How did Laundries Start?

Wherever man lives, “doing the laundry” is a problem that must be coped with. The word “laundry” has a curious origin. In the old days, when clothes were washed, lavender used to be put on fresh-washed linen to make it fragrant.

The French word for lavender is lavende, and in time a woman who washed clothes came to be known as a lavandiere. It was from this we got the English words “laundress” and “laundry”! Early civilization used different methods of washing garments.

The slaves are working wet clothes between a block and an inclined table. The water runs into a trough below. The clothes of the Romans were made mainly of wool, and they needed skillful handling to keep their size and shape. They were sent to public laundries, Where laundrymen were new cloth and he cleaned garments that had been worn.


Fullers were still working at their trade many centuries later when a fuller’s guild was organized in England. In laundering clothes at that time, they removed the dirt by beating it out of the cloth with clubs. In earlier times, it had been done by trampling the cloth with clubs.

In earlier times, it had been done by trampling the cloths with the feet! For centuries, washing methods used in most British laundries were much like those used in early Greece and Rome. They worked without soap, because soap was expensive. But the beating of the cloth gradually came to be done and more by machines.   

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