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In these days of lavish ornamentation and bric-à-brac, the young housekeeper must be on guard against filling her house with such furnishings as would make it stuffy and cause it to lack individuality. The home should be an index to the character of the family.
Do not furnish your house fully until you have lived in it a while. Buy at first only such furniture as you need for comfort. When you are settled you can study the needs of each part of the house, and, after you have fully determined exactly what you want, buy it whenever you see an advantageous chance.
Never decide hastily upon a piece of furniture; purchase for the future as much as for the present. It is true fashions change in furniture from year to year, but it is only people of large means who can follow a fashion of this kind.
The plain, elegant styles are quite expensive as compared with the ordinary pieces which are turned out of factories by the thousand, and which are covered with ornamentation to catch the popular fancy. One quickly wearies of such furniture; besides, it is not so well made as the plainer styles, and therefore gets out of order very easily.
Get the things necessary for kitchen, bedroom, dining-room, and sitting-room before doing anything about the parlor, and let every article be of good quality, no matter how plain. Make an estimate of what you can spend on each room; then get the best things possible.
What to Buy for the Chambers.
One can get a chamber set for as low a sum as twenty-five dollars; but the prices run up rapidly until the hundreds are reached.
Handsome, well made sets, with little or no ornamentation (the quality of the wood, and the finish, giving them a simple elegance not found in more showy pieces) cost from forty to seventy-five dollars. The set includes bedstead, dressing-case, wash-stand, towel-rack, a small table, two common chairs, and a rocker.
The more expensive sets have the English wash-stand. No marble is used with the finest chamber furniture. The springs, mattresses, etc., must be purchased separately, as a rule. Have good ones. Have shades and plain muslin curtains for the windows.
Stain the floors, if possible. If you prefer not to do that, use straw matting, with one rug beside the bed and another in front of the wash-stand. In buying the toilet set select one that has a plain, fine shape and simple decoration.
There are two articles which one must have for this room: a table and some chairs. It often happens that the young housekeeper, not realizing the necessity for having these of generous size, and well made, chooses articles that appear good, but which, in a short time, become unstable. Oak is the most satisfactory wood for the dining-room. Have the table of good width, as a narrow one never looks well. The chairs should be strong, broad-seated, and with high backs.
Having the chairs and table, you can wait for the other things, although a sideboard table is a desirable thing, if one can afford it. If you cannot have exactly what you want, be patient.
Sideboards, sideboard tables, and china closets of glass all come in such simple yet tasteful designs that one may be sure to like them all one’s life. It will pay to wait for such a piece of furniture. Have a hard-wood floor, if you can; otherwise have the floor stained. Just enough of the floor may be stained to make a deep border, and a simple rug be placed in the center of the room. Shades, without any draperies, answer very well for this room.
Comfort in the Sitting-room.
In the sitting-room, where the family gathers for the evening, and where some members of the household spend a good part of each day, put all the comfort you can.
Let it be one of the largest and brightest rooms in the house. There should be a bookcase, a firm table of good size, several comfortable chairs, a couch with plenty of pillows, a good lamp, with a shade that will not try the eyes, some pictures, a few plants and shades and draperies that will soften, but not exclude, the light. If possible, have an open fireplace.
Let this be a room that shall always be remembered as one of the pleasantest spots in the world. When possible, have a hard-wood or a stained floor, with a rug in the center.
Selecting Carpets and Rugs.
In buying carpets remember that the best are always the cheapest. The more limited one’s means are, the more essential it is that only a good article shall be purchased.
The best quality of body Brussels will outwear two or more of the cheaper tapestry carpets. A finely woven smooth ingrain carpet may cost half a dollar more per yard than one of common texture, but it will be cheaper in the end. Nothing is more unsatisfactory than one of the loosely woven straw mattings.
A fine matting, costing say from sixty to seventy cents a yard, will last a dozen years or more, with constant wear, too. It is so fine that but little dust sifts through, and the strands do not pull apart, as in coarser grades. Rugs for the centre of the room can be made from a body Brussels, with a border to match.
They should be tacked down. Japanese cotton rugs, pretty and durable, cost from three to six dollars. They are good for bedrooms, bath-rooms, and sitting-rooms. Buy handsome rugs whenever you can afford to. They are a good investment; for, unlike carpets, they do not wear out, and you can hand them down in the family the same as silver or diamonds.
