( a full history of washing through the ages can be found on our Washday Website )



1-    A good way to clean heavy furs such as beaver is to rub them well with hot bran, Rub in the bran with your hands then shake the fur to remove all traces of bran from it.


a.    Long haired furs should be combed often. Use a metal comb with wide teeth, an ordinary toilet comb is to fine. Comb gently to avoid dragging out the hairs


b.    Never cut fur with scissors in the ordinary way. use either a sharp Knife or an old razor blade for this purpose, and slit it along on the back,


c.     To repair a tear in a fur unpick the lining and sew the skin at the back using a strong needle.


d.     Then sew the lining into place again.


e.    The mend will be invisible from the front.


f.       When re-lining a fur, first of all remove the old lining and wadding.


g.    Then tack on new wadding, the size of the fur, and stitch the edge all round under the binding of the fur.


h.    Cut the lining big enough to be fairly full when sewn to the fur.


 i.       Turn in the edges, tack the lining in position, and then ham the edges neatly to the binding of the fur.




To Clean Dark Furs

The safest thing to use is bran. Warm a quantity of new bran in a pan, taking care that it does not burn.

To prevent this happening stir it briskly when it has become well warmed. Rub it thoroughly into the fur with your fingers.

Repeat this two or three time then shake the fur and give it another rubbing until free from dust.


To Clean Light Furs

The treatment for cleaning light furs is the same as for white furs, with the following addition.

They should be rubbed with magnesia or a piece of book muslin after the bran process, working against the way of the fur.


To Clean White Fur

Lay the furs on the table and rub well with a quantity of bran moistened with warm water.

Rub until quite dry, and then rub again with dry bran.

The wet bran should be put on with flannel, dry with white muslin.


To Cut Fur

To cut fur, slit it along on the wrong side with a sharp penknife or an old razor blade, scissors should never be used, as with them the hair of the fur is sure to be cut as well as the skin.


To Dry Furs

Artificial heat is much too severe for the drying of wet furs, as it destroys their softness.

They may however be dried in a warm room well away from the direct heat of the fire if they are first wiped with a clean cloth to remove the surface moisture.


To Look After Your Fur

When a fur is taken off it should be well shaken and hung up in coloured silk bags, dark blue or purple being the best.

This preserves the colour and protects the fur from dust and rubbing in the wardrobe.


To Reline a Fur

Remove the old lining and the wadding. Cut a piece of new wadding the size of the fur and tack into position.

Cut the lining fairly big, turn in the edges, and tack into place, then sew to the fur.



To Repair Your Fur

To sew a tear in your fur, unpick the lining and sew the skin at the back, using a very strong needle. To put in a patch, cut a piece of fur the right size and sew up the patch as for a tear.


To Store Your Fur

Shake the fur thoroughly, brush and comb it, and lay it flat on sheets of newspaper, as moths do not like the smell of printer’s ink.

Put several pieces of camphor in the folds of the fur.

Wrap up in the newspaper, paste down the edges, and tie with string.

When removed from the parcel shake well and hang in the open air to get rid of the smell of camphor.




Gloves wear longer and keep their shape better if, as soon as they are taken off, the fingers and thumbs are inflated by being blown into. The gloves should then be laid perfectly flat in a glove box until next wanted.

 The grubby finger tips of light kid gloves can be cleaned by rubbing with a piece of soft white India rubber. Clean the rubber on blotting paper as it becomes soiled. Special rubber can be bought for the purpose.

 Very soiled light coloured gloves will look like new if washed in petrol. Fill a basin with clean petrol, put in your gloves for a few minutes. Wash the cleanest gloves first.

 Take a small piece of white flannel and rub the fingers and dirty parts carefully. Then rub the gloves lightly with the hands with an ordinary washing movement, and wring them out carefully.

 The cleaned gloves should then be pulled gently into shape. BUT not stretched, and hung out to dry in the air. Very dirty gloves can then be washed in the petrol. Petrol is highly in flammable, and should be kept well away from any naked light.

 To clean coloured skin gloves, mix together equal quantities of fuller’s earth and powdered alum, and rub the gloves all over with the mixture. Leave for two hours, then brush thoroughly to eliminate the power.

 The secret of keeping gloves in good condition is to clean them before they get too soiled.

