A lovely lady contacted us a week or so ago and asked if we would like some books that she has had since she married in 1959: The Book of Good Housekeeping and Good Housekeeping’s Cooking Compendium, both published in 1956!

They’re fantastic books complete with that wonderful, much loved old book smell. We will be sharing with you some of the wisdom from within their pages from time to time, starting with the washing times for particular fabrics.

Approximate times for washing different fabrics:

Cottons and Linen: 5-10 minutes in hot water

Woollens: 1-3 minutes in warm water; hand-knitted garments are best washed by hand

Rayons: 2 minutes in warm water

Silk: 1-3 minutes in warm water

Nylon, Terylene, Orlon: These are best washed by hand; they can be done by machine (2 minutes in warm water) but should not be wrung or spin-dried.


Most articles benefit from being dried in the open air, but woollens, silks and coloured articles should not be exposed to strong sunlight. Most garments should be hung from the shoulders, but if there is any tendency to stretch (as in the case of  loosely knitted garments, or skirts cut on the cross) they are best dried flat.