Thursday, September 24, 2015

Temporarily working on something else

It seems I have not made a contribution to this blog for a while. Not forgotten.

In the scheme of things, it is nice to have the time to devote to this blog and scour the world for Ironing related stories, however there is the business to run and that takes a priority.

Right now I am helping develop a a set of Training Manuals for future Osca employees and the Osca Ironing Franchises. It involves a lot of graphical diagrams (which I really enjoy), but they are quite time intensive so priorities where priorities are due for now.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reforming Thinker

It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. 

Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone - "to relax," I told myself - but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it, exactly, we are doing here?"

Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, "Skippy, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job." This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But, Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and she began to cry.
I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with a PBS station on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors... they didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

You've been Ironing your shirt wrong.

From the archive of all things ironing:

Wake up.
Get out of bed.
Grab your shirt.
No, no, no. Now is not the time to start thinking about ironing it.

Seems like there may be another way.

You will require:

One shirt on a hanger, a shower with a shower curtain for improved efficiency and the absolutely essential pair of dark sunglasses.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Physics of Ironing

I could not have put it better :

During my research for an article on this blog, I have come across this description of the physics of Ironing:

Monika Chaudhary

Clothes are made of polymers, natural or synthetic. The amorphousness/crystallinity of these polymers is characterized by something known as the Glass Transition Temperature (Tg). This property defines how a polymer behaves at a given temperature - soft above Tg and, hard, crystal-like below Tg.

For example, cotton (a carbohydrate polymer of glucose) has a Tg = 225° C, so cotton fabrics keep their shape because the cotton molecules cannot move at room temperature. Water acts as a plasticizer or lubricant between the chains allowing them to move more freely and lowers the glass transition temperature to 20° C. Cotton shirts and blouses thus crease most where they absorb most moisture and are under most pressure - inside the elbows, under the arm pits, where they are tucked into trousers, etc.

Most irons operate between 200-240° C for cotton settings. At this temperature, the polymeric chains of the fabric loosen up and are temporarily "remolded" till you crease them again.

see also :

chemistry of ironing

Monday, February 9, 2015

When your best friend does the ironing

From the archives of all things Ironing.

This story comes to us from the pages of the Daily Mail.

 photo credit

Other than ironing, Rupert the whippet has been snapped by owner Janet Burton in a variety of hilarious scenarios appearing as a doctor, tennis player and a choir boy. He is also pictured playing piano, reading the paper and mowing the lawn.

Our Human Resources division has taken a keen interest. "An ironer happy to iron for schmackos?", now there is a way of improving the bottom line.

Watch out for those creases Rupert!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday, August 25, 2014

Laundry Schedule

Improving the Laundry - For you and the Environment

We have all felt the pinch of electricity prices steadily rising over the last few years and it is no secret that the humble tumble dryer is one of the more expensive to run appliances in our households.

According to various articles I have researched, an average household wash and dry around 300 loads of laundry a year.  That is a significant amount when you take into consideration that as well as our  energy bill, electric clothes dryers add to our carbon footprint.

Yes, our clothes get clean, but the planet gets a little dirtier each time we turn the dryer on.
Here are some ways you can dry your clothes without racking up big bills or wrecking your fashions. They still use natural resources to get the job done, but those resources — sunlight, and air — are completely free.

1) Old-fashioned Clothes Line. Sunshine and fresh air can’t be beat when it comes to naturally eliminating germs and odours. If you are lucky enough and have the outside space, the expense of a clothes line and a bagful of clothes pegs can do the job.

When you air dry your clothes in the sun they are naturally disinfected and whitened. The sun provides UV light, and UV can be used to disinfect water and damp laundry. UV light reacts with oxygen dissolved in the water to produce reactive forms of oxygen that kill the microorganisms. UV from the sun also interferes with the reproduction cycle of bacteria by damaging their DNA. 

All that lint you remove from your dryer is your dryer slowly eating away at your garments.

2) A Foldable Clothes Line – Foldable clothes lines collapse into each other, then fold flat. Inside or outside, when you need it, unfold the frame and voila.

3) If you are lucky enough to have a back yard with a Hills Hoist, it is a perfect answer to your entire load of laundry.Your clothes can catch the breeze and dry quickly.

