CHAPTER XVII
CORSETS IN THE WASH-TUB

WASHING restores "tired" fabrics–The washing method-Special methods with nylon and rayon.
FIG. 45. WASHING AND DRYING

Dowse gently in warm suds; rinse two or three times in clean warm water.

Remove excess moisture by rolling in a clean towel.
dry
Hang evenly over a rail to dry.

CORSET saleswomen will be doing a very real service to their customers if they advise them to wash their corsets and brassieres frequently. It is good for the garments and lengthens their usefulness, apart from all considerations of hygiene.   The continuous stretching that they undergo in wear, combined with the inevitable absorption of sweat from the body, will wear corsets out more quickly than will soap and water. Careful washing restores the garments to their original shape, and repairs the "tiredness" of the fabrics under the strain of continuous wear. Elastic is especially responsive to the tonic influence of the wash-tub.

The same general method of laundering is suitable for all types of corsetry, though special care may be needed with heavily boned garments, and with garments made of synthetic fibres such as rayon and nylon (Fig. 45).

The Washing Method

1. Wash in lukewarm water, squeezing the suds through the garment. Do not use hot water, or elastic parts may tend to deteriorate and coloured corsets may lose colour.

2. Very soiled parts may be brushed with a soft nail brush, or a few flakes of soap may be rubbed lightly on the fabric with the fingers. Do not rub two surfaces together, as to do so may cause distortion of the fabric and breakage of the threads, and elastic parts may deteriorate.

3. Rinse two or three times in clear, lukewarm water. Insufficient rinsing may cause a dingy look.

4. Roll the garment flat in a dry, absorbent towel, and press to get the moisture out. Do not put through a wringer, and do not wring by twisting. This causes the threads of fabric and elastic to break and become distorted, particularly so in the case of rayon, which is weakened when wet. It may also cause colour migration if the maximum amount of water is not removed quickly.

5. Hang to dry with the weight evenly distributed over line or rod. Uneven distribution of the wet weight of a garment may pull it out of shape. Never dry in extreme heat, on radiators or in very hot sunshine, whatever the material with which the garment is made. Extreme heat may damage the fabric and cause migration of colour, and elastic may deteriorate.

6. Iron the non-elastic sections while slightly damp with a warm iron. Never use a hot iron, as it may melt or scorch the fabric. Take particular care with fabrics made of the new synthetic fibres. Do not iron elastic fabrics at all.

Points to Stress

1. Never let foundation garments become too dirty. Heavily soiled garments are more difficult to clean.

2. Do not soak.

3. Laced corsets should be unlaced to facilitate washing, and the laces should be washed separately.

4. Metal clips should be undone, to ensure thorough cleansing of the fabric beneath the clips.

5. Slide fasteners should be done up, to preserve the fastener and prevent the teeth from slipping.

6. Dry all metal sections with a towel before leaving the garment to dry. Most good metal accessories are non-rusting, but to dry them avoids risk.

7. Not all corset elastics are boil-proof, but all are washable. If they do require ironing, they should be ironed under a damp cloth so that the fabric does not come into direct contact with the iron.

Special Points on Nylon

8. Nylon is very easy to wash clean, as it does not absorb dirt, but there are certain precautions to take.

(a) Use warm water in which the soap has been thoroughly dissolved, and douse the garment lightly but thoroughly.

(b) Rinse and press in a towel.

(c) As nylon dries very quickly, it will be ready for ironing almost immediately. If it has become too dry, rinse it through again. After excess moisture has been removed, smooth out garment and iron on the "wrong side."

(d) Use a cool iron on nylon fabrics. Nylon will melt under a hot iron.

9. Brassieres and the bust sections of corselettes should be ironed over a soft round pad, and the ironing should be done carefully, so as to preserve the shape. Net and lace sections should be gently stretched under the iron.

10. Be careful not to press the fasteners into the fabric; they may cut little holes.

11. Press seams until they are dry and flat, to prevent contraction.

Basic Rules

Never use hot water.

Never rub two surfaces together.

Never wring or twist the fabric.

Never dry in extreme heat.

Never use a hot iron, and

Do not iron elastic fabrics.

CHAPTER XVIII