Images of how clothing was washed in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. See also Images of Dyers and Dyeing Technology. For related articles, see A Marginal Occupation? The Medieval Laundress and her Work.
For historical concoctions for washing cloth and clothing (especially for removing spots and stains from specific types of textiles), see the sources in The Dye Woorkes, especially the Stockholm Papyrus (4th century), Allerley Mackel (1532), The Secretes of the Reverend Maister Alexis of Piemont (1580), and A Profitable Booke (1605).
- A woman washes clothes, the Holkham Bible Picture Book (Brit. Lib. Add. 47682, fol. 15v, c. 1327-1335
- A man washes (or dyes?) clothing, Smithfield Decretals (Brit. Lib. Royal 10 E IV, fol. 141), c. 1340
- Laundering with sulfur, Concordantiae caritatis (Stiftsbibliothek Lilienfeld 151, fol. 224v), c. 1349-1351
- The fable of the ass, the lion, and the jackal, Kalila va Dimna (BNF Suppl. pers. 913, fol. 143), 1392
- The story of Landolfo Ruffolo in the Decameron (BNF Arsenal 5070, fol. 51v), 1432
- Christ and his mother wash clothes, Johannes de Montevilla's Itinerarius, 1488; see Dragon #8
- A washerwoman launders clothes in a canal in May from a book of hours by Simon Bening, c. 1510-1560
- Detail from the rescue of the child who fell into the mill-pond in the altarpiece from Steiermark, c. 1518-1522
- The Maiden Quarter ceiling at Palazzo Pitti, by Alessandro Allori, c. 1588-1589
A related illustration (?)
- Women washing clothes in a river, spreading them to dry in the fields alongside and hanging them from a rack, Splendor Solis (British Library Harley 3469, fol. 32v), 1582; this illustration seems to demonstrate every step of the washing and drying of linen
- The laundryman and the crane, Anvar-i Suhayli, 1610-1611
- Detail from Flemish Market and Laundry