HUSHÅLLSARBETET SOM FÖRSVANN Tvättprocessens värdeutveckling sedan industrialiseringen

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för kulturvård

Sammanfattning: From the perspective of sustainability, it is best to make textiles last for as long as possible, as the largest significant environmental impact occurs during production. Knowledge about materials, and and how to care for them is necessary in order to adequtely take care of textiles. My study of laundry can be viewed as a part of a program of work aimed at maintaining textile handicrafts at a sustainable level in the future. The purpose of the study is to investigate the act of laundering as housework, as well as the decrease in value of the work itself after the rise of industry over the past century, in order to identify if it is possible to link laundering and sustainability. The aim of the study is that the ongoing work of promoting sustainability should include the laundry process in an adequate fashion, with a view to increasing the understanding and knowledge of textiles, coupled with the act of washing them. The methods used are a survey of relevant literature, qualitative interviews and personal observation. The study investigates the history of laundry, the rationalisation process, laundry’s role in the household, laundry and sustainabiity, and laundry instructions. The study shows that, both historically and in the present day, it is more often the woman of a household who performs this work, despite also having paid employment. The advice within sustainable laundry tends to privilege energy saving and the garment’s cleaniness over textile care. The way we understand the physical act of laundry from the person who performs it is shaped by history, and is crucial to how we approach sustainability within the field. The consequences of rationalisation is that knowledge about how much time laundry takes has disappeared, as has the value and time of delivery, as well as the understanding that knowledge of laundry is, in itself, knowledge. Since the physical act of doing laundry is a repetative, circular work of reproduction, it may not be possible to link it to today’s ideas of sustainability, wherein sustainability is in itself based upon the work of production’s linear time axis.

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