Nicola here and today I am tackling the ironing, literally in fact as a bout of Covid followed by a trip away has meant that I am a bit behind on all my chores. I know there are people who enjoy ironing, who even find it therapeutic, but I am not one of them. I don’t like it at all. But I do like the result – nicely pressed clothes and smooth bed linen, so that presents me with a bit of a dilemma.
Smoothing clothes to get rid of creases and make them look – and feel – nicer is apparently an ancient pastime. Before the Chinese used metal to press cloth over a thousand years ago, people had been using heated rocks to flatten animal hides for millennia. Materials such as stone, wood and glass had been used as well, but the first “iron” appeared in the Middle Ages. There were a number of issues associated with early irons such as not being able to regulate their heat on an open fire, getting soot and dirt on the clothes and the iron cooling down rapidly and needing to be frequently re-heated. This does remind me a little of my steam iron which has a habit of spitting chalky water on my clothes unexpectedly when I am trying to press them.