Cleansing The Various Fabrics
( Originally Published 1924 )
Woolen material—Woolen materials may be cleaned with gasoline, salt, corn-meal, or flour, or with gasoline and soap. Keep away from the fire, preferably out of doors, if gasoline is used. Rinse in clean gasoline and hang out to air thoroughly. Clean any spots with ether, benzin, or chloroform, or sponge with soap and water. Washing wool in hot water shrinks and fades it. Use warm water of about the same temperature for both washing and rinsing, and squeeze the water out without twisting when wringing. Press woolen material with a damp cloth over it; if material is a rough weave, place the damp cloth on the wrong side and press. Woolen goods may be shrunk by dampening with a wet cloth, then covering with a dry cloth and pressing dry.
Cotton materials—Wash white cotton materials in warm water with white soap, boil and rinse well. If bleaching is needed, hang the material while wet in the sunshine; when it is dry repeat the process.
Never boil colored fabrics. Set the color before washing, hang the garments in the shade, wrong side out. Never wash two different colors together. Starch with a thin boiled starch all cotton garments except soft pieces. To shrink material before making, set the color, then dip the material in warm water; let it stand in cold water for a while, then hang it in the shade, keeping the selvage edges straight. Iron on the wrong side.
Linen material—Linens may be washed much the same as cotton; boil, if white. Never starch linen. Hang colored linens in the shade, for the sun fades them. Set the color and shrink dress linen before making it up. Iron linen on both sides while quite damp—it will give luster. To whiten linen, if yellow, add one teaspoon of cream of tar-tar to each quart of water. Sometimes buttermilk or bluing is used for the same purpose.
Silk material—Clean silk the same as woolen. Pure silk may be washed in soap and water—it will not shrink. To iron, roll in a cloth, then press on the wrong side. Do not use a very hot iron.
Color setting—To set color in yellow, tan, or brown, use vinegar—one cup to one pail of water. In blue, lavender, and green, use alum—in the pro-portion of one ounce to a gallon of water. In blue, red, pink, and black, use "salt—one cup to a pail of water.