A beautiful Oriental rug is a joy forever. In selecting one be particular to see that the colors are rich, and have some brightness. In general, when choosing carpets, have the groundwork rather light, and the colors somewhat neutral. Such a carpet will always look clean, and you will not feel the need of shutting out the sunlight through fear of the carpet’s fading.
Choosing a Dinner and Tea Set.
To the young housekeeper of limited means the choice of her table china is quite an important matter. One can get sets for seven and eight dollars, but I should not advise buying anything cheaper than a fifteen-dollar set. If a decorated set be wanted, take one having soft tints, because people soon get weary of seeing pronounced colors or patterns.
Very pretty English sets of one hundred and fifty pieces, decorated in blue, may be had for fifteen dollars. Minton sets of one hundred and thirty-six pieces, basket-pattern border, and decorated in a fine shade of blue, are offered as low as twenty-five dollars.
American china sets in colored decorations are sold at about the same price as the English. Plain white French china sets of one hundred and thirty pieces cost about thirty-five dollars. The quality and prices rise rapidly until sets costing hundreds of dollars are reached.
In making a choice from the great variety displayed there are several things to consider. For instance, what price can you afford to pay? Is the style one that will be lasting, 8and are the goods durable? It often happens that the decoration of a cheap set is much daintier than that of some of the more expensive kinds.
The English and American wares are thick, and do not chip or break easily; but when they do chip, the broken part soon becomes dark. The glaze on these wares cracks readily when exposed to a high temperature. In a dinner set one does not notice particularly that the ware is thick; but thickness in the cups and saucers is disagreeably noticeable, especially in the English wares.
Then, too, unless one get a “stock pattern,” it will often be difficult and expensive to replace a broken piece. The dealers intend to carry a pattern five years; after that one cannot feel sure of replacing a broken piece without much delay and expense.
Plain white French china can always be replaced; the glaze does not crack when exposed to a high temperature; if chipped, the broken part does not become discolored; the ware is in good shapes; the cups and saucers are delicate and pretty, so that a full set of the china is desirable, which, to my mind, is not the case with the English or American wares.
In buying the French china it is wise to get plates with rolled edges. It seems to me, all things considered, that the French china is the most satisfactory, unless there is to be rather rough handling, when I would advise the purchase of the English or American productions. In that case I would further advise that only a dinner set be bought, and that something daintier be taken for the tea and breakfast table.
Odd cups and saucers are quite proper, and give variety and brightness to the table. Odd dessert and salad plates, also, are to be preferred to the regulation sets. The dessert plates and cups and saucers that may be picked up here and there in one’s travels are constant reminders of pleasant experiences.9
Dainty Things for the Table.
Glass has largely taken the place of silver on some of the most elegant tables, many housekeepers collecting and prizing cut-glass as they would jewels; but the woman of moderate means and good taste will find it possible to set her table with plain, clear glass of dainty and elegant shapes which will add brilliancy to the entire table service.
Water bottles, or carafes, as they are commonly called, are much used, and are a great convenience. Individual salt-cellars are again used instead of the salt-shakers which were so popular for many years. These salt-cellars come in glass, dainty china, and silver. A small silver salt-spoon is placed by each one. The china and silver are by all odds the most effective on the table. Pepper bottles of odd designs are placed by the salt. Castors are not in favor.
Bread-and-butter plates may be used at all meals, but are particularly suited for breakfast, luncheon, and tea. They are placed at the left of the regular plate. When the butter and bread are passed, you put them on this plate, dispensing with the small butter plate. These little plates are a great help in keeping the table-cloth clean. They come in several sizes and tasteful patterns.
Fashions in Cutlery.
Table cutlery, as the designation was formerly understood, included all the knives and forks, nut-picks, etc. To-day, among well-to-do people, all the forks, except that which belongs to the carving set, are either sterling-silver or silver-plated. It is astonishing how the table appliances have multiplied in this luxurious age.
For the fish course there are sterling-silver knives and forks of special shapes, and a broad silver knife and fork for serving the fish. Oyster forks of another shape are considered indispensable when raw oysters are served. Knives and forks of medium size are used for entrées, the forks being silver and the knives having silver, silver-plated, or steel blades.
For the meat course the forks are silver and the blades of the knives steel. The dessert knives and forks are silver-plated; the butter knives that are placed by the little bread-and-butter plates are silver. So it will be seen that the cutlery of to-day does not mean for fine tables what it did formerly.
Common knives and forks are made with flat tangs, to which pieces of wood or bone are joined for the handle. In fine knives the tang is made round, and is pressed into a round groove made in the handle. Sometimes this is fastened with a rivet, sometimes with a spring, and again with some cement.
