Thursday, February 9, 2017

Shower Curtain

A long-ago decision to add a shower to the 1890 clawfoot tub generated a series of illuminating design decisions. I installed a rounded rectangle of hospital curtain track on the ceiling over the tub and paid for the first of five custom shower curtains*.

The least expensive, simplest to acquire, most durable, and easiest to maintain of those curtains is also the one least likely to impress a visitor. Changes in the solar exposure of the house necessitated a curtain that will hold no moisture after a shower. In a moment of expedience, I tried a thin waffle-textured plastic painter's drop cloth that cost just a few dollars. I folded the top edge, hammered hardware store brass grommets into place for a few dollars more, and trimmed the bottom edge along the convenient and accurate fold lines of the plastic.

I expected to replace the curtain by now but a recent discovery has extended its life indefinitely. Inserting a spray bottle mechanism into a pint jar of white vinegar allows me to refresh the inner surface of the curtain without having to remove and wash it. Once I figure out how to modify the visual, perhaps with agricultural polyester or a mylar survival blanket, the room should be back in prime condition -30-

*The first currtain was white nylon that transmitted supremely elegant light. The second was made from white cotton sheets. The third, that lasted years longer than the first two, was made from white polyester sheets. All three had to be washed and bleached in a machine, and all three failed from mildew. The learning curve spread over twenty years. The fourth was cobbled together out of a fiber-reinforced white poly tarp. The light was gorgeous, but the thing was too stiff to be practical. 

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