Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Laundry ... now and then ... (part 2)


Marlene Terry
Continuing on with steps No. 3 and 4 in the olden days laundry process:  
The morning after the laundry had been washed, dried on the clothesline and brought in, was typically when Mom watched over us (me and my sisters), and taught us the process of correctly sorting things that needed to be sprinkled (Step. No. 3) and ironed (Step No. 4).

If the phrase "sprinkling items to be ironed" is foreign to you, it's my guess you're part of the younger generation. Those who were born after ... the invention of polyester.
Believe me when I say that I remember those polyester days well. For homemakers back then, it was akin to being a prisoner for years and suddenly receiving a reprieve on a death sentence.
Polyester was the first "no wrinkles ever" fabric. We embraced the idea and celebrated the fact that even though it was ugly, hot, stiff and miserable to wear and would never let go of stains even after repeated washings, being able to just wash and wear the clothing constructed from it made it all worthwhile.

When I was a kid, it seemed that everything had to be ironed. I still remember flattening out my dad's cotton shirts and sprinkling them with water.
"Just damp ... not wet," Mom would say as she stewarded over the process.
Sprinkled items were then rolled into tight bundles and stacked inside a basket and covered to await ironing.

Have I ever told you how much I detest ironing?
Even after being taught the correct method to be able to remove wrinkles from any item of clothing in a masterful way... I just simply hated,hate it.
That's why back then, as well as now, I put off that last step as long as possible.
...  In fact years ago as a young mother with HUGE baskets of sprinkled, ready to iron items, every once in awhile, I would wrap some of those "damp, not wet bundles" in freezer paper and label them "Liver." That way not only would no one ever open them, but they would be frozen, free from mildew and waiting to be ironed for weeks. 

Happily, even ironing has gotten much easier.
Irons that produce heat AND steam have replaced the sprinkling process, And now the trend to wear wrinkles, no matter how horrendous, has become more and more acceptable ... even cool! 
... Good news for me, who as a senior citizen, is quite touchy about discussing wrinkles of any kind ... anytime ... anywhere!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.