4) A retractable clothes line in your bathroom or laundry room. These lines can’t accommodate a lot of laundry at once, but they’re great for socks and underwear.

5) Dryer Rack. Dryer racks can’t be beat for convenience, and many of them are large enough to handle an entire load of laundry at one time. Set up on the inside, whether in winter or in an air conditioned environment, the humidity from the clothes helps humidify the dry air. Racks made from wood, which has natural antibacterial properties can be heavy, but a lightweight steel frame with rubber feet can do the job just as well.

If you’re using a line of some sort, you’ll need clothes pegs to secure the clothes. Use the sturdiest clothes pegs you can find. Choose wood, not plastic, and store the pins inside and away from the elements when they’re not in use to keep them from getting dirty or wet if it rains.

If you can, hang your wet shirts and blouses on a plastic hanger. They are easier to iron and nicer to wear.

6) Even throwing your shirts, blouses or sweaters over the side of a humble Shower Cubicle is a better alternative to a dryer.

If you hang your laundry in the sun…

Stiff  towels?

Line drying is terrific for sports wear, underwear, jeans, pants, towels, sheets, blouses, socks, and shirts. But towels? They can get a little stiff  or crunchy when they line dry. Some people find that adding white vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser helps soften their towels. I prefer to dry mine on the line almost completely, then toss them into the dryer to fluff up for just a few minutes or so.

Keep in mind one final thought:

Dry drier clothes. The wetter your clothes are when you take them out of the washing machine, the longer it will take to dry them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Does Vodka really help with doing the laundry?

Alice Robinson, who writes for Daily Mail has put this question to the test.

You can freshen up clothes by spraying them with vodka. 


The theory is the alcohol works in much the same way as sanitising hand gels and kills odour-causing bacteria.


Alice says in her article that "As the children’s sports day approaches, I realise most of my summer dresses smell musty thanks to them hiding in the wardrobe all winter.

I choose one I’m not too fond of — just in case this experiment goes horribly wrong — hunt down a water pistol and spray the dress from top to bottom with neat vodka.

Initially, it reeks of booze, though I suppose it masks the musty smell. I hang it over a door and return an hour later.

It smells much fresher — but this may be in part because it has been hanging outside the wardrobe. I would be wary of doing this on delicate material."

Luckily, she has a laundry Guru Steve Anderton at her disposal. 


Vodka has some benefit in removing stains because it penetrates grease very slightly, but it may affect colour on delicate fabrics such as silk. You’re better off using something like Febreze, which chemically neutralises the odour and is proven to work.

I think it would be a waste of good vodka to try :)



We sleep on it, keep our dishes dry with it and wear it. It has been around for as long as the Pyramids.


Made from the fibers of the flax plant, linen textiles history goes back many thousands of years. Straw, seeds, and various types of fabrics dating to about 5000 BC have been found in prehistoric Swiss lake dwellings. Dyed flax fibers found in a prehistoric cave in Georgia suggest the use of woven linen fabrics from wild flax may date back perhaps 30,000 years.

Swiss Lake Dwellings

In ancient Egypt, linen was sometimes used as currency and Egyptian mummies were wrapped in linen as a symbol of light and purity and as a display of wealth. When the tomb of the Pharaoh of Rameses ll, was discovered in 1881, the pure linen wrappings were in a state of near perfect preservation.
 Linen cloth recovered from Qumran Cave near the Dead Sea.

Harvesting linen

The word "linen" is of West Germanic origin from the Latin name for the flax plant linum, and the earlier Greek 'linon' and has given rise to other terms in the English language, most notably 'line', from the use of a linen (flax) thread to determine a straight line.

Linum usitatissimum


Flax blooms in clusters of bluish, navy-blue, and, more seldom, violet, rosy and white flowers
that open up at dawn and close and fall at around noon when heat sets in. Each flower blooms
for a few hours. Bees collect close to fifteen kg of honey from one hectare of flax field.


Flax fibers vary in length from 2 to 36 inches and average 12-16 micrometers in diameter. There are two varieties: shorter tow fibers used for coarser fabrics and line fibers used for
finer fabrics. Flax fibers can be identified by their typical “nodes” which add to the flexibility and texture of the fabric. The stem of the fiber plant is slender and tall and the fiber consists of the skin surrounding the woody core of the stem.

