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Saving of a Shabby Coat

Dramatised account of how the 'Franco Barbe' method of cleaning transforms old garments into new.

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The film opens on a scene in a living room, when one woman is admiring another's coat. Caption cards narrate the action. They decide to visit the Castlebank Dyeworks to see if a coat can be reinvigorated. We see the outside of the dyeworks before we move inside to watch the work within the site. Clothes are sorted into different baskets and the process of identifying the owners explained. The clothes are shown emptied into the cleaning tanks and then removed after the cleaning. Resilent stains then receive special attention. We also watch as a coat receives a waterproof spray, and visit the tailoring department. The coat is pressed and ironed to achieve the correct finish before being packed packed for return to it's owner. Back in the living room, the newly cleaned coat is admired by the women, impressed as to the restorative work carried out.

Questions & Activities


  • Why would it be important to save a shabby coat?
  • What is hot spirit?
  • How does proofing a raincoat work?
  • How many hours a week do you think people worked back in the 1920s?
  • What kind of jobs were open to women?


Standard Grade History (Britain 1880s-present) / ICT / MIE / Higher History (Trade Unions; Emergence of Democracy): Identify the jobs depicted in this film and other films in this collection from the various decades. Discuss changing working conditions and the way that new technology opened up new jobs. Discuss also the growing signs of independence amongst women. Download appropriate films and make your own moving image essay about changing working conditions in the last 100 years.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-199-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of 3rd party copyright holder.
Project Ref 1495
Date c.1930
Genre Promotional, Advert
School Subject History, Moving Image Education, ICT
Who Jay's Film Service (production company), Ronald Jay (director)
Where Castlebank, Glasgow
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 12:48
Film Length 12:48