Mending and removing spots from fabrics are discussed in "Shelter and Clothing." A few common stains are removed as follows :
Hold the spotted fabric tightly over a bowl and pour boiling water through it. Of course, remove stains at once if possible.
Peach stains are removed by Javelle water. Apply a few drops and pour boiling water through at once.
Liquid ink removers provided for the library table are convenient. Wet the spot, use 1, dry with a blotter, and use 2, and rinse at once. The same thing is done by wetting, applying an oxalic acid solution first, then Javelle water and rinsing.
Blood stains are removed by soaking in lukewarm water, and washing in a soap solution with a little ammonia and kerosene, or with a naphtha soap.
Separate the fabrics, wool from cotton and so on, and colored cotton from white; also separate body linen from bed linen and from table linen.
This hastens the process since it loosens dirt, and one laboratory experiment seemed to show that soaked clothes are freer from bacteria, than those that are not.
Shrinkable fabrics cannot be soaked. Body and table linen should be soaked separately. The water should be cold, softened with a little ammonia.
Wash woolens and silk underwear first, in warm, not hot, soap suds, wring out, rinse, and hang to dry. Use a white, neutral soap. Have the same temperature for both washing and rinsing. Boiling water shrinks wool, and yellows silk. Hand-knit wool, as shawls and jackets, stretch in drying. If dried in a bag or pillow case, this is partly obviated, or lay them on a pad on the table.
Prepare hot water in the tub, with dissolved soap in it, either for handwork or a washer. Wash table linen first, then bed linen and towels, and next the body clothes. Soap the articles well, and rub or use a washer. It is well to wash handkerchiefs by themselves, boiling in a pail for half an hour. If one of the family has a cold or influenza, soak his handkerchiefs in a solution of salt and water and perhaps a little bleaching powder before washing and boiling.
Make fresh suds often. This means heavy labor in the case of portable tubs, but clothes cannot be cleansed in dirty water.
Colored cotton and linen articles may be washed last. They should be put first into salt and water to set the color, washed in tepid water with white soap, rinsed thoroughly and hung in the shade, wrong side out.
Boil the washed clothes in soap solution for ten minutes. In case of infectious disease, all the patient's linen should be boiled an hour,1 and of course exposed clothing is kept separate through the whole process.
This must be thorough and two or three waters must be used. This is the stage where many laundresses fail. The suction washers are very useful here.
This must take place between every two stages of the process.
Add the bluing solution to clean water to the desired shade, shake each piece, put it through the water, and wring out at once. Do not use bluing in excess.
Next the fabrics that need a little thin starch may be starched. Starch for stiff collars and shirts is rubbed in at the time of ironing.
Hang out the clothes, having pieces of a kind together, and the threads straight. If out of doors, hang in such a way that the air will have easy access.
Take down, when dry, and fold lightly in a basket.
Sprinkle, roll tightly, and leave them until ironing time. Thin fabrics should be very moist, as they dry quickly.
1 Depending upon the nature of the infection, it may be possible to substitute the use of a proper disinfectant, followed by short boiling.
This art must be acquired by watching the expert and by practice.
Shake or stretch the article, and lay it straight upon the board. Iron from right to left, arranging the material with the left hand, and iron with the long thread of the material. Bring the article on the board toward you. Iron first the parts that will wrinkle least, such as ruffles and trimming and sleeves. Embroidery and damask should be ironed on a very soft material like a Turkish towel, right side down. Always iron until the fabric is dry.
Fig. 81. - Folding of nightdresses.
All tucks and folds must be carefully straightened, and if ironed crooked, they must be made very wet and done over again. When ironing a waist will you do the sleeve or the body first ?
Large flat pieces, towels, and napkins are folded in the ironing. Doilies and centerpieces should not be folded.
Folding is necessary in order to make the garments of convenient shape for putting away. Figures 81 and 82 will suggest the method for some garments.