Advice to the Amateur Ironer - Heat of the Irons - How to Crimp Successfully - Goffering and

How to Manage It

Damping And Folding

While the clothes are still slightly damp they should be taken down, smoothed, and folded evenly, ready for mangling or ironing.

Any parts that have become too dry should be sprinkled lightly with warm water. They must not be made too wet, but the water should be dropped lightly from the tips of the fingers.

Fold the clothes very evenly, and of an equal thickness and convenient size, for passing through the mangle, protecting all buttons and tapes under a fold of the material. Pack the clothes tightly in a basket, putting all of one kind together, those requiring ironing underneath and those for mangling on the top. Cover the basket over and allow the things to remain for some hours at least.

Mangling' and Airing

Any article which will be flat, such as sheets, towels, pillow-slips, table-linen, etc., may be mangled. Underclothing, too, may, if wished, be mangled before ironing.

The mangle should be turned evenly and slowly, and, whilst sufficient pressure is used on the linen that is passed through, there must not be too much strain.

It is better if two persons can the mangling, one to smooth and hold the linen as it passes through and a second to turn the mangle.

Pass the things through once or twice, then fold up those that require ironing, place them in a basket, cover them over, and let them remain until the following day.

Articles that are finished, such as sheets and some towels, may be hung up to air.

Everything should be aired thoroughly before it is considered finished, and nothing must be laid away with even a suspicion of dampness about it.


Ironing is a process which requires much practice, and which cannot be done well unless it be done quickly.

The ironing-table must be placed in a good light, and covered very smoothly with the ironing-blanket and sheet.

Place everything that is likely to be required close at hand. The iron-stand, iron-holder, a basin of cold water, a piece of soft rag to remove specks or creases, and the articles that are to be ironed. These last must be slightly damp, but not too wet.

Knowledge of the proper heat of the irons can only be acquired by practice, and the more quickly the work can be done the hotter the irons may be used. If the irons are not hot enough they will fail to give the necessary gloss, and if too hot they will scorch the material. The heat must be regulated by the nature of the article that is to be ironed, as well as by the speed of the worker. For large plain surfaces such as table-linen, hot, heavy irons should be used. Collars and cuffs also require heavy irons, but not quite so hot as for table-linen. Muslins, lace, and fine articles require cooler irons, as do the more intricate parts of garments, such as gathers and frills. Cooler irons should also be used for coloured materials, flannels, silks, aud all very thin stuffs, which are easily scorched. A novice at ironing should always test the iron first on a piece of rag. When the irons are very hot, it is a good plan to have two pieces of work going - one requiring great heat, and the other less, as by so doing time will be saved.

When ironing, begin with those parts which will crease the least. Iron all bands, hems, and double parts on the wrong side as well as on the right, all lace and embroidery on the wrong side only.

The work should be smoothed out and prepared with the left hand, whilst the right hand is using the iron, and if any crease is made it should be damped over and ironed again. The handling and moving must be done very carefully so as not to crush the parts already done.

Always iron first the part which lies nearest to the edge of the table, and keep all gathers to the left-hand side, as it will be easier to run the iron up into them.

Ironing must be continued until the material is quite dry, otherwise it will look rough when finished.

Air everything before putting it away, as there is always a certain amount of moisture left by the iron.


This is suitable for the finishing of plain muslin or cambric frills. It is a process which almost requires to be seen to be understood, but when well done it is pretty, and certainly

. less destructive to a frill than goffering.

Place the frill to be crimped across the table, with the gathers at the left-hand side. Then take an iron cool enough to touch with the fingers, and use either the back, side, or point for crimping, according to the width of the frill.

Begin with the piece of frill which lies nearest the edge of the table. Place the iron about an inch and a half or two inches from the end, and place two or three fingers of the left hand under the frill and close to the iron. Now draw the iron back quickly, following it with the fingers, and crimping the frill underneath. Repeat this on the other parts of the frill. At a first attempt very little impression may be made, but the knack once learnt is never forgotten, and certainly makes a very effective finish to the work.


Goffering is specially suited to starched frills of embroidery or lace. It is done with heated goffering tongs, and there must be a certain amount of fulness in the frill or the goffering will not be effective in appearance.

Heat the tongs according to directions already given on p. 320, in Part 3 of Every Woman's Encyclopedia. The process will be quicker if two pairs can be in use at one time.

The size of the tongs must be regulated according to the size of the frill. For wide, full frills use a coarse pair of tongs, for narrow frills a finer make.

The frill should be pinned lengthways on the table with its edge next the edge of the table, and the goffering should be begun at the right-hand end. Test the heat of the tongs first on a piece of rag, then put them into the full right up to the gathers, close them, and turn them half round. Press the frill against the tongs with two or three fingers of the left hand, let them remain a second, then loosen the tongs gently, and draw them out. Replace the tongs a little further down the frill, and repeat the process until the work is finished, being careful not to pull the flutes out of position.

The distance at which the goffers are apart will depend upon the fulness of the frill, but the flutes should be regular, and on the straight of the material.

The quicker the work can be done, the hotter the tongs may be used. When there is more than one frill to be goffered the upper one should be done first, and then the lower one, so as not to crush what has already been done. To be continued.