 Once they have become much stained it is difficult to regain their too soiled. Once they have become very stained it is difficult to regain their new looking appearance.

 The useful hints given, show you how easy it is to look after your gloves




I have found such a pretty way of renovating an old afternoon frock of mine.

          Originally, the frock was a simple affair in fine black wool, brightened with a treble gilt chain sewn around the neck.

          Next time I wore it to a tea party all my friends told me how much they liked my new dress and I didn’t put them wise !, this is how I gave it its newness.

          From an old rose coloured evening dress I cut two wide bands of satin on the cross.

          I hemmed these and stitched one set of ends on to the shoulders, crossed them over in front, stitched them down onto the skirt, and turned the bottom ends into two big gathered pockets on the skirt.

          If it sounds a complicated business to you, let me tell you it was easy as falling out of a tree.

          The cross over bands in front gives a new and softening neckline to your frock, and the pockets look very quaint and original.




New stocking – to take away the too shiny look from silk stocking, rinse them before wearing them.


Darn diagonally across the weave instead of with it, and the darn will give as the stocking stretches, thus lessening the tendency of the fabric to break into new holes near to darn.


To make stocking wear and keep their colour , soak them before wearing for ten minutes in boiling water , to which has been added enough washing blue to colour it.


Dissolve some shredded soap in a very little hot water.

Cool down the lather with cold water until it is just warm, and then put in your stocking.

Do not rub but squeeze them about until all the dirt is removed.

Rinse in two or three tepid waters, squeeze out as much moisture as possible without wringing and dry in the shade.

Suede Belt


          A pretty cherry or jade coloured suede belt lends such cheer to a dark frock, but the snag about them is that the suede so quickly gets grubby.

          A clean up as good as new cure is this.


          First of all, rub up the belt well with a rubber suede cleaning brush, then go over it with a wee baby’s brush dipped in petrol.

          Hang out to dry in the open, and in half an hour the belt will be ready for anything.





Darn thin places in damask and linen with the finest thread possible.

If the fabric is thick, darn on the wrong side, picking up the stitches on the upper threads so that the stitches are invisible on the right side.


If the place is much worn there can be no attempt at concealment and the darn must be done boldly on the right side.

When there is a pattern on the material darn to the shape of it always taking the threads straight up and down.

Darning one way may be sufficient but if not the threads must be crossed.



Big holes in stocking should have a patch of fine net of the same colour tacked on over the hole.

This will form a firm foundation through which to darn in the usual across and across way.

When the heels of stocking wear out quickly darn them before wearing with two strands of fine mercerised thread.

The darning will out lest the stocking web.

Darning should be done on the right side and over a darning egg.



Cleaning and Pressing your Suit.


 Cleaning a suit is an easy job, but pressing requires experience.

If you are only a beginner, it is better to try on an old suit before touching your everyday clothes.

For pressing, you will need a sleeve board, a heavy iron (about 10lbs is the best weight ), an iron stand, a iron holder, a clothes brush, a basin of cold water and a piece of material, such as calico, to use as a “damp cloth” to put over the material.

First, give the suit a hard brushing, then go over it for any grease spots, and remove these with turpentine or petrol.

Remove mud stains, round the foot of the trousers with methylated spirits.

If there are any shiny parts follow the instructions given above.

Then go over the entire suit with a rag wrung out in ammonia water.

For this dissolve the ammonia in hot water.

The waistcoat should be pressed first, and hung on a clothes hanger.

It will then have a chance to “set” before the coat is hung over it.




Make sure that you test the iron’s heat on a piece of old cloth before using it. If it scorches this material, naturally it must be allowed to cool a little before using.

You must watch carefully to see that you do not remove the iron too soon and also that you do not leave it to long.

If you remove it while the cloth is still fairly damp, the material will have a wrinkled appearance.

This is caused by the fact that the hot steam has caused the wool to expand.

As the cloth dries, however the wrinkles disappear, but if you allow the cloth to get too dry before removing the hot iron, the material will look hard and shiny.

Only experience can tell you when to strike the happy medium, and that is why you are recommended to experiment first on an old suit.

When pressing the coat, the most convenient order is, sleeves the facings (those pieces of cloth inside the front of the coat) and the fronts, the armpits, the shoulders the sleevehead (the part where the shoulder and sleeve are joined) lapels, and the collar.


