Oh how I love my old GE mangle iron. I know that most people don't even know what a mangle is but I can tell you I will morn the day that mine gives up the ghost. I think my little beauty was probably purchased originally in the early 50's. Ms. Mangle is so old (how old is she?) she still sports a cotton cloth electrical cord. You can see just a little piece of the cord on the right of this picture in the background. I bought her at an estate sale, I asked the person in charge if the mangle worked, she didn't even know what it was let alone if it worked. I was thrilled to leave the sale with Ms. Mangle for only $10.
I love linens; fine napkins, beautiful tablecloths and linen and cotton table runners, antique pillowcases, you name it. All are wonderful jewelry when setting a nice table or a beautiful guest room but the down side is that they have to be ironed, yes that dreaded word.....IRONED
I am not one to pull out the ironing board and iron. My oxford shirts go to the cleaners, I have a steamer I use for everything that needs a little pressing that doesn't fit the criteria for Ms. Mangle. Today Ms. Mangle managed to finish with perfection thirty six napkins, two large tablecloths, a set of pillow cases and one table runner. All this was accomplished in about forty five minutes. I have no idea if that is faster than using a conventional iron but I do know that Ms. Mangle does a better job without a doubt.
My pre-iron secret is to freeze my linens. I was taught and I know I'm dating myself that you "sprinkle" your ironing with water rolling each piece into a tube shape as you go, then all the pieces were placed in a plastic bag and put in the refrigerator over night. This is a good process that will give you nice crisp linens when ironed. The reason I put my "sprinkled" linens in the freezer rather than the refrigerator is a lesson well learned many years ago. Let's just say that should your rolled up linens in the plastic bag get pushed to the back of the frig behind the container of Cool Whip that has turned into a science experiment the linens will mildew and that my friend is a problem. I turned to the freezer to insure that I wouldn't have mildew on my linens should I forget them for awhile they would still be fresh when ironed.
So my friends, go forth and iron by whatever means you have but if you are a lover of crisply ironed linens then be on the lookout for your own Ms. Mangle