French Invent Dry Cleaning

Parisian dyeworks owner Jean-Baptiste Jolly discovered dry cleaning in 1855 by accidentally knocking over a table lamp filled with spirit and noticed that the affected parts of the tablecloth appeared to be clean. He offered to clean his customers’ clothes using a chemical process instead of soap and water, by taking the garments apart, and immersing the pieces in a mixture of turpentine and oil, and restitching them.

      Jean-Baptiste Jolly
      dyeworks owner
      Paris, France

Additional Information:

  • How Dry Cleaning Works and Who Invented It
    Traditionally, Jean Baptiste Jolly of France is generally named the father of modern dry cleaning. The story goes that in 1825, a careless maid knocked over a lamp and spilled turpentine on a dirty tablecloth. Jolly noticed that once the turpentine dried, the stains that had marred the fabric were gone.Sep 4, 2014
  • Dry cleaning – Wikipedia
    Jump to History – Modern dry cleaning’s use of non-water-based solvents to remove soil and stains from clothes was reported as early as 1855. The potential for petroleum-based solvents was recognized by French dye-works operator Jean Baptiste Jolly, who offered a new service that became known as nettoyage à sec—i.e., dry cleaning.
  • What Is Dry Cleaning? | Live Science
    Jul 17, 2018 – History of dry cleaning. Dry cleaning dates back to ancient times, according to the DLI. Records about methods for cleaning delicate items have …
  • History of Dry Cleaning – Love Your Leather
    For this reason dry cleaning became a necessity for cleaning delicate fabrics which are often expensive. Dry Cleaning History. Dry Cleaners of the Roman Empire.
  • Dry cleaning – New World Encyclopedia
    Jump to History – History. Dry cleaning uses non-water-based solvents to remove dirt and stains from clothes. The potential for using petroleum based …

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