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DLI’s School of Drycleaning Technology Marks 90th Anniversary

First Class

The first class of students arrived at DLI’s School of Drycleaning Technology on October 17,1927. There were 32 students, 30 men and two women, hailing from 22 states and the District of Columbia. Members generously donated unclaimed garments to ensure the students would have enough practice garments for the course. Prior to that the Institute conducted only a few short field short courses. Those field courses were so popular the Board of Directors ordered the construction of a new school, creating the world’s first specialized drycleaning training facility. 


DLI’s School of Drycleaning Technology has operated continuously since 1927, with only a brief pause to support America’s part in the effort to win World War II. Ninety years later the school welcomes students from around the globe and continues to offer the world’s most comprehensive education on all aspects of owning and operating a successful drycleaning facility.


Changing with the Times

DLI offers course several times each year. Since 1927, more than 360 general courses produced thousands of the world’s professional drycleaners. As times changed, so has DLI’s courses. In the 1920s the course took about three months to complete, with concentrations on Chemistry and Engineering that are no longer needed today. Back then some cleaners had to make their own detergents and a complete understanding of chemistry was required. Some chemistry is included in today’s DLI courses but advances in products on the market and standard curricula in public schools negated the need for a complete chemistry course.


Today, DLI’s School of Drycleaning Technology offers its General Drycleaning Course in two parts, the five-day Introduction to Drycleaning Course and the 10-day Advanced Drycleaning Course. Students learn the gamut of what’s involved in owning and operating a successful drycleaning business, from how to identify a problem garment, to the art and science of stain removal, how to run a drycleaning machine, to hiring and firing employees and handling hazardous materials and everything in-between.



DLI’s school was literally founded on the kindness of others. Just like that first batch of garments in 1927, all the equipment students use in the courses is donated from industry manufacturers and distributors. Chemicals used in the stain removal and cleaning portions of the course come exclusively from donations. Garments are still donated to this day. DLI is deeply grateful for the opportunity to share this equipment and materials with students who long to improve their craft and livelihoods. A complete list of current DLI school sponsors is included with this article.



For more information about the DLI School of Drycleaning Technology, call DLI at 800-638-2627.


Posted By Harry Kimmel | 10/16/2017 2:28:36 PM

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