Sunday, May 17, 2009


Following up on the 1944 magazine I recently bought, I found this helpful article with plenty of tips for caring for your bed linens. I have extracted the tips and included them below:

1) Line Drying: Hang sheets and pillowcases one third over the line and be sure to dry colored things in the shade.

2) Line Drying: If linens have stripes, keep the stripes hanging lengthwise so that if there is to be any "running", it will keep to the strips.

3) Ironing: Fold a turkish towel under a monogram or embroidery so as to bring out the design in ironing.

4) Ironing: Do the ruffles first, going across then up into gathers then press with the thread of the material.

5) Ironing: Do not comb fringes; wait till spread is thoroughly dry and brush with clean whisk broom.

6) Washing: Tack coarse crochet or lace bed spread to an old sheet for washing and it will hold its shape.

7) Washing: Lace or figured spreads really require special care and fare much better laundered separately.

8) Washing: Bed clothes - Do soak bed clothes before washing - white things in lukewarm, soapy water, those that are pastel tinted or have colored hems in cool, soapy water for five to ten minutes. Add enough dissolved soap to wash water to make a two-inch standing suds, with a temperature as high as 160 degrees F for the white clothes, but only slight more than lukewarm for the pastel tinted bed clothes.
9) Washing: Don't overload the washing machine. The normal load is 4-6 sheets or just one spread and the time allowance from 5-15 minutes. Don't stint on the rinsings. Put the white things through clear lukewarm water, then cool, and, if bluing is used, move the articles about to prevent streaking. Give pastels soapy rinse of the same temperature as the wash water, then two rinses in clear, cool water. (Note from me: I imagine washing machines had different limitations in the 40's.)

10) Washing: I skipped this tip because it had to do with using a hand wringer, which most don't use these days. If anyone wants this tip, let me know and I'll send it.

11) Line Drying: Don't hang up the clothes just any which way or they will be harder to iron. Fold the sheets right side out, hem to hem, with corners squared, with a liberal overhang of the hemmed edges for fastening. Hang the pillowcases by the closed ends with a fold-over deep enough for firm hold with the pins. To keep a loosely woven crocheted lace or filet spread from stretching out of shape in drying, base to an old sheet before you launder it and spread out flat.

12) Ironing: Do sprinkle the dry linen evenly and thoroughly and leave rolled up until you are ready to iron. Place clothes basket under the ironing board to catch the overflow and keep the large pieces from trailing on the floor and picking up dirt. Press on the right side and follow the thread of fabric. First fold the sheets and pillowcases lengthwise, then crosswise. Don't iron organdy over and over, or iron it toward you. Always iron it away from you.

13) Ironing: Don't be too meticulous about ironing sheets. Some of the most fastidious housekeepers are skipping this chore. But if you don't like the looks of an un-ironed top sheet, try this method: Remove sheet from the line while still slightly damp, fold crosswise in quarters as you take it down , and run the iron lightly over the top fourth. This irons the part that shows and takes the wrinkles out of the lower part of your sheet.

I live in the southwest and right now it's hotter than H-E-Double L. The only time I've ever dried my clothes on a line, they were stiff as a board when I was done. Anyone know why? I'd be interested in drying on a line, clipping my linens up while listening to Edith Piaf singing "La Vie En Rose" (as I am doing now), if the linens didn't turn out stiff every time .

Now, I don't have children, but I really enjoyed two articles related to raising children in the 40's. One is titled "Entertaining Children Out of Doors", the other is called "Curiousity...The Greatest Gift You Can Give Them!" I hope to post those in the coming days.

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