To Clean Colored Silks.

Scientific American 21, 12.2.1848

Put some white soap into boiling water and heat it until dissolved into a strong lather. At a hand heat put in the article. If strong it may be rubbed as in washing: rinse it quickly in warm water and add oil of vitriol sufficient to give another water a sourish taste, if for bright yellows, crimsons, maroons and scarlets, but for oranges, fawns, browns or other shades, use no acid. For bright scarlet use a solution of tin. Gently squeeze, and then roll it in a coarse sheet and wring it. Hang it in a warm room to dry, and finish it by calendering or mangling.

For pinks, rose colors, and thin shades, &c instead of oil of citriol, or solution of tin, prefer lemon juice, or white tartar or vinegar.

For blues, purples, and their shades, add a small quantity of American perlash; it will restore the colors. Wash the articles like a linen garment, but instead of wringing, gently squeeze and shake them, and when dry, finish them with fine gum water, or dissolved isinglass, to which add some perlash rubbed on the side; then pin them out.

Blues of all shades are dyed with archil and afterwards dipped in a vat; twice cleaning with perlash, restores the color. For olive-greens, a small quantity of verdigris dissolved in water or a solution of copper, mixed with the water, will very soon revive the color again.

The above we have taken from one of our exchanges, it is not for us to say which one it was, as in all probability it might have been copied from some other. But we warn out reader against trying the efficacy of said receipts with anything valuable. It is too common a practice with our newspapers to pick up anything in the shape of receipts and publish them, leading some of their readers to try the experiment to their sad loss. If silks be rubbed on a wash-board their lustre will be spoiled forever. If silk be rubbed between the fingers its surface will be abraided and its fine gloss spoiled. Colored silks can only be washed in cold soap suds and the less they are rubbed the better. In fact colored silks never look well after being washed except they be restored in color by the Dyer. The least warmth of water will discharge the blue color of our common blues. It is only fugitive, made with the sulphate of indigo, and if the least particle of soda or pearlash be used in the water the color will disappear like snow in a thaw. Alum and the muriate of tin are the safest restoratives of colors. Purples, reds and scarlets can be safely treated with the muriate of tin. Blues, greens and yellows with alums. Silks are fressed by stretching them out on copper cylinders heated with steam, or frames full of small teeth, made so as to allow the silk to stretch in the drying. This process restores its shining appearance. It is stiffened with white glue.

The calendar or the mangle would be a sad end for some silks. Frames called lappet frames are the kind that are used for dressing silk pieces.

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