A Pressing Matter

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

September was almost constantly fully booked, so I had to use the services of a laundry company to help with the ironing. This was a bad idea. The “ironed” sheet in the above photo was one of 26 items that were sent out for ironing and came back looking worse after they’d been pressed than before. ┬áNot only did this company use hand-irons to do the pressing (I asked them!), but they transported and delivered them, badly folded, in floppy bags. The service was not cheap either. The company’s response to my photo was to invest in a commercial linen press and better bags. However, once bitten twice shy, and I decided not to take up their offer of a lifetime discount for all future orders.

As I was still casting around for a better solution, my Belgian cousin sent me a message. He’d read my news pages (where laundry management is a recurring topic) and said that I absolutely must use a rotary iron (calandreuse, is the lovely French word for these machines). I’d never seen one before, but I knew they were very expensive, due to the low volume of sales by comparison with, say, washing machines or tumble dryers. When he said he’d had his for more than 25 years and it was still working, I was convinced. My table-top press will still be useful for napkins and small items, but this heavy duty machine (39 kg) presses bed linen with far less effort in a fraction of the time. There is less preparatory work too than with the small press, so more time is saved.

Here is my Miele HM 16-83, with a beautifully pressed sheet resting on the top, which is what I’d expected the sheet in the top photo to look like. After a good oven, this is the best investment a B&B owner could possibly make. Merci, Cousin!