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Silks, To Wash

For a dress to be washed, the seams of a skirt do not require to be ripped apart, though it must be removed from the band at the waist, and the lining taken from the bottom. Trimmings or drapings, where there are deep folds, the bottom of which is very difficult to reach, should be undone, so as to remain flat. A black silk dress, without being previously washed, may be refreshed by being soaked during twenty-four hours in soft, clear water, clearness in the water being indispensable. If dirty the black dress may be previously washed. When very old and rusty, a pint of alcohol should be mixed with each gallon of water. This addition is an improvement under any circumstances, whether the silk be previously washed or not. After soaking, the dress should be hung up to drain dry without being wrung. The mode of washing silks is this: The article should be laid upon a clean, smooth table. A flannel just wetted with lukewarm water should be well soaped, and the surface of the silk rubbed one way with it, care being taken that this rubbing is quite even. When the dirt has disappeared, the soap must be washed off with a sponge and plenty of cold water, of which the sponge must be made to imbibe as much as possible. As soon as one side is finished, the other must be washed precisely in the same manner. Let it be understood that not more of either surface must be done at a time than can be spread perfectly flat upon the table, and the hand can conveniently reach; likewise the soap must be quite sponged off one portion before the soaped flannel is applied to another portion. Silks, when washed, should always be dried in the shade, on a linen horse, and alone. If black or dark blue, they will be improved if they are placed on a table when dry, and well sponged with alcohol.


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