White and Coloured Muslins. Muslin requires some care in washing, and especially coloured muslins if they are being washed for the first time. First soak the muslin in cold water, to which, in the case of coloured muslins, add a little salt. Then prepare a small tub of tepid water, with sufficient melted soap to make a lather. Neither soda nor washing-powder must be used, but a little borax is advisable if the water is hard and there is no possibility of obtaining clean rain water.
Wring the things out of the soaking water, and squeeze them gently between the hands in the soapy liquid. Take fresh water, and repeat the process if necessary, turning such articles as can be turned, on to the wrong side. Rinse well in tepid water, and then in cold water, until every trace of soap is removed. If any colour is running, the process should be hurried through as quickly as possible. Rinse finally in salt and water, or vinegar and water, and do not allow the article to lie about in a half-dry condition, or the result will be disappointing.
When the washing and rinsing processes are finished, fold and pass the things through the wringer, and starch them while still wet in hot-water starch. The thickness of the starch depends very much upon individual taste and the nature of the article to be starched. One or two trials will soon indicate the exact quantity to be used. Wring out the muslins after starching, and either hang them up to dry for a very short time or wrap them up in a towel for several hours.
Muslin must always be ironed damp, or it will have a rough appearance. Grease or wax the iron to prevent it sticking, and test it first on a piece of rag, as it must not be used too hot. If there is any lace or embroidery on the muslin iron that first, on the wrong side, then the muslin itself on the right side. Any necessary goffering of frills or lace should be done last, and always air thoroughly well before laying the article away.
Prints. These ought to be washed in the same way as muslins, and especially if they are being washed for the first time. When one or two washings have proved that the colour is fast, some of the precautions may be omitted, and the prints may be washed like ordinary white clothes. The fastness of the colour depends very much upon the quality of the material, some prints will even stand boiling. After rinsing, starch while still wet in hot-water starch, using the starch a little thicker than for muslins. Then hang the prints up, and, when quite dry, sprinkle with water, and wrap them in a towel ready for ironing. Iron in the same way as muslin, and with not too hot an iron, so that there is no risk of scorching.