Bleaching - From antiquity to chlorine

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Abstract

The art of bleaching developed very slowly, as a labour and land intensive industry, between ancient times and the end of the eighteenth century. The sequels of the chemical revolution initiated by the Leblanc soda process brought into the market vast amounts of chlorine and caustic soda that changed completely the chemical industry in general, and the bleaching process in particular. Chemical bleaching reduced the process time from months to days, released large areas of land for agricultural purposes, allowed the technique to be used everywhere, and made white clothes available to all the social strata. Bleaching with chlorine and its derivatives is probably the most important development of the textile industry up to the introduction of synthetic dyes and synthetic fibres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-887
Number of pages12
JournalIndian Journal of Chemical Technology
Volume11
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2004

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