Dresses, and all coloured fabrics, should always be dried in the shade, and never in the sunshine; for the best colours are sure to fade if they are exposed to the glare of the sun, and more especially will they do so when wet.
This consists of a frame, made generally of oak and iron, on which the silks are stretched before sizing; and is so constructed that a pan containing burning charcoal may be run backwards and forwards under the silk to dry it.
Have a deal board, about 4 ft. 6 in. long, 2 ft. wide, and 1 in. thick. Cover this board loosely with fine green or drab baize, well tacked to the edges of the board, and then stuff it with wool from both sides, until it is very tight and smooth. When stuffed, it should be slightly raised along the centre of its length and slope off towards each side. To use this board, take a width of the silk or satin which has been cleaned, lay it flat and smooth on the baize, and then sponge it carefully all over with a mixture of size and water. When this has been done, pin down first one end and then the other, and also the two sides. The silk is to be well stretched while being pinned, and the pins are to be put in about 1 in. apart. Rub the face of the silk once more with a damp sponge, and then dry it before a clear fire. When dry, unpin and take it off the board, and it is finished.
The best kind of iron to use for ironing dresses, ribbons, etc, is a box iron, on account of its cleanliness.
Well wash 1 lb. of parchment shavings or cuttings, in two or more lots of cold water; then put them into a saucepan, or other vessel, with 4 qt. of cold water, and let them simmer gently until the quantity is reduced to 2 qt. - Strain through a fine sieve, and it is fit for use. One tea-cupful of this is sufficient to stiffen one bonnet, or to mix with 1 qt. of water for finishing silks.
Pegs are pieces of wood, firmly fastened into the walls of the dye-house, at a height of 6 ft. from the floor, and projecting from the wall about 18 in., and are placed at intervals of about 2 ft. Articles which have been cleaned or dyed are put on these pegs to drain. When cleaning curtains, dresses, or other similar articles, the kettle or tub is always stood under one of these pegs. For domestic use, a plain deal horse, made like a towel-horse, may be substituted for these pegs.
This instrument is used for beating or punching those articles which are too heavy to be taken in the hands and rubbed. It consists of a rather heavy mallet-like block of hard wood, fixed to a long tapering handle.
Break up 1 lb. of the best glue, put it into a vessel with 4 qt. of cold water, and let it soak for not less than 12 hours. Then pour it, water and all, into a saucepan, and put it over the fire to dissolve. Keep it well stirred, and be careful not to let it boil. When it is all well melted, strain it into an earthenware pan, and use it while it is scalding hot. The bonnets as they are taken out of this size must be sponged as dry as possible, and the shape regulated, and then hung up to dry. This quantity is sufficient for 12 bonnets.
The best kind of soap to use is Feild's oil soap. This kind has no unpleasant smell, and does not congeal after being dissolved. Mottled soap is the next best kind, but it requires to be used while warm to get it well into the work. The great drawback to its use is, that after being dissolved, if it is allowed to cool it congeals, and therefore it is not suitable for cold scouring and cleaning. Soft-soap, which is made from fish oil, is not fit for general use, on account of the fishy smell remaining in the work.
Mix a quartern of the best flour with cold water, and when it is well mixed pour on it two pails of scalding water, and put into it 2 oz. of beeswax. Now set it to swim in a copper of boiling water for 1/2 hour, and stir it occasionally. Take it out of the copper and strain it into a clean vessel, and when cool it is ready for use. This is for starching articles which are to be friction-calendered or glazed. The best starch for dresses, and for all domestic uses, is the Glenfield starch.
To Handle is to pass the work from one hand to the other, by the selvage, keeping it under the liquor all the time.
To rub dry with sheets.
All water used for cleaning or scouring, whether hot or cold, should be quite pure and clean.
Dissolve a bar of soap in 1 gal. boiling water; when cold put 1 qt. of this dissolved soap into 1 gal. cold water. Have ready at hand some pieces of soft flannel, a soft brush, a piece of washleather, and some clean, dry sheets. First well brush with a hard, long-haired clothes-brush, taking care to remove all the dust from the corners; for this latter purpose it is better to use a small pointed brush and a pair of bellows. If the tapestry is on the wall, begin to clean it at the top, but do not clean more than 1 sq. yd. at a time. Dip a piece of flannel into the soap liquor, squeeze it out gently, and well rub it into the tapestry to make it lather, and well brush with a soft brush. Then wring the flannel out of the soap liquor, and dry the square with the soapy flannel and the washleather, and afterwards dry with the sheets. The tapestry is to be dried with the soap in it, for on no account must it be rinsed. Dissolve 4 oz. tartaric acid in a pint of boiling water, and put it into a pan containing 2 gal. cold water. Dip a clean sponge into this acid water, squeeze it, and then well rub it into the spot you have just cleaned and dried. When this has been done, it must be again well dried with the sheets before being left. And so proceed, 1 sq. yd. at a time, until the whole is cleaned.
The soap liquor must be thrown away, and a fresh lot mixed, as often as it becomes dirty. When the tapestry has all been cleaned, and it is quite dry, take a lump of pipeclay and well rub it into it, and then brush it with a clean clothes-brush. This last process takes out the soap and spirits, and also brightens the colours. Keep a good fire in the room while you are cleaning the tapestry.
All carpets and hearthrugs, whether intended for dry or thorough cleaning, must first be well beaten, and swept or brushed with a hard broom. A carpet, to be properly beaten, should be hung on a stout line, the wrong side outwards, and well beaten by two or more persons, according to its size, some standing on one side and some on the other. The sticks used should be pliable, and well covered at the ends with cloth in the form of a knot in order to prevent the carpet being torn or the seams split by the sharp ends of the sticks. After being thoroughly beaten on the wrong side, the carpet should be turned and treated in the same manner on the right side.