In olden days washermen known as Parits or Dhobis were engaged in the occupation. They used to go to every house, collect the clothes from the customers, wash them and deliver them back. In return they used to get a customary reward of grain, called " baluta " which is prevalent in a few villages today. Laundries, as they are seen today, were not in existence then. However, with the growth of urbanization the services of a Dhobi have been replaced by well-managed, upto-date and decent laundry shops.

The occupation is no longer the monopoly of the Dhobis and persons of different castes have been taking to it. While the 1951 Census enumerates 398 persons engaged in the occupation, the number of persons given in 1961 Census is 758, showing an increase of 371 persons.

A laundry requires soap, washing soda, bleaching powder, indigo and tinopal for washing purposes. Besides, they need firewood and charcoal. Almost all the materials are purchased in the local markets. The tools and equipment consist of a table, an iron a wooden cup-board, washing tub, etc. Some of the laundries us accessories of better quality and good furniture.

An individual Dhobi hardly employs outside labour. He work with the assistance of his family members, while a laundry has to hire the services of artisans who. generally, are skilled in their job While the wages paid to a washerman, are Rs. 7 to Rs. 10 for washing hundred clothes, an artisan doing ironing is paid better especially if he irons costly garments, such as. silk, terylene, terycotton etc. On an average, an artisan earns between Rs. 100 and Rs. 200 per month.

The main heads of expenditure are the cost of raw materials, payment of wages and rent, and other expenditure incidental to the occupation. The amount of net income, however, differs widely from one laundry to another depending upon the size, turnover and location of the establishment. It is found to be ranging between Rs. 150 and Rs. 400 per month.

Consequent upon the general rise in prices laundries have raised their charges. However, the laundry services are in good demand as they were before despite the increased rates.