Make a mixture of the following: articles in a large flat dish. A large table-spoonful of soft soap, or of hard brown soap shaved fine, (white soap will not do,) a small tea-spoonful of strained honey, and a pint of spirits of wine. Have ready a large brush (for instance a clothes-brush) made perfectly clean. Lay the silk on a board or on an ironing-table; stretching the article evenly, and securing it in its place by weights set round upon its edges. Then dip the brush into the mixture, and with it go all over the silk, lengthways of the texture; beginning at that part of the silk which is least seen when worn; and trying a little at a time till you have ascertained the effect. If you find the colour of the silk changed by the liquid, weaken it by adding a little more spirits of wine Brocaded silks cannot be washed this way.
Having gone carefully over the whole of the article, dip it, up and down, in a bucket of clean water, but do not squeeze or wring it. Repeat this through another clean water, and then through a third. Afterwards spread it on a line to dry, but without any squeezing or wringing. Let it dry slowly. While still damp, take it down; pull it, and stretch it even; then roll or fold it up; and let it rest a few minutes. Have irons ready, and iron the silk; taking care that the iron is not so hot as to change the colour.
The above quantity of the washing-mixture is sufficient for about half a dozen silk handkerchiefs; for a silk apron; or for one shawl; or for two scarfs, if not very long. If there is fringe on the scarfs it is best to take it off and replace it with new; or else to gather the ends of the scarfs, and finish them with a tassel or ball.
Gentlemen's silk or chaly cravats may be made to look very well washed in this manner. Ribbons also, if thick and rich. Indeed whatever is washed by this process should be of excellent quality. A dress must be previously taken apart.
This is also a good method for washing a white blond veil or scarf; using a soft sponge instead of a brush, and making the mixture with rather less soap and honey. When dry, lay the blond in smooth even folds, within a large sheet of smooth nankeen paper. Press it for a few days in a large quarto or folio book. Do not iron it.