Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

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(1,118 words)

The laundering process was performed both in the home and professionally during the Middle Ages. Laundering was among the most strongly-gendered of activities and professions, being performed almost exclusively by women. References to the professional laundress (French lavandiere,Italian lavatrice, Latin lavatrix, Middle English lavender) describe her laundering church linens (towels, albs, surplices and altar cloths), laundering linens for single men in all-male establishments, and performing laundry services for large noble households. Laundr…

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Drea Leed, “Laundry”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles, Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Maria Hayward. Consulted online on 21 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emdt_COM_416>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124356, 20120503

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