The flax plant is an annual and is grown both for its fiber and the seed.

Flax-seed is used for making linseed oil and also linseed meal for feeding purposes. Flax seed has also been found to be very beneficial in healthy diets. The flaxes grown for fiber and seeds are the same family, but they have developed different habits of growth. For fiber purposes the seed is sewn thickly to prevent it from branching which would ruin it for fiber.

Flax seed.

Some textiles in a linen weave texture, even when made of cotton, hemp and other non-flax fibers, are also loosely referred to as "linen". Such fabrics generally also have their own specific names, for example fine cotton yarn in a linen-style weave is called Madapolam.

The collective term "linens" is still often used generically to describe a class of woven and even knitted bed, bath, table and kitchen textiles traditionally made of linen.

In the past, "linens" also referred to lightweight undergarments such as shirts, chemises, waistshirts, lingerie (a word also cognate with linen), and detachable shirt collars and cuffs, all of which were historically made almost exclusively out of linen. The inner layer of fine composite cloth garments (as for example jackets) was traditionally made of linen, hence the word lining.

Laundering linen.

Many people prefer to launder linen because the more it is washed, the softer and more luminous it becomes. That luminous quality is caused by nodes on the flax fibers, which reflect light. It is also known that linen launders beautifully. Garments worn close to the body are easily washed. Freshly washed linen has a naturally clean fragrance and gives you a sense of well-being.

In the case of hand or machine washing use a sufficient amount of water as linen is very absorbent. You can line dry, machine dry or roll in terry towels. Whatever method you use, remember to remove your linen while still damp. If linen dries thoroughly, it becomes brittle and takes several hours to recover its natural moisture and full flexibility.

The natural moisture content of linen is between 6-8%. Linen dried beyond this point will have to re-absorb moisture from the air.

Use pure soap or gentle detergent when laundering linen. Soap works best in soft water. Use oxygen-type bleach for white linen instead of chlorine bleach which can cause yellowing.

Select a water temperature between warm to hot depending on care instructions. Rinse the linen item with lots of water to remove all soap, detergent and residual soil. This will help reduce formation of “age spots” which are caused by oxidation of cellulose (linen’s primary component).

Avoid wringing out linen before drying. To keep white linens white, try drying them in the sun.

Ironing Linen.

Always follow the instructions on the care label. Linen is best ironed damp. You can store pre-dampened inen items in a plastic bag in the fridge or freezer for 6 to 12 hours before ironing, this will make them easier to iron and will prevent mildew if you can’t iron them immediately.

Ironed linen.

Steam ironing dry linen is less effective than ironing dampened linens. The steam from a household iron is just not enough. Iron on the wrong side first, then on the right side to bring out the sheen.

Linen Documentary.

A 15 minutes documentary was produced by Benoît Millot on behalf of the CELC Masters of Linen. It is in french, with english subtitles.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Future design concepts in Laundry and Ironing care.

From the archives of All things Ironing - Innovation and design.

In this post, we visit the Electrolux Design Lab 2014 competition and highlight some of the designers and their entries.

Electrolux Design Lab sets out to inspire design students all over the world to apply their creative process to present their view of the future.

In 2014, the competition focuses on Culinary Enjoyment, Fabric care and Air Purification. We of course are interested in the Fabric Care innovations and ideas.

The Fabric Care design challenge brief as described on the Electrolux Web Page asks designers to offer solutions that can support the desire for sustainable, aesthetic solutions to make our homes look good in a way that does not create unnecessary burden to the environment.

Here are some of the laundry and ironing concepts offered by the young and upcoming industrial designers.

Andrea Chiampo studies Industrial design at the IAAD - istituto d'arte applicata e design, Italy and offers a vision of a new ironing concept future.

Smart concept table with Ironing robots.
Smart concept table with Ironing robots.
 A new iron concept.

A smart table that occasionally allows you iron in a clever and innovative way. A new way to have fabric care.

IRON Robots, through electromagnet system, have a greater pressure and movements around the mapped plan.

