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The Echo & Argus, 21 February 1930, transcribed by Gill Hollis.
Silk Stocking Secrets
By Marjorie Groome

If silk stockings are to last for any length of time and retain their pristine appearance, there are several important details which must not be neglected.

When buying silk stockings, it is advisable to choose at least two pairs of the exact shade and make, as in this way a saving may be effected. One stocking of a pair invariably wears out sooner than the other, with the result that the good one which remains becomes utterly useless. Now, if two pairs are bought, it is possible to add this odd stocking to one of the other pair, and so continue wearing it.

Before Wearing

It is useful to know that the life of new silk stockings may be considerably lengthened if, before wearing, they are placed for half an hour in a bowl of cold water to which has been added a little salt. After the soaking, rinse them well in clean cold water and allow to dry.

The appearance and life of silk stockings, however, depend, more than anything else, upon the way in which they are washed. The process is best performed by kneading and squeezing the soiled stockings in warm water, containing sufficient dissolved soap to form a free lather. Wash the stockings thoroughly on both sides, remembering to avoid rubbing and the use of hard soap. Soda, of course, must never be employed; it is most injurious to silk. But if the water is hard, it is best to soften it by means of powdered borax.

Washing Hints

When the stockings are quite clean, they should be rinsed well in plenty of warm water, and then in cold. Gently squeeze out the water between the hands, but do not wring or twist the stockings. Next lay them out flat on a towel to dry. It is a great mistake to hang up stockings to dry, for this often causes them to ladder and become full of little holes.

If silk stockings are ironed, remember to use a moderately warm iron, and always place a piece of muslin between the iron and the stocking. This operation, however, is not really necessary, because sufficient gloss may be obtained by adding methylated spirit to the last rinsing water, in the proportion of two dessertspoonsful to one pint.

Fewer Ladders

In spite of careful washing, it frequently happens that stockings of a delicate shade become dull and faded-looking. This may usually be prevented by soaking them in a solution of cold water and turpentine, before washing in the usual manner. One gill of turpentine to two gallons of water is quite sufficient for this purpose.

“Ladders” are a familiar source of annoyance. But if several rows of machine stitching are made round the tops of the stockings, just below the suspender line, this trouble may be minimised.

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