1. Shake outside the washhouse to remove dust.
2. Wash by squeezing and kneading gently in lukewarm soap lather.
3. Rinse very carefully in lukewarm water, removing all soap.
4. Wring tightly.
5. Shake to remove moisture and to raise the fibre.
6. Dry quickly.
After the preliminary shaking, these should be steeped one hour in warm soap lather containing liquid ammonia in the proportion of one tablespoonful to two gallons of water; after which they are treated like other flannels. The water should be warm, not lukewarm, or it will be cold before the hour's steeping is completed. The bowl should be covered to keep in the heat, and prevent the evaporation of the ammonia.
If flannels are not shaken before washing, the extra dust requires more soap to remove it, and white flannels become a grey colour.
Rubbing entangles the little hairs composing the nap or fluff, and thus causes flannel to shrink and become hard. Too much soap or insufficient rinsing causes flannel to become felty and yellow. The wringing should be most thorough; the longer flannels are wet the more liable they are to shrink. As heat causes shinking, they must not be placed too near a fire; if they steam the heat is too great, and they should be moved farther away.
When dry they should be ironed over with a cool iron to smooth the surface.
Art serge, nun's veiling, and woollen delaines are washed in the same way.
These are treated like flannels; and must be washed first on the right, then on the wrong side, rubbing a little soap on the sole of the foot. Black stockings become green through being insufficiently rinsed, or dried in bright sunshine. They should be pegged up by the toe to dry.
Steep in cold water two hours, then plunge into very hot water. The better way is to dispense with this shrinking, by making the garments large enough to allow for the slight shrinking which will in time take place even after careful washing.
March is usually considered one of the best months for blanket washing. They should be well-kneaded and squeezed in warm soap lather containing ammonia, rinsed very thoroughly in two lukewarm rinsing waters; then tightly wrung, well shaken, and hung in the open air to dry, and afterwards well aired.
They are sometimes bleached in an air-tight room by fumes of burning sulphur; but this is rarely done in private houses.
Silk embroidery on flannel should be well pressed on the wrong side with a cool iron, putting an extra fold of blanket under the work to give a rounded appearance.