Protect your delicates clothes, drawing in the screen a barrier line where robots won't work.
Future is here.

.  .  . 

Šimon Řihánek studies Industrial Design at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic and is interested in both product and graphic design and also in music.

Wash and Iron your clothes on the go.
Wash and Iron your clothes on the go.


Wash and Iron your clothes on the go.

The key part of RollWash is a special perforated cleaning surface that rolls up together with a piece or more pieces of clothing, just like a roller blind. Natural dry foam is applied onto the clothes through this surface from both sides. After that is done, the foam is sucked out. The roll then heats up, drying any residual moisture and ironing the clothes.

The RollWash is easy to use for everyone thanks to simple, intuitive controls. If the user doesn’t want to iron the clothes, he can run the washing process separately and vice versa – he can only run the ironing process. All he needs to do is to push one button.

Not only the RollWash is small and light – it can be battery operated and therefore the user can move the RollWash to different room or even carry it with him to work, while the device is doing its job.

.  .  . 

Hugo Silva is 25 years old. Born in Pico Island, Hugo studies product design at ESAD Matosinhos - Superior School of Arts and Design, Portugal, has completed a course in jewelery with 3 years experience and loves art and design.

Smart hanger revitalising your garments.
Smart hanger revitalising your garments.


Smart hanger revitalising your garments 

Körper is a device designed for people who are constantly on the move, either professionally or for leisure. It is a smart appliance functioning completely autonomous. It is able to detect bad odors, spots and dirt, and will clean and refresh any garment to mint condition. Körper uses the very minimum of necessary cleaning chemicals and enzymes, will recover any material used and recycle what is possible for reuse. Energy use is minimum, slim film photovoltaics will produce energy during idle time, and low energy electronics together with multiple energy harvesting devices will rationalize energy use during functioning. Körper can be interfaced through a bluetooth low energy connection with any android tablet or smart phone. This way the user can control and personalization his Körper.

.  .  . 

Veronika Hlaďová is in her 5th year of studying industrial design at the Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic and likes to view the problem from different perspectives to find an original solution.

Clean, dry and iron your clothes in one step.
Clean, dry and iron your clothes in one step.


Clean, dry and iron your clothes in one step

IronHeart is product that help us to take care of our clothes in everyday hustle and bustle. The idea came from effort to solve three problems, that are lack of drinking water, air pollution and many diseases in crowded cities.
IronHeart dry wet clothes and evaporated water is captured inside the product and can be use again for ironing clothes. For ironing are used microwave waves, which dry and iron clothes in gentle way.
After one day of wearing, our clothes are usually full of bacteria and pollution, so we ideally need to wash them. IronHeart use UV radiation for destroying any bacteries or mold and unpleasant odors. And back to the space flows clean, fresh air. User can aplly scents to refresh worn clothes. Thanks to combination of steam and UV radiation, IronHeart get rid of any pollution in clothes.The whole IronHeart is made form fabric, so it is simple for storage and space saving in user closet.Because IronHeart is made from farbic, it could easily copy any shape of clothes.

.  .  . 

Juan Camilo Restrepo Villamizar is an Industrial Designer from Medellin city, studies industrial design at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Colombia and is convinced that with passion and dreams we can build a better future to live. He loves design, always thinking about ideas that can change the lives of the people.

Washing ball in your laundry basket.
Washing ball in your laundry basket.


Washing ball to clean in your laundry basket

Luna is an electrostatic spherical washing machine. The idea consists not to put the clothes into a washing machine, but rather, the washing machine between the dirty clothes.

Luna is a metallic sphere, which loads within, a little dose of water. When the sphere is placed into the dirty textiles, creates a cloud of fine particles of steam electrostatically charged, which comes out through pores of the metal surface, wrapping and permeating all the tissues. Luna flows between clothes through vibrations and pulses that control their movements, to scrub and shake tissues, detect dirt foci and detach it. The metallic surface of the sphere acts as a magnet: electrostatically charged, attracts dirt particles impregnated with steam and sucks these towards the core of the sphere. Finally, Luna dries with hot air the residual damp in the tissues.

