So to make it a little more palatable, and for a true "vintage ironing experience" I've been acquiring and using only 1940s/50s household ironing implements. After I wash them with homemade laundry soap
(another post) and line dry them, the next step is ironing.
I don't know if this makes the actual chore better or worse, but it's more visually appealing at least...
Some time ago, my modern steam iron started to automatically shut itself off about every 2 minutes while I was ironing. Needless to say, this was annoying; I had to go and unplug it and re-start it every time. I went to buy a new iron and was dismayed to find that I could not buy one that was made in America. (This is one of my pet peeves, and I prefer not to buy new things unless they support American manufacturing jobs.)
So I began the hunt for a vintage iron. I found one not long afterwards at a rummage sale, and fell in love. I mean, how could you not love good old, American-made, chrome and turquoise (even if it is an iron? ;). Plus, at $1 it was far cheaper than the foreign-made dreck, and I'm sure it will last longer, since it already has at least 40 years under its steam plate.
When I am ironing, I prefer a big, heavy ironing board that won't tip over. This is a 1920s-vintage ironing board that I inherited. It really is a board, with a cotton pad over top and steel legs. It probably weighs 10 times what a modern ironing board weighs and is solid as a rock.
My new iron does have a steam feature, but many vintage irons do not. In order to get that extra moisture to remove stubborn wrinkles, most housewives used a laundry sprinkler.
This is just a sprinkler top placed in a repurposed bottle. Mine happens to have been made out of a ketchup bottle, which was painted and decal-ed with a Mexican motif. I found this in a thrift store for a couple of bucks.
I rarely use starch, either the spray or boil kinds. For things like tablecloths, which might be stored for a while, the starch can attract unwanted insects. Plus, I hate the smell.
Here is my new iron in action- I love how it lights up when it is hot. And it does get hot- way hotter than the old iron. Plus, it's at least twice as heavy. It actually makes the job go quicker- always a plus!
And the finished product- two sets of curtains, three tablecloths, and a couple dresses, shirts and blouses. Yes it was dark by the time I was done!