The handles of the finest knives are weighted, unless made of a heavy material like silver. This is important, as it causes the knife to lie flat upon the table. Handles are made of sterling silver, mother-of-pearl, ivory, grained celluloid, plain celluloid, etc. Buckhorn and imitations of buckhorn are used a great deal for carving sets.
Ivory has been used the most for the best class of knives and forks, but in furnace-heated houses the ivory is apt to split. Even the greatest care does not insure against it, and dealers find that this often happens while the goods are kept in their stores. As a substitute for ivory, celluloid, grained celluloid, and ivorine are coming into use.
These substances neither crack, stain, nor turn yellow, as does the ivory; which, of course, is a great consideration. Mother-of-pearl handles cost about twice as much as ivory. With proper care one can keep them in good condition through a lifetime. Sterling-silver handles are very handsome and satisfactory.
Knives and forks with metal handles, which are plated with the rest of the knife or fork, are the most commonly used, because they are so easily cared for and are not liable to get out of order. They are, however, not found upon elegant tables.
WHAT IS NEEDED IN THE KITCHEN.
The kitchen is so important a part of the home that the furnishing should be such as to make the work there both easy and successful. The following list may aid the young housekeeper when making her purchases. The woman with a limited purse may find that she will have to strike out many things from the list, while the woman with a large house and money in plenty will probably extend it.
Upon no one article of household furniture do the comfort and well-being of the family depend so much as upon the kitchen range or stove. A poor range will spoil not only food, but also good temper and happiness; whereas the right sort of range, well treated, will be a source of the greatest comfort and economy.
No matter what else you feel you must economize in, do not let it be in buying the kitchen range. Some ranges have reached such a degree of perfection that it is hard to see where they can be improved. The plainer the range the easier it will be to keep it clean, and of course the cost will be less than if it be trimmed very much. Before making a choice, examine every part thoroughly.
Always try to get one that has a large oven in proportion to the size of the range. There should be plenty of dampers that can be used to hasten the fire or to check it, so that it will keep twelve hours, if necessary. Ranges are made that will do this. Learn all the characteristics of your range, and treat it well; then it will be an invaluable friend to you.
In the kitchen, as in every other part of the house, it is economy to furnish with good articles. Poor cooking utensils are never cheap. In buying iron utensils, be sure to get those that are thoroughly finished. The steel goods come higher than the cast-iron, but they are so smooth that they are four times as valuable in the kitchen as the rougher makes.
The granite or agate ware lightens the labors in the kitchen wonderfully. It is, however, very expensive, and is not so well made as formerly. When buying this ware, examine it closely to see that there is no defect in the enamel. A careful housekeeper who does her own work will find this ware a great comfort, it is so light, smooth, and clean; and with good treatment it will last well.
Mixing-bowls come in yellow and white ware. The white is stone china, and is more durable than the yellow; and although it costs more than the latter, it is cheaper in the end. A steamer of medium size is one of the most useful utensils.
If it be light and simple, it will be used frequently for making puddings and for warming over food, etc. The cheapest kind is made of tin, and in two parts, the lower part being a deep saucepan, into which the water is put, and the upper part a round pan with a perforated bottom. Be particular to see that the cover and all other parts fit well.
Here is a list of articles with which all kitchens should be supplied:—
List of Articles most in Use.
- Basins, of granite ware,—one three-pint, one two-quart, one one-gallon.
- Bowls: yellow,—two two-quart, one three-quart, one one-gallon, two six-quart; white,—six, each holding about a pint; two smooth ones, each holding about a quart.
- Bread board.
- Bread pans, two, for small loaves.
- Broilers,—one for fish, one for other uses.
- Bucket, or tin box, for sugar.
- Cake pans, three,—one deep, two shallow.
- Carving knife and fork.
- Case knives and forks, six each.
- Chairs, three,—one to be low and comfortable.
- Chopping knife and bowl.
- Cups and saucers, half a dozen.
- Dipper, long-handled.
- Dish-cloths, two,—one being of wire.
- Dishpans, two.
- Dish rack.
- Double boilers, two,—one holding one quart, the other two.
- Dredgers for salt, pepper, and flour.
- Dripping-pans, two,—large and small.
- Flour scoop.
- Flour sieve.
- Frying-pans,—one, small, with short handle; four with long handles, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5.
- Glass jars for rice, etc.
- Graters,—one for nutmegs; one coarse, for general use.
