Woolen dresses may be laid out on a table and brushed all over; but in general, even in woolen fabrics, the lightness of the tissues renders brushing unsuitable to dresses, and it is better to remove the dust from the folds by beating them lightly with a handkerchief or thin cloth. Silk dresses should never be brushed, but rubbed with a piece of merino or other soft material, of a similar color to the silk, kept for the purpose. Summer dresses of muslin, and other light materials, simply require shaking; but if the muslin be tumbled, it must be ironed afterwards.
If feathers have suffered from damp, they should be held near the fire for a few minutes, and restored to their natural state by the hand or a soft brush, or re-curled with a blunt knife, dipped in very hot water. Furs and feathers not in constant use should be wrapped up in linen washed in lye. From May to September they are subject to being made the depository of moth-eggs.
Fine clothes require to be brushed lightly, and with a rather soft brush, except where mud is to be removed, when a hard one is necessary; previously beat the clothes lightly to dislodge the dirt. Lay the garment on a table, and brush in the direction of the nap. Having brushed it properly, turn the sleeves back to the collar, so that the folds may come at the elbow-joints; next turn the lapels or sides back over the folded sleeves; then lay the skirts over level with the collar, so that the crease may fall about the center, and double only half over the other, so that the fold comes in the center of the back.
To remove grease-spots from cotton or woolen materials, absorbent pastes, and even common soap, are used, applied to the spot when dry. When the colors are not fast, place a layer of fuller's-earth or pulverized potter's clay over the spot, and press with a very hot iron. For silks, moires and plain or brocaded satins, pour two drops of rectified spirits of wine over the spot, cover with a linen cloth, and press with a hot iron, changing the linen instantly. The spot will look tarnished, for a portion of the grease still remains; this will be removed entirely by a little sulphuric ether, dropped on the spot, and a very little rubbing. If neatly done, no perceptible mark or circle will remain; nor will the lustre of the richest silk be changed, the union of the two liquids operating with no injurious effects from rubbing. Eau-de-Cologne will also remove grease from cloth and silk. Fruit-spots are removed from white and fast-colored cottons by the use of chloride of soda. Commence by cold-soaping the article, then touch the spot with a hair-pencil or feather dipped in the chloride, and dip immediately into cold water, to prevent the texture of the article being injured. Fresh ink-spots are removed by a few drops of hot water being poured on immediately after applying the chloride of soda. By the same process, iron-mould in linen or calico may be removed, dipping immediately in cold water to prevent injury to the fabric. Wax dropped on a shawl, table-cover, or cloth dress, is easily discharged by applying spirits of wine; syrups or preserved fruits, by washing in lukewarm water with a dry cloth, and pressing the spot between two folds of clean linen.