• Becky Fifield

Stocking Washing

The summer is full of living history events, and moreso, the laundry that follows a hot sweaty weekend out in a field without a shower. While plenty of women I know want to get their stays (corset) off first after an event, my priority for removal are my garters (woolen tapes tied around my leg just below my knee, and most of all: my stockings.


Stockings, MFA Boston, 99,842, a-b. http://educators.mfa.org/textile-and-fashion-arts/pair-mens-stockings-38242

Stockings, MFA Boston, 99,842, a-b. http://educators.mfa.org/textile-and-fashion-arts/pair-mens-stockings-38242


Hannah Glasse advises in The Servant’s Directory, Improved (1762) to clean thread and cotton stockings thusly

Give them two lathers and a boil, blueing the water well; wash them out of the boil, but don’t rince them; then turn the wrong side outwards, and fold them very smooth and even, laying them one upon another, and a weight on them to press them smooth; let them lie a quarter of an hour, then hang them up to dry, and when quite so, roll them up tight, but don’t iron them, and they will look like new.

#laundry #HannahGlasse #womenshistory #18thcentury #stockings #livinghistory #TheServantsDirectory #costume

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