Then came steam irons (they do not work as well to remove wrinkles from cottons as the old-fashioned method described above), spray bottles, aerosol spray fabric starch and finishes and, of course, wash and wear.
|Modern day steam iron, just so everyone knows what one looks like.|
Fashion finally lifted ban on "come as you are." Gone was the need to have your clothes pressed neatly: no starched white blouses and shirts, no knife-creased pants. Rumpled was in. Hardly even a need to have hangers and a closet. Pulling clothes from the bottom of the pile insured that they had the worn and seasoned look. The new "new" was old, well-worn and nearly worn out. But I digress.
I came to value the process of ironing. The effect is similar in many respects to soothing--taking an item that is out of shape and out of sorts and gently removing the figurative and literal wrinkles--calming the cloth and calming the soul.
There are few garments in my closet any longer that know the touch of an iron, and we send my husband's shirts to the local cleaners where their bread-and-butter comes from starched, neat clothing. The only things I usually iron are the place mats on our dining table and sometimes the table cloth itself. There's a delicious luxury in taking the time to sit with the iron, with plain rectangles of cotton cloth, with a gently-fragranced fabric finish and, without the need for much thought, to create a warm, satin-smooth fabric surface. It is truly one of the loveliest Things I get to do today. I'm so fortunate they are not "pressed for (all) time."
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