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Airing the Dirty Linen

Quite a while ago I wrote a story about the stinky shoes (coincidentally, also red and shiny – see previous post). Now, unexpectedly, I find myself writing a story about the stinky skirt. This one above. It’s so cute with its polka-dots and denim-look pleats that it’s hard to believe, isn’t it?

I bought it on Etsy. I admired it for a long time, until I finally ceased resisting its allure and clicked ‘add to basket’. Then I waited for Australia Post to deliver it to me. When I eagerly ripped open the package and the skirt tumbled out, an over-powering stench reached my nostrils.

I wasn’t too worried at first. I thought, “Never mind, a good wash will take care of that evil smell.” No. The vintage 80s skirt is made of rayon and acetate and must be dry-cleaned only. Bother. I didn’t know if dry-cleaning would have any effect, so before I went to the expense, I decided to air the skirt.

When I eagerly ripped open the package … an over-powering stench reached my nostrils.

After a day of hanging in the shade, the skirt smelled just as bad as before. I couldn’t decide quite what was the origin of the odour. Damp? Mothballs? Lengthy storage? Dead body? I left the skirt out on the line, periodically rescuing it from the intermittent pre-Christmas rain. (It actually got a little wet during Christmas Day’s thunderstorms – I’d left it hanging by an open window. Fortunately the rayon content was not such that the skirt shrivelled.)

On about the fourth day I took the drastic step of hanging it out in the glare of the full sun, although I took the precaution of turning it inside out to prevent fading. In fact, it was a week before the smell dissipated. But huzzah! I can wear it now!

Serendipitously, I discovered what caused the stench. On Boxing Day I was sorting out bags of my own old clothes I had stored in the garage. Most of them were fine, but from one bag emanated the same smell that was in the skirt. When I got to the bottom of it, I found water had seeped into it, and some of the items at the bottom were literally growing mouldy. Ugh! All the clothes in the bag were impregnated with the unpleasant smell, but fortunately that was remedied with a regular wash cycle.

On to the next sartorial adventure!

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Reader Comments (2)

Hahaha. I wonder how the people will react when they see those in their neighbor's backyard.

December 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllen @Flyer Online

Clean clothes hanging on a washing line? It’s all done, dried, and brought back in. I’m sure they admired my industry.

December 29, 2011 | Registered CommenterPrincess

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