How Things Used to Be
Category : Home and Family | 1056 views | 2007-05-08 17:35:04
I was in my late teens when permanent press fabrics first started hitting the market. Up to that time, life was very very different.
You may not be old enough to remember that all our clothes had to be ironed and starched. It was a weekly routine in most households. Clothes were hung out on the line to dry. Then the things that needed to be ironed, which was almost everything, got brought inside and sprinkled lightly to get a slight dampness, then bundled up for ironing.
If the ironing wasn't to be done until the next day, one would put the sprinkled clothes into the refrigerator, where they would not dry out. On ironing day, those things that needed starch, were then starched and bundled.
Starch had to be boiled then strained before use. Collars and cuffs were dipped into the full concentration of starch. The remainder of the clothes were then dipped in a watered down solution.
Those who could afford stretchers, stretched all the bluejeans. They were wire contraptions that expanded in lenght and width. One would push a stretcher down one leg and then another stretcher into the other leg, then pull the stretcher out as far as it would go. Since, back then, the leg seams on bluejeans twisted completely out of shape, one had to also twist the legs back into shape on the stretchers. The pants were dried completely, with the stretchers in them, to keep the right shape. Then, even the bluejeans were ironed and that was a whole other fight just keeping those leg seams straight. Of course, the leg seams never did stay straight but the fight went on anyway.
Kleenex was not the standard, back in those days. People used handkerchiefs. Those needed to be ironed also.
Everything was ironed: skirts,shirts,pants,handkerchiefs,tablecloths and napkins. Some folks even ironed the bed sheets.
Ironing day was ironing day. That's about all you could get done. For those who might wonder, we really did have electric irons and ironing boards, just like today.
When permanent press fabrics first started coming on the market, they were a joke. We still had to iron most of it but it didn't take quite the effort.
There was a bunch of happy housekeepers, to see those days gone by. Nobody misses ironing day.
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