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Line Drying a Lost Technique in a 'Modern' World...

Updated: Jul 1

When was the last time you hung your clothes out to dry? No, I don't mean your delicate items...I mean your entire laundry. It is summertime and as many run the HVAC...unplug your dryer this summer and join us.

Technology has its advantages AND its limitations.

You remember Big Mama would go out and grab that giant metal tub, wash board and water so hot, you could not fathom how her seemingly frail hands could be submerged and scrub without the skin falling off? No? Okay, admittedly I am from the south and my Big Mama did things the way she always did them because they WORKED.

If it aint broke...don't _________!

^ "...fix it!"

Well, what may have seemed like a shift toward convenience, has left our clothes (these agricultural products aka textiles) laden with chemical residue and our water further contaminated. Yes, I am aware of the convenience of the washing machine. I too have one for my family of four...soon to be five!

I am also increasingly aware of the cost of running my washer and dryer - ESPECIALLY IN THIS GEORGIA HEAT!!

I spoke to a friend of mine who repatriated to Rwanda and is living his best life. He complained to me once about the use of a dryer in the dead heat of the summer and it sent me to the dollar store and Ikea to grab a clothes line and a super cute set of rotating clothes pins for my youngest daughter's cloth diapers. I was forced to hang those to dry because I was washing them so frequently, but when I saw the plastic contraption (guilty...I know - THEY DIDN'T HAVE WOOD OR METAL OPTIONS) and the space saving design...well my $13 was well spent.

Back to hanging your clothes to dry and why...

There is a science to hanging your clothes outside and it isn't as simple as grabbing a rope and tossing clothes over the line and pinching a clothes pin in a random location. After one trial, you will learn what our ancestors knew. But because we want to ENCOURAGE you to hang your clothes out this summer...we will save you the learning curve and give you a few tips:

Line Drying MUST DO'S:

Get the right, any string or rope will NOT do. Grab vinyl-coated cording made for clotheslines. Your average rope won't make it...the sun will cause it to change colors, dry rot, retain water, and ultimately break down and you will find all the rope fibers on your clothes.

If you do not have a retractable clothes line...Wipe your line before you hang. Birds...pollen...critters of all sizes may have visited your line since you last hung your clothes. Why wash the clothes only to hang them on a dirty surface that will soon be baked in.

Give it a shake or a roll first. Roll and press any clothes that may hold excess water, like denim or wool, in a towel to remove any excess water. After you press the water out, give the items a few good shakes to throw out the wrinkles and un-bunch hems. This simple act also softens the garment. After shaking the clothes out, finger press your hems or plackets that like to roll up after the wash.

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