(1,644 words)

1. Definition

Bleaching is the removal or destruction of organic dyes in spun vegetable fibers with the aim of making the fabric product as white as possible. The bleaching of yarns and threads was important, but so in particular was the bleaching of cloths that made linen, fustian, andcalico in particular marketable. There was no need to bleach cloths that were not intended for export. In 1564, the Zurich clothmakers’ guild stipulated that the preparation of coarse cotton w…

Cite this page
Reith, Reinhold, “Bleaching”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 22 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907

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