Wednesday, 13 November 2013

QMU Archive


In order to give you an insight into the QMU archive here is one of the most prolific objects in the collection…

The Iron

The QMU archive holds a wonderful collection of irons, from Gas to Flat, to SAD to Egg, you name it, if it was used in the application of heat in order to smooth fabric we’ve got it! This one is called a Goffering or Tally iron.


 

Goffering Iron c.1890

 
 
The Victorians took ironing a lot more seriously than we do and had various instruments to even out every inch of fabric. The Goffering Iron first appeared in the early19th century and was used to iron waves of ruffles while keeping the flounces without flattening them. The metal test tube was heated by inserting a metal poker fresh from stove or hearth. Rolls of delicate frills and lace, which were used as decoration on caps, aprons, night-gowns and underskirts were wound around the cylinder, while smaller trimmings such as ribbons were moved across it. This was a time consuming process and  Victorians took great pride in a display of expertly-ironed ruffles,

as demonstrated in this picture of Mrs Robinow  Director of The Edinburgh School of Cookery 1875 – 1906.
 
 


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