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Women’s Invisible Labor in Dress Practices: Care

Leopoldina Fortunati

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Fashion consumption hides a great deal of invisible labor; changes in this labor have influenced and silently but effectively reoriented the fashion world. This invisible labor is the work done in everyday life to buy, clean, iron, and mend clothes. These supplementary but ongoing tasks keep clothes in good condition. To what extent is this labor still performed at a mass level? Who does it in the early twenty-first century? A survey carried out in Italy with a sample of four hundred respondents

Care and Maintenance

Ingun Grimstad Klepp

Translated by Stig Erik Sørheim

Kjetil Enstad

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Care and maintenance are important for both durability and appearance of clothes. Historically, clothing and textiles have been among the most precious possessions of a household, and extensive repairs and careful maintenance were worthwhile. Many people owned only one set of clothes; in poor families, the mother stayed up past bedtime because repairs had to be made when the clothes had been taken off for the night. Even for better-off women, mending and patching were everyday tasks. They have be

Care of Dress

Patricia Campbell Warner

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Until the twentieth century, the care of clothing generally meant arduous back-breaking work undertaken by females. Traditionally, outer clothing was protected from the body, even as the body was protected from the outer clothing, by linen shifts, shirts, petticoats, and sometimes drawers. For most people, these items were washed only when absolutely necessary. As for the rest of the clothes, until the age of cotton, which began in the late eighteenth century, most simply were never washed at all

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