Linen smoother

This mushroom-shaped glass object found in 2005 is known as a linen smoother or sleek-stone. Linen smoothers were used like an iron to smooth, polish, and press cloth, particularly starched collars and cuffs. Unlike metal irons, these glass objects were probably not heated and were rubbed over damp fabric. These objects were utilized as early as the Viking period, but the handle was added sometime in the 16th century. Linen smoothers were made and used into the 19th century even after the introduction of the flat irons that are shaped like the electric ones we use today. Ten linen smoothers have been found in the fort, included four discarded in the fort’s first well. Along with items like goffering irons, needles, straight pins, buttons, thimbles, aglets, and shears, linen smoothers reveal the importance of clothing and appearance to the early colonists.