Pressing Lapels

There are two ways of pressing the lapels, if you want them to lie flat against the coat; you should put both coat and lapel on the sleeve board and then press the lapel down firmly.

But if you prefer a “roll” on the lapels and most men prefer these just put the lapel alone on the board and press it gently.

While pressing the coat and trousers don’t forget to pull out the pockets before using the iron.

This prevents ridges from forming during the pressing.

Here is also a way of making the buttons on your suit look fresh.

Cover them with a damp cloth and let the iron rest on them lightly for 6 to 7 seconds.

Then rub them briskly with a hard brush, and you will find that this removes the dust which has collected on them.

They will then look like new.


Taking Care of Your Shirts


The cuffs are usually the first parts of a shirt to show signs of wear and tear.

The reason for this is easily explained, the fabric in contact with the skin, takes up perspiration which is stubbornly holds the dirt.

This means that in washing, extra effort is needed to get them clean and so their life is shortened.

The best way of lengthening the cuffs’ life is to have them stiffened slightly, because this prevents them from getting so dirty.

The same applies to collars, which first begin to fray at the points where they are in contact with the neck.

If you have them stiffened, they will last you much longer and will also look neater.

Some men discard their shirts as soon as the cuffs fray, but there is no need to do this if you get your wife to turn them for you.

All she has to do is undo the seams which join the cuffs to the shirt sleeves, turn the cuffs inside out, and then stitch up the seams.

After an iron has been pressed over them to make a neat crease at the wrist, they will look good as new.

When your shirt front wears into a hole where the collar rubs, here is a simple way in which it can be mended.

Carefully cut away the lining of the back yoke and unpick the centre seam, and you will have two spare pieces of material that fit exactly on to the fronts.

Stitch these in place covering the holes, and reline the yoke with an odd piece of linen.


Preventing Holes in Your Socks


Here is a way of staving off the day when your socks will go into holes at the toe.

Change over the socks of a pair every day, so that each is worn on the right and left foot alternately.

It is quite easy to get into a way of knowing how you wore the socks on the previous day.

Hang them over a chair when you take them off at night, and arrange them as you will wear them on the following day.

After you have done this on one or two nights, it just becomes a habit, or the easy way is just put new ones on the next day.


How to Obtain “Shoe Comfort”


When buying shoes, take care to get a good fit.

The leather should fit quite closely to the foot, but it should not pinch.

Make sure that the sole of the foot and the toes feel quite comfortable.

When buying walking shoes for use in the country, select ones with thick soles, there should be room for you to wear sock in the shoe, for this makes walking more comfortable.

Don’t go for a long walk in new shoes, they should be “broken in” by only wearing them for short periods.

A good way of making new shoes or boots waterproof is to rub the soles with tallow. Continue to rub it in until the leather will absorb no more, the grease will clog the leather and make it waterproof.

It is advisable to have two or three pairs of shoes in commission. Shoes will last much longer if they are given at least one day’s rest after being worn for the day. And keep them on trees when they are not in use.

This not only helps them to keep their shape, but also prevents the leather from cracking.

When cleaning shoes, don’t use a knife for scraping off mud and dirt, as this weakens the leather, and it better to use a hard brush.

If in cleaning, polish piles up on the leather and makes it look uneven or patchy, wash the polish off with warm water, then dry thoroughly and then repolish.

Wet shoes should be put onto trees as soon as they are taken off, and should be allowed to dry thoroughly before they are used again.

Don’t dry them in front of the fire, let them dry out of their own accord, and the leather will not be harmed.

One way of drying wet shoes is to fill them with sand; this dries them quickly without allowing them to alter their shape. If your new shoes are a bit tight, why not put wet newspaper in them and leave to dry out.

A pebble beach at the seaside is the greatest enemy for shoes, for walking among pebbles cuts up the leather. The best way to repair the damage is to rub them well with warm milk, to which a teaspoonful of soda has been added.

Wait until they are dry, and then polish in the usual way.

One last word in dealing with shoes, does keep a close watch on them, and send them to be repaired as soon as they need soleing or heeling.

It is false economy to delay repairs for a few weeks because the damage is only slight.

If shoes are repaired promptly, it’s add enormously to their life.




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