Thursday, June 14, 2007

Question from Lis - Bleaching linen, etc. in Tudor times

I was told (quite a long time ago now!)that the Tudors used urine to bleach/whiten their linen shifts. I know that urine was used in the preparation of leather and wool. However, recently I was told that urine was not used on the shifts to bleach them, but that wood ash was used instead. Help! Any comments/suggestions/references/information would be gratefully received! Thanks.


Victoria Gerasimidou said...

Greetings from Greece!

Well, i know that in older times they were using ash as a stain remover.It was quite custom in Greece.I heard that story from my grand mother and friends of hers.
And i red a historical pirate novel that was saying the following.
They were using urine placed in a wooden barrel in order to clean the clothes and after that they would wash it off with sea water.
A legend?i don't know.I'm just informing you!


Anonymous said...

A few books I have read about Elizabethan England (they were historical fiction) mention laundry maids using ten day old urine to remove difficult stains from gentlemens' shirts and ladies' shifts.