- Lemon squeezer, glass.
- Measuring cups, two.
- Meat board.
- Meat rack, small.
- Moulding board.
- Muffin pans, two,—each holding eight or twelve muffins.
- Pitchers, four, for milk, etc.
- Plates, one dozen.
- Platters, two stone-china, for meat.
- Pudding mould, melon, three-pint.
- Quart measure.
- Roll-pans, French, holding six or eight rolls.
- Scotch bowl, No. 4.
- Skewers, set of steel.
- Spice boxes or jars.
- Spoons,—six teaspoons, two table spoons, two wooden spoons, two large iron spoons.
- Stewpans,—two one-quart, two two-quart, two three-quart, one six-quart.
- Stone pots, several small ones, with covers, for various kinds of meal.
- Strainers, two, small,—one for general use, the other for gravy; also one of fine wire.
- Tables, two; if possible, have one covered with zinc or enamel cloth.
- Tin boxes for bread and cake.
- Tin plates, four, deep.
- Tin sheet.
- Towels,—three kinds for dishes, and others for the hands.
- Vegetable masher.
FURNISHING THE LINEN CLOSET.
In olden times the bride came to her new home with a generous supply of linen, the greater part of which was spun and woven by her own hands; in many cases, indeed, the flax was raised and prepared for the spinning-wheel by her.
In some parts of Europe this custom still exists. The bride of to-day takes great pains and pride in providing her household linen, many months being given to dainty sewing and embroidery. Each article has stitched into it many bright hopes and day dreams.
Nothing else in the furnishing of the home has blended with it so many tender, loving thoughts, and to the woman of sentiment it is more sacred than almost any other household possession. Once acquired, this love for fine household linen will cling to a woman all her life. Indeed, what material thing can she bring to her new home that will give more pleasure than a generous supply for her linen closet?
Irish, French, Scotch and English table linens cover many grades, from the coarsest to the finest weaving and the most elaborate patterns. All the new designs are large, but in some of the choicest damasks it is possible to get small patterns, if they be preferred.
The damask sold by the yard rarely reaches a higher price than two dollars and a half. If one wish for especially pleasing designs and extremely fine quality, it will be necessary to buy the set,—table-cloth and one dozen napkins.
The usual width of the best table damask is two yards and a half, but it may be three yards in width. The cloths come from two and a half to four yards in length. In these handsome cloths the border is deep, and the center frequently perfectly plain.
Table-cloths and Napkins.
The range in quality and price of table linen is greater than that of almost any other fabric. It is a long step from the materials that are so coarse, so loosely woven that they might be used for sieves, to the double damask, so fine that even under a magnifying glass it is almost impossible to discern the threads.
One can buy three or four yards of the coarse fabric for about a dollar, and it is possible to be asked one hundred times as much for a dozen napkins and a table-cloth, three or four yards long, of the finer quality. But the average housekeeper does not go to these extremes.
It does, however, often happen that a woman with a limited purse, and a thousand calls upon it, makes the mistake of buying table linen of too inferior a grade. It is not economy to purchase a mixture of cotton and linen. Better a coarse all-linen table cloth than a fine one with part cotton, which may look attractive in the store, but cannot be laundered well, whereas the pure linen will improve with age and wear.
In purchasing table linen the questions that the housekeeper should ask herself are: Will it be subject to hard wear, and be laundered by inexperienced hands? Can I afford to replenish it frequently? Shall it be fine and beautiful, or shall it be durable, with as much beauty as possible under the circumstances?
The finest goods are of Irish and French manufacture; but the German, while coarse, wear wonderfully well, and some of them have very handsome designs.
Nothing in the way of linen lasts longer than the half-bleached damask, and if one live in the country, this may be bleached to a snowy whiteness in a few months. In purchasing these German goods it is wise to get a cloth that costs at least one dollar and a half or two dollars per yard.
A cloth of this kind will outwear several of the cheaper grades that are mixed with cotton, and if properly laundered it will always look well. Of course, one can get in these goods a fair piece of table linen at seventy-five cents or a dollar per yard, but the better quality will be found to be the cheaper in the end. Dinner, luncheon, and tea sets may be had, the cloth costing no more than if bought by the yard, with the advantage of having a border all around it.
A piece of heavy felt or double-faced Canton flannel will be required under the table-cloth. It will cost about eighty cents a yard. It is a good plan to get one that will answer when the table is enlarged for guests. It can be folded double when the table is small.
Size and Quality of Napkins.
