All woolen fabrics should be sponged to prevent shrinking and water spotting. This is often done either in the store, at a small cost a yard, or at the factory. In case it is necessary to do the sponging at home, a large table covered with a soft padding, over which is placed unbleached muslin, is better than an ironing-board, as more surface may be covered at one time. The covering must be held firmly in place to prevent wrinkles from marring the surface of the material. The material is placed face down on the pressing table, a wet cloth is laid over it, and a fairly hot iron is used. After enough pressing has been done to make the material nearly dry, the cloth is removed and a final pressing given directly on the wrong side of the material. In double-width material the same plan may be followed if the face of the cloth is folded in. The steam from the wet cloth is generally sufficient to wet all the material unless it is very heavy. Both sides of the double-width material should have a final pressing. Only a small portion of the material should be sponged and pressed at a time. If there is a nap, care must be taken to press the material with the nap. The motion of the iron is not a long sweep, but rather a slow motion of lifting and placing the iron.

Fig. 61

Fig. 61. - Method of shrinking fullness out of a garment. By means of two or three gathering threads the material is drawn up to the desired size. A damp cloth is placed over the material, which is then pressed with a hot iron. It is often necessary to repeat this process several times. If the material is to fit over a curved surface such as the hip or the shoulder, a cushion should be used in pressing.

Plate XII

Plate XII

Use of form in draping dresses before and after fitting.

Occasionally material may be sponged on the wrong side with a damp cloth, then hung over a door to dry. This is a more simple process but often destroys the finish of the material, giving it a slightly crepy appearance.