Uraltes Bügeleisen auf rotem Samt

Ironing and Mangling

The first method to smooth laundry dates back to the 5th to 8th century when stones and glass were used. Without the use of heat only pressure made the clothes smooth and sleek. In the 11th century the Chinese used pans filled with hot coals which were pressed over cloth.

Over the subsequent centuries numerous methods were developed but the smoothing iron clearly prevails in households. Machines are used for industrial ironing. In contrast to washing, ironing or mangling still necessitates physical work. Presumably this will not change in the near future.