up stray shoes and return to storage.
  • Laundry/dye room has special cleaning procedures and must be cleaned by those using the equipment as part of the dying process. Only authorized people may use the dying and laundry equipment.
  • Each Friday: clean and oil machines thoroughly. Neaten shelves around machines and in the general shop area. Make sure all projects are stored appropriately.

Rental/borrowing of costumes:

Whenever possible we support the production of theatrical events in our community by having a liberal costume rental and borrowing policy. Lehigh University department of theatre productions have preference for all costumes and accessories. Student productions are supported by the costume shop as the calendar allows. Costume stock and shop availability are determined by the costume shop manager and the costume designer on a semester-by-semester basis.  

Appointments within the regular work week must be made for pulling, pick-up and returns—we do not offer on-site delivery to performance sites. Garments may not be altered in any significant way and should be returned to us in same or better condition than when rented. No permanent distressing may happen to our garments. A security deposit may be required.  ALL GARMENTS MUST BE DRY CLEANED BEFORE BEING RETURNED.

Requests for items for Lehigh University class projects must come from the professor with at least one-week notice. 

We liquidate our items only as we develop the need for space. Costume sales are arranged and advertised as needed. Specific requests for the purchase of costumes can be made, but can be refused for any reason.

We appreciate opportunities to participate in reciprocal borrowing relationships with other academic institutions and theatres. Please contact Pam Richey, shop manager, if you are interested in renting costumes for your production.