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Introduction

As long as humans have had clothing, there has been a need for laundry. Laundry is defined as washing clothing and linens. What is dirty must be cleaned.

Historically laundry was done on river banks where it was pounded with rocks. Soap was only introduced a couple of hundred years ago and bleach was provided by the sun! In this modern day, we have it a lot easier with electricity, running water, washing machines, tumble dryers, detergents and irons (and do not forget the new fabrics). Technology has simplified what used to be a hugely laborious task. But although it’s not so much hard work anymore, it certainly requires smart work!

It is also important to know that a place in which we do the laundry can also be called a laundry. So for clarity, when we refer to “laundry” it will be the process of laundry and a laundry room will be where we do the laundry.

Laundry is actually very complicated. We have fabric, detergents, water, machines, electricity and a person coming together. There are a lot of critical control points in the process and a lot to know. This course aims to help you understand the basics.

People spend a lot of money on clothing so they want to ensure that there is little damage to the item during the laundry process. Nothing is worse than a beautiful white dress turning pink after placing it in the washing machine. Not a good thing!

This course is not going to focus on different fabric types, although different fabric types require different levels of care. The reality is that many garments are made of composite fabrics and they all have fabric care labels which will explain their specific care requirements.

These fabric care labels are easy to find on the item of clothing. (We will discuss reading the label in the coming readings). It is more essential to understand the care requirement than the fabric makeup.