Laundry Day

September 2nd, 2011

After three hot summer days of modeling in 19th century clothes, sweating profusely and getting drenched in a sudden thunderstorm, it was high time to wash my chemise and drawers.


If I was washing these in the 1850s, they’d be soaked in harsh soap, boiled, scrubbed and wrung out. Even so, I couldn’t bear to subject my embroidery to more than a gentle swish in a lukewarm bathtub. Then I wrung them out carefully — just squeezing the lace — and hung them to drip dry.

I was also reminded of this old English nursery rhyme, with its startlingly blunt conclusion:

They that wash on Monday
Have all the week to dry.

They that wash on Tuesday
Are not so much awry.

They that wash on Wednesday
Are not so much to blame.

They that wash on Thursday
Wash for very shame.

They that wash on Friday
Wash in dire need.

They that wash on Saturday
Are lazy sluts indeed!

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