Professional Dry Cleaner in Indianapolis Has Roots in Fuller's Earth

At Classic Cleaners, we’re history buffs. Did you know that dry cleaning dates back to ancient times?  In the ruins of Pompeii, there were found records of professional clothes cleaners called “fullers”. The Dry Cleaning and Laundry Institute, an authority on all facets of dry cleaning, explains that a type of clay known as “fuller’s earth” was rubbed into fabric to absorb soil and grease.  (Centuries later, the Paris firm of Jolly-Belin was credited with being the very first dry cleaning firm.)

It’s fascinating to learn that fuller’s earth is very much in use today.  In fact, the U.S. is one of the largest exporters of the substance, which is found mainly in southeastern states.  Fuller’s earth has quite a number of modern commercial applications, including:

  • Artificially aging the fabric of costumes to make them look older than they really are.
  • As an ingredient in cat litter.
  • To absorb grease off brake bands and winches of cranes and oilers.
  • As a facial mask for skin care.
  • To treat burns.
  • To decontaminate the clothing and equipment of chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear emergency responders.

While Classic Cleaners history doesn’t go back quite as far as the fullers of Pompeii, our company has quite a story of its own. The first store was opened in January, 1985 in northeast Indianapolis, under the original name Professional Cleaners. Since that very first year, Classic Cleaners has been a member of the Dry Cleaning & Laundry Institute, the premier international trade association for garment care professionals since 1883.

You might say Classic Cleaners are the modern-day fullers of Indianapolis!

–Reb of the Classic Cleaners Blog Team