Task for the day: put up curtains in the bedroom. The curtains in question once hung in our living room with the bottoms tied into a knot to let in the light. After four years of being tied in knots, they were profoundly wrinkled and no amount of hanging would straighten them out: I was going to have to apply heat. 

Reluctant to use an iron on a synthetic, I elected to break out the steamer that we own, but haven’t used since 2006. Which means that we’ve moved it three times, one of which was cross- country, without thinking “hey, we never use this steamer, maybe we should get rid of it.” It still had all of its pieces, including the instruction manual, which I didn’t read, so I put it together and tried steaming away. Since the curtains were already hanging, I figured I could steam the like we used to steam costumes for theater- just apply gentle steam on the inside and watch the wrinkles melt away. 

This didn’t work. The steam went right through the fabric without having the slightest effect on the wrinkles. I tried applying the steam to the outside instead: still no luck. I fussed with it for about fifteen minutes before deciding that I might as well use an iron. Since I’d half filled the steamer’s reservoir, and since I was going to need to let it cool down for five minutes before I could empty it out, I decided I would just blow off some steam for a while. Seeing me cloud the room with billows of steam, the Curmudgeonly Lion suggested that I try putting a towel behind the fabric to “catch” the steam. 

Couldn’t hurt, might help. 

He took a towel from the laundry and held it behind the curtain while I ran the steamer down the length of one edge. Like magic, the wrinkles disappeared. For a while we continued to attempt to steam out the curtains in situ, but quickly realized that a. It meant a lot of steam pouring through a towel towards someone’s hand- which gets hot quick, and b. that it would be a one man job instead of a two man job of we just took the curtains down and steamed them out on the bed. 

So we now have nice curtains and a working steamer. Oh this exciting life I live. 🙂


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 17, 2016.

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