Fashion has decreed that a napkin shall not be put on the table a second time until it has been washed. Few housekeepers, however, have the means to provide themselves with such a supply of napkins, not to speak of the laundress to care for them; so the napkin ring is still a necessity in the average household.
It is important, however, that the supply be large enough to admit of their being changed two or three times a week. For general use a dinner napkin is to be preferred, unless a separate set of table-cloths and napkins be desired for breakfast. In that case the napkins should be smaller than for dinner. All napkins are finished with a plain hem, or are hemstitched.
Fringe is rarely used, except on fancy doilies. The plain square napkin comes in all sizes, from twenty inches to the size of the dinner napkins, which measure twenty-seven inches; and the cost is anywhere from one dollar and a half to fifty dollars a dozen.
At five or six dollars a dozen one can get napkins that are good enough for ordinary use. The cheaper and smaller ones are unsatisfactory. Whenever possible, the napkin should match the cloth. One cloth will outwear two sets of napkins; therefore it is well to get two dozen napkins to each cloth.
One cannot err in laying in a generous stock of plain ones, but the style of the small fancy napkins is constantly changing, and one should not buy too many of them at a time.
A Word about Doilies.
Small square or round doilies are used a great deal under finger bowls, Roman punch, and sherbet glasses. These dainty bits of napery can be purchased in all the stores where embroidery and materials for needlework are sold; also in the linen stores.
These doilies are either hemstitched or fringed. The embroidery is usually in washable silks, fine flowers or Dresden patterns being the favorites. Doilies also come in Irish point, Mexican work, and various kinds of lace.
Larger doilies for bread, cake, cheese, etc., are embroidered in white or colored silks, with appropriate mottoes. Ladies who wish to do this kind of work for themselves, or their friends, can send to a stamping and embroidery store for a sample doily, and the materials for a dozen or more.
One should aim to get as much variety as possible in color and design in the dozen. A very fine linen is the material generally used.
At the Oriental stores there can be found a small doily, of a crêpe-like material, thickly embroidered with silk, or silver and gold thread. They come with and without a fringe, the fringed ones costing more than twice as much as those without.
I prefer those without the fringe for table use. These doilies can be washed, but it must be with great care. If the housekeeper will be careful to wash and iron her doilies herself, they will always look fresh and dainty.
Make a strong suds with hot water and white castile soap; wash the doilies in this, and rinse them in several warm waters. Squeeze them very dry, and spread them on a clean towel, and cover another towel over them. Roll up tight and iron immediately.
Tea, Carving, and Tray Cloths.
For the small tables that are set for five o’clock teas and card parties, etc., there are many pretty and inexpensive cloths. Plain linen, with a plain or double row of hemstitching, makes a satisfactory cloth.
The cost is about one dollar for a cloth measuring a yard square; plain damask, with hemstitching, costs from one dollar and a half to two dollars a square yard, and one dollar more for a cloth measuring two square yards. Some long damask cloths, with open-work borders and a fringe, cost four or five dollars.
Small hemstitched cloths of linen and damask come for carving cloths, tray cloths, and center pieces. They cost all the way from twenty-five cents upward. These are useful in protecting the table, and they may be made decorative by embroidery.
Sheets and Pillow Cases.
Sheets should always be of generous length and width; never less than two yards and three quarters long, with the breadth, of course, depending upon the width of the bed. While linen sheets are desirable, they are not within the means of all housekeepers of even fair incomes.
Cotton cloth makes a most satisfactory all-the-year-round sheet, and a good quality can be purchased at from twenty-five cents to seventy-five cents per yard, the cloth being from two yards to two and a half wide. Indeed, one can buy good sheets already made, two yards and a half wide, for one dollar and a quarter or one dollar and a half apiece.
It is always more economical to buy the cloth and make them at home, for two hems do not mean much work. Unbleached sheeting may be made up, and bleached on the grass. Buy unbleached cotton for servants’ sheets and pillow cases, but do not make them too small. If the bed linen be made of generous proportions it will protect the bedding, and be more comfortable for the sleepers.
Linen sheets three yards long can be bought for from five to fourteen dollars per pair. Pillow cases to match sell from two to three dollars and a half per pair. The finest are hemstitched.
Bed Spreads and Blankets.
For many years the honeycomb and Marseilles spreads have been almost universally used. They are still sold in large quantities, and will always be popular, for they need only to be hemmed in order to be made ready for use.