Luna simplifies and reinvents the fabric care and contributes to preserve the environment and its resources. Elegant, simple and sustainable.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Phone Ironing App

From the archives of All things Ironing - You can't believe everything you read on the Internet.

April 1, 2014
Osca Department of Innovation.

Breaking News. Here is a new mobile phone app from the people who created iDry and iWash. One could say the hottest new app to hit the market. Finally, an app that can turn your mobile phone into the gadget you need.

"This is literally ground braking," said the Osca general manager of Research and Development Mr. Fibs. "it's like an Osca Ironer in your pocket."

Using intercapacitor resistive omnidirectional nanotube (IRON) technology, the team of developers at Osca have discovered that as the human body is also an electrical conductor, touching the surface of the screen results in a distortion of the screen's electrostatic field, measurable as a change in capacitance.

"Our unique algorithm is able to store the ultrasonic capacitance waves, Mr Fibs said. "that can later be concentrated and released into the phone's surface turning it into a perfect replacement iron."

The app allows you to set the correct temperature for any type of garment. Fibs says he is now a fan of ironing his own shirts. "The best thing about it is that using Bluetooth technology and two phones at the same time, you can iron both sides of the shirt at once cutting your ironing time in half."

The research department is also working on a plug in iSteam attachment that should be available on the Australian market in about 12 months.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Arlene La Dell Hayes

From the archives of All things Ironing - An ironer in oils and acrylics.
Arlene Hayes was born in the Texas panhandle and resided there for most of her childhood. The austere landscapes and spare beauty of the region stimulated her artistic imagination at an early age. As an adolescent, Hayes moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she began her career as an artist.
Arlene La Dell Hayes
Originally working in the bronze medium, she produced both realistic and historically accurate sculpture with a focus on Native American themes. After mastering the human form in three dimensions, Hayes later turned to painting and the subsequent stylization and abstraction of form.
Arlene Hayes - Ironing
Viewing the stylized paintings of Arlene La Dell Hayes is a transitory experience, both visually and emotionally. Her multiple styles, variety of subject matter and intensely hued canvases evoke a feeling of wonderment and convey a universal influence.
Her surrealist acrylic paintings are strong in line, merging the conscious and the subconscious, drawing on both Eastern and Western tradition. While her work is at times reminiscent of the 20th century Surrealistic Movement, the paintings are honed by Hayes’ own singular vision.
Arlene Hayes - Midnight ironing
Her calligraphic brushwork accentuates forms primarily found in dreams. Indeed, the Spirit Warrior and Star Traveller series are derived solely from the artist’s dream states.
Embarking on yet another journey, Arlene La Dell Hayes also paints expressionistic landscapes and locales she has encountered in her travels. The oil paintings are a kaleidoscope of colour and form enticing the viewer to take part in the festivities or a stroll through the landscape. Vastly different from her more surrealistic works, these interiors and landscapes convey the artist’s unique vision as well.
Continually striving to work in different media, Ms. Hayes now produces evocative abstract compositions in plaster and whimsical figurative works in encaustic.
research links :

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


A Fireburned Country

11 February 2014

It is said that fire is a part of the Australian natural cycle. in fact, many native plants require being exposed to fire to snap open their seed pods to propagate. So bushfires are not exactly unusual.

What has been unusual is the tendency for bushfires to turn into firestorms like the one that took so many lives and destroyed entire communities and townships only five years ago. The fear that given the right conditions any fire has the same potential is now a part of our lives and a City shrouded in a blanket of acrid smoke as it was today is a stark reminder.

Yesterday, a young mum recounted her story of survival as she and her children sought the protection of their dam as the fire swept over their property. Submerged up to their necks in water, with a wet blanket over their heads as the only protection against the flames passing over them.

Which brings me to the point of this post. There are men and women who willingly join the local fire brigade with the sole purpose of being trained and 'ready and able' when the fires come. What goes through their mind as they put on their fire protection gear I wonder. As they hoist them selves on board of the water tanker and speed off to face the flames head on.

Personally, I would rather prefer to be as far away from a bushfire as I can get. For the life of me, I can not think of a single reason why I would face a fire that can burn my skin off at a distance of 200 meters.

