Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Iron woman

I have a shameful secret.  Really, really shameful.  Only a few people know it and I usually don't like to talk about it.  I quite like ironing.

My post on fabric napkins garnered a lot of "I love them, but hate ironing" comments so I thought I should come clean (so to speak).

Ironing is a bit like making jams and preserves - I'm not that keen on the process but I really love the result.

There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from a truly empty ironing basket that defies description. 

Early memories of my mother are Sunday afternoons watching old movies on the telly while she ironed.  The smell of hot cotton and Fabulon!  I got to do hankies and pillowcases.

One of my household chores as a teenager was the family ironing.  I didn't much like it, but I wanted my pocket money and it was better than mowing the lawn.  When I was at college, I took in ironing to earn extra money.  

Ironing also gave me a passive-agressive outlet.  When Dad was pissing me off (and when wasn't he?), I starched his undies and hankies until they could stand up on their own.  After I left home he complained to Mum that his clothes didn't feel quite right!

But I have to be honest, I enjoy seeing a rail of freshly pressed items and get a thrill seeing people I love looking smart in garments I have ironed.  It's a bit like knitting really.  All that time and effort - you'd only do it for those you love.

The Old Flame bought a divine new ironing board once I started doing his shirts, and I've invested in new spray bottles and pressing cloths and a clothes rack (because I broke the old one with over-use) in this last year.  I even found the much lusted after Elna Press (at a garage sale in South West Rocks in August for $40) - which makes ironing jeans and tablecloths a breeze.

In moments of frustration I dream of leaving work and setting up as an ironing lady.  There may even be a business plan tucked in the back of my diary.  It's a great plan; let me know if you need an ironing lady, I might be able to fit you in.

Now go away, I have a fifties housewife to channel.


2paw said...

Oh what memories!! We didn't have a steam iron. My job was to shake water, from a vinegar bottle with holes punched in the lid, onto the clothes and linen and to roll them up half an hour before my mum would be ready to iron. No Fabulon- maybe some starch!!
I love to iron things, I love the steam and the shot of steam and the crisp edges.
Thank you for this lovely post!!!

twitchy fingers said...

I think I get it - making order in the chaos. You've made it sounds so wonderfully romantic! But I still think you're a weirdo... ;) P.S my word verification for this comment is 'pressest'!!!

Petunia said...

My mother ironed on Tuesdays! On Monday, she washed and hung it all out. The items to be starched were dipped in, hung out, then sprinkled with water, rolled up, placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator overnight - I guess to keep away mold/mildew? She started ironing before we left for school on Tues morning and was still there when we got home. Good old days??

Olivia said...

Lovely post. Get your thrills however suits you as long as it's not hurting anyone. I don't have an ironing basket. The iron is more often used for knitting/craft projects than anything else. Mum taught me to hang/fold all clothes as soon as they come off the line. Then just touch up those things that need it, when you want to wear them. I seem to get away with hardly any ironing. I used to hate trying to get the trouser pleat right - the hideous double pleat gives me the heebie jeebies. Now all mine do ok just hanging up, and NEVER get ironed!!!

chocolategirl64 said...

there's something quite zen about ironing indeed :
sunday afternoon is my ironing day too :
bbc radio 4 + a big mug of tea :
probably because school uniforms are needed next day :
nothing wrong with the process or a confession :