They do not rumple readily, they keep clean a long time, and are, indeed, a most serviceable article. The Marseilles quilts cost from two to fifteen dollars. Some come in colors; but let no housekeeper be tempted by their beauty, for she will find it a difficult matter to make them harmonize with the other furnishings of her rooms. Dimity is being used again.
It costs from two dollars and a half to four dollars and a half a spread. If one wish to make a bolster scarf to go with the dimity, it will be necessary to purchase a small spread and cut it in two. These spreads, being dainty and easily washed, are in great favor.
Materials for spreads come in all sorts of fabrics. Gobelin cloth and what is called basket cloth, both soft, pretty goods, are found two yards wide, and cost about one dollar and a half a yard. These materials are made into spreads and bolster scarfs; or, instead of the scarfs, a round bolster may be covered with the material. These spreads and scarfs are often embroidered in washable silks.
Next to bed linen and towels in plenty, one of the essentials for the health and comfort of the household is the stock of blankets. Cotton batting comforters are cheap and warm, but extremely debilitating to the sleeper; and since they cannot be washed, they are uncleanly, as compared with the woollen coverings.
Use plenty of blankets instead, and have them washed frequently. For people of limited means, blankets that cost from five to six dollars a pair are serviceable. People are buying more blankets that are made of part wool and part cotton than of the all-wool patterns.
This is because they can be washed frequently without shrinking. Select a smooth, soft blanket with white cotton binding. The simpler the border the longer it will please you. If possible, have a pair of summer blankets for each bed. These cost from three to ten dollars a pair.
They can be washed as easily as a sheet, and are a source of the greatest comfort in hot weather. As they will last the greater part of a lifetime, get good ones. When blankets are not in use they should be folded smoothly, pinned in sheets, and placed on shelves in the linen closet.
Bath and Bedroom Towels.
In nothing relating to the supplies of her house does the average housekeeper make so many errors as in the matter of towels. It has not been wholly her fault in the past, but it certainly will be in the time to come, if bright borders and deep fringes decorate the towels with which she furnishes her chambers and bath-rooms.
As in the past, so it is now: there is nothing so satisfactory for general use as the huckaback towels. They are excellent for absorbing water, and the slight friction is both pleasant and healthful.
They are now hemstitched, and cost from twenty-five cents to a dollar and a half apiece, according to size and quality. The goods can be bought by the yard if one prefer to make her own towels. There are huckaback towels of fancy weaving, which, hemstitched, cost from fifty cents to on dollar and a quarter apiece.
Some of these are fringed, at thirty-seven and a half cents apiece. Damask towels, which are really more for show than use, cost from twenty-five cents to two dollars and a half. For the bath-room there are really so many good things that it is a difficult matter to choose.
There always should be soft coarse towels that will absorb water quickly, and at the same time cause a slight friction. The towels also should be of generous size. The huckaback is always good for drying off, but there should be a good friction towel after this. Among the good bath towels are crash towels, at twenty-five cents apiece.
Oxford towels, something like huckaback, but very large—26 × 50 inches—are one dollar apiece. Imperial bath towels, of a peculiar style of weaving, absorbing water like a sponge, cost a dollar apiece. Turkish towels make an excellent friction towel, and are within the means of all.
They can be bought for even less than twenty-five cents; but I would not advise anything cheaper than twenty-five or fifty cents, as a towel of this kind should be large. An article which to me seems ideal as a friction towel is the kind made of linen tape, which costs one dollar.
For Kitchen and Pantry.
There should be a generous supply of kitchen and pantry towels. Nothing is more satisfactory for glassware than the plaid linen towels. These should be kept for silver, glass, and fine china. Goods of this same character come in stripes, and cost from twelve and a half to thirty-seven and a half cents per yard. Fine Russian crash, when softened by a little wear, makes the best kitchen dish towel.
It grows finer and whiter with each week’s use, whereas the very coarse fabric really never softens. Every kitchen should be supplied with half a dozen stove towels. Get twilled brown cotton crash; cut it into yard-and-a-half lengths and hem it.
Keep but two of these towels in the kitchen, and have one washed each day. They are to use in handling the pots and pans about the stove and oven. There should be a generous allowance of crash towels in the kitchen, as every utensil should be carefully wiped with one that is clean and dry.
The hand towels in the kitchen should be soft and smooth. Frequent wiping on the rough Russian crash will soon make the hands red and rough, as this hard fabric scratches and does not wipe dry. A twilled crash of cotton and linen, which may be bought from twelve and a half to fifteen cents a yard, makes satisfactory hand towels. There are many varieties.