The Lavender Laundry

Lavender buds, bags, vase

Friends I wouldn’t blame you if you thought ‘What the heck has lavender or the laundry got to do with sewing?’…For someone like me who collects vintage handmade baby gowns, vintage domestic linens and makes baby wear using very fine fabrics, the laundry is a place I am very familiar with and lavender is an integral part of my laundry routine.  Whilst I am a pragmatic person, there is a wildly romantic streak within that pragmatism…old things and ways of old feed my sense of romanticism and lavender and its age-old uses sends me into a romantic tailspin 😀

I LOVE lavender folks…i love everything about it; all its forms and uses. I love lavender plants, lavender blooms, lavender buds, dried lavender, lavender body wash, lavender oil, lavender sachets for the wardrobe/linen cabinet/dryer and last but not least lavender water.  I have lavender plants and collect the stems and put the buds into the preserve jar in the picture – don’t be fooled, i top it up with commercially produced lavender buds too.  I make lavender sachets from the buds and use them in the dryer and put them in the linen cupboards (i have one that caters for the bathroom linen which is in the laundry room and another one for the other household linen which is just off the hallway in a small storage room.)

Lavender buds

I also make lavender water to spray on my linens, both old and modern, when ironed, stored and when I bring them in from the washing line outside. Folks if you stand still long enough in my home you are likely to be sprayed with lavender water! In fact it’s a fabulous room deodoriser but probably not best utilised as a personal deodorant 😆 .

In days of old lavender water was sprinkled on linens as they were ironed, imparting a lovely calming aroma.  There were even special sprinkler heads that were paired with glass bottles, that one used to fill with lavender ironing water. The top was usually aluminium or plastic and the base had a band of cork which helped hold and seal the sprinkler head in the glass bottle. I’m talking early to mid 20th Century here readers – but in truth lavender water has a long history in domestic laundry practice prior to the 20th Century.

Lavender Water

 In the more recent past, making lavender water was a common practice – a wealthier household could, of course, afford to purchase it ready made.  These days lavender water can still be purchased – off the top of my head, Crabtree and Evelyn comes to mind; there are other suppliers but to be honest friends, making it isn’t difficult and it doesn’t require steeping lavender buds for weeks on end as was done in days gone-by…additionally, it’s a lot cheaper to make your own.

Making lavender water is really easy  – a bottle of ‘any old’ vodka, demineralised or distilled water and some pure lavender oil and voila, you’re done.  The vodka is important because it is the agent that combines the oil with the water – otherwise they will stay separated in the bottle.  I store my lavender water in the middle bottle in the picture above…when the spray bottle becomes empty i fill it up from the store bottle and then make up more.

Lavender Water Recipe

750 mL Distilled/Demineralised Water

90 mL Vodka (cheapest you can buy is fine)

30 drops of Lavender Oil (you’re looking for pure essential oil)

Pour it into the storage bottle or put it straight into a spray bottle and Bob’s your uncle. Many internet sites will advise you to let your lavender water infuse for a few weeks before using it. I use the glass storage jar to infuse the lavender water which i then pour into the spray bottle and then make enough to refill the glass bottle. I go through a lot of lavender water so this process is continual for me – i probably should buy a second storage bottle so that i have one that is newly infusing and one that is ready for use. To be honest readers, if I were out of lavender water and needed it immediately, I wouldn’t bother waiting for a new batch to infuse; i’m an impatient  kinda gal and i don’t do well with the whole ‘delayed gratification’ movement, so i’d be using it as soon as it’s made.

Lavender Bloom in Vase

 

Well friends…it’s that time again – the time where I, with lavender water spray bottle in hand, bid you adieu, au revoir, cheerio, bye-bye, ta-ta, see ya later or more simply goodbye.

Have a nice day and in the haste of your daily lives, don’t forget to take the time to stop and smell the roses lavender 🙂

6 thoughts on “The Lavender Laundry

  1. I just love your recipie for lavender water! I made a small batch to trial and it turned out great. I now have something practical and wonderful to do with the several pounds of lavender flowers I collected from my garden. Thank-you!

  2. Hi Donna,
    If your Lavender water smells good, i’d go right ahead and use it. If it doesn’t smell good, empty out the bottle, give it a good rinse and fill it with your own home-made creation. Yes, the McLaren Vale Lavender Farm is really lovely – i’ve only been there once, but plan to go again in peak growth time prior to harvest. Just thinking about how fabulous it would smell just before harvest is a little swoon-worthy 🙂

  3. dear su,
    Absolutely loved your blog re lavender and lavender water. I have some lavender water
    i have had for a very long time – do you still think it would be okay to use it? Also there is a lavender place at McLaren Vale i haven’t been there yet but i hear it is very good.
    regards Donna

  4. thanks for your kind and encouraging words Kate. I’m already envious of your lavender farm stop-over on your next drive to Melbourne. Come Spring, you and I should take a drive up to the Lavender farm at Lyndoch.

  5. Just loved that post Su…really loved it! I have some French Lavender water in a large plastic bottle- does not sound very romantic, does it? Cannot remember the name on the label and I am still here in Montville. I share ( of course ) your love of lavender but do not have space to grow it. There is a lovely lavender farm on the way to Melbourne and next time we drive over we are going to stop to purchase some dried buds. Keep these delightful posts coming!!!

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