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When my father retired, he took up wood carving, among other things.  A few years back he gave me the mangle below, – it is called “mangletre” in Norwegian.


It is an old fashioned ironing device, – the linen was rolled onto a pole and then  pressed smooth with the “mangletre”. This was heavy work, so people switched to mangle machines and irons as soon as they became available.

In some areas the young man often brought a finely carved mangle as a gift to the girl he would ask to marry him.  The handle was often shaped like a horse for strength and fertility.


It is a popular item to make among today’s woodcarvers as well, but now it is only for decorative use.  It sure is beautiful, and one day I would like to take some of the decor elements and use for an applique piece.

I love my mangle, but am also happy that I have a really good iron.


2 Responses

  1. Eldrid, it is lovely. Your father was so talented. No wonder you are such a creative quilter!

    I’ve never seen or heard of a mangle such as yours before, but I once accompanied my aunt in Germany to a home where a large mangle machine was set up, where she brought her sheets and tablecloths to be pressed. It was so unusual compared to anything I’d ever seen here in North America. Europeans take so much more care to press cloth properly.

    • Thank you, Amy.
      My mother has a small mangle machine which sits on a table, and she still uses it for sheets and table cloths. She folds them lengthwise and rolls them through when they are still damp, and then hang to dry. For successful “ironing” with a mangle, the sheets and table cloths must be hemmed exactly on the crosswise grain, and the fabric must be of a reasonable quality and not “drawn” diagonally, or there will be wrinkles.
      When we grew up, one important piece of learning was that sheets and table cloths are folded in different ways. Sheets are folded in four, – double, then double again, while table cloths are folded in four accordion style, right sides out.

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