Nevertheless, that does not stop me from being entirely in awe of our fire fighters, who put their lives on the line in an exhausting effort to protect lives and properties and livestock.

This note is from a picture accompanying the story on the ABC News website in which Victorian firefighter Frank Amaroso left a letter for one home owner apologising for being unable to do more.

Frank Amaroso is the Captain of Wandong Rural Fire Brigade

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ironing Board with Suction Caps

From the archives of All things Ironing - Ironing Board Design
The Liika ironing board, designed by  Tony Zakrajsek utilizes suction cups which allow it to be attached to any non porous surface.

This eliminates legs which can be knocked over and it also allows the device to be attached to a height level which is comfortable to the user, eliminating strain.

The articulating arms, which rotate and pivot, offer a large range of motion allowing the ironing board to conform to almost any household area, such as counter tops, windows and walls.

 research links:

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Stealth Iron

From the archives of All things Ironing - Iron Design

Perhaps here is the solution to getting your man to enquire as to the purpose of  the strange device plugged into the power socket that makes the shirts look so good.

Yes, it is an Iron. But not as you know it.

This stealth jet inspired design by Nico Klaeber, from Koeln (Cologne), Germany transmogrifies the humble iron into a futuristic object that may convince those afflicted by selective domestic blindness to at least enquire to its purpose. Perhaps even consider 'having a go'. We live in hope.

Stealth Iron

Stealth Iron

Stealth Iron

Stealth Iron

Stealth Iron

Stealth Iron

Stealth Iron
research links

Monday, November 18, 2013

Price of coal has ironers in a tiff

From the archives of All things Ironing - Ironing in India

We have many options in Melbourne when it comes to ironing. There are ironing services, dry cleaners and laundries we can call on to help us. If we are brave, we may venture to the nearest home appliance store and choose one of dozens of models of irons, bring it home, plug it into the power socket and do it our selves.

Running an ironing business in Australia, I often wonder how lucky we are to have a dependable supply of electricity. Well, not so everywhere in our world as a recent story from New Indian Express reminded me.

According to the article by Sruthisagar Yamunan (13/11/2013), ironing shops are being forced to increase their tariffs by some '3 rupees for a single cloth' due to the premium coal price doubling in the last 12 months.

Man ironing clothes with a flat iron on the road from Ranthambore National Park to Karauli
Owners of these shops say they are reeling under heavy losses, owing to high prices of coal over the last few months.
According to them, there are two varieties of coal available in the market. There is first grade coal, which produces more heat and requires a lesser quantity, which now costs around 65 rupees per kg. Last year during Deepavali, the same cost 35 to 40 rupees per kg.

The traditional irons are heated by placing burning coal in the iron chamber.

The Dhobhi of Punjab are said to have immigrated
from the ancient city of Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh,
and are now found throughout Punjab.

 The Dhobi community are still involved in the traditional
occupations of washing and ironing of clothes.

Handmade Dhobhi iron replica
The original Dhobhi (Washerman) design dates from
the 19th century and is still in popular use to this day in India.
The Dhobhi ironers prefer these to the modern electric models for several reasons.
They iron particularly well due to the heavy weight and extremely polished surface
that they acquire over time. They are also portable and do not rely on electricity
which is erratic in most parts of the countryside.
The Dhobhi carry these beautiful irons on hand pushed carts as they go
from door to door ironing garments for customers.

“The cost has become double. And the supply is also lower. We are having a hard time with our business,” says Jagir Hussain, who runs an ironing shop in Triplicane. On an average, his shop requires four kilograms of coal.

Low quality coal, usually referred to by these men as kaatu kari, has also seen an appreciation in price with a kilogram now costing 40 rupees from about 25 rupees that it cost last year. Such increases in price of a crucial component of their business means that many such shops have already begun to increase prices. While they had been charging 15 for pressing a saree, some have now increased it by 5 rupees.

But it is not just the coal price that has resulted in higher charges for the service. Shop owners say the labour cost for the person ironing the clothes has touched 700 rupees (AUD 11.50) per day.
“Labour is now too costly. Small shops like us are affected even though we employ only one person for the job. I pick up and drop off clothes from the apartments and so I cannot do the ironing. An extra man is a necessity.