Learn about Life in the 1920s

Cleaning Millinery Materials continued

Cleaning Lace: White lace, if of silk, must be cleaned in gasoline, afterwards pressed on the wrong side with muslin over it. Black silk lace can be treated in the same way, or the same as recommended for black silk. Press on a thickly covered board. White laces, if handsome and worth the trouble, should be soaked in several waters prepared with Ivory soap, good suds. Shake the lace frequently in this, and if there are any very dirty spots pat or brush gently, do not rub. When clean rinse in several waters, and pin out on a thickly covered ironing table, taking care to brush out and pin all the little loops that form the edge. Pin right side up. When dry take up, turn, and press out the pattern with the round end of an orange stick or ivory penholder. If the lace is very soft and needs a little stiffening, dissolve a little gum arabic and mix it with the last rinsing water. If it is required tinted, make the last rinsing water yellow with saffron steeped in boiling water and strained, or ecru with coffee, or cream with tea. Some laces, like Valenciennes, may be washed and ironed wet; never starch lace for millinery purposes.

Cleaning Feathers and Wings: Ostrich feathers, Paradise plumes, and aigrettes, may be cleaned in gasoline, shaken out and dried in the wind; even black are the better for this occasionally, as when dirty the fronds become stringy. But if feathers are badly out of curl as well as dirty, it is best to send them to some reliable feather dresser. Wings and breasts can be cleaned by shaking and rubbing gently with corn meal in a cardboard box; then pat and shake in the air. Light furs can be cleaned in the same way. Never use gasoline near fire or light.

Cleaning Felt and Beaver Hats: The corn-meal bath is equally efficacious for light felt and beaver hats and cloth; but these may be well brushed. Leghorn and Panama hats, if not too dirty and sunburned, can be scrubbed with Hand sapolio, rinsed, wiped, dried quickly, then pressed, with a clean dry cotton cloth laid over and a hot iron. Of course this applies to flat brims only; fancy shapes must be sent to a bleachery. Use a tiny iron-a tailor's round sleeve iron is best-for the inside of the crown.

To clean dark straws, brush well, rub into all corners with a bit of velvet, and brush over with white of egg. Black hats may be renovated by mixing good black ink with dissolved gum arabic and brushing the mixture over.

Flowers, if good but faded, may be retinted with ordinary water colors, if dirty the color can be mixed with gasoline, which will clean and tint at the same time.

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