Thursday, 13 December 2012
By Johna Ferguson
I’ve always wondered what kind of person hangs clothes one way or another, a logical or emotional one or is it something we learn from the way our mother’s or others hung theirs. I remember when I was young, my mother taught our new maid how to hang the clothes on the lines properly; well at least in her mind.
First she must make sure that the lines have been wiped clean. Then followed the clothes hanging concert. First my father’s seven white linen handkerchiefs and other handkerchiefs. They must be hung singly, clothespins in the corners so the sun could bleach them out.
Then my father’s white shirts, hung of course from the two side seams at the bottom, sleeves hanging down so they swung freely in the breeze. Next came any small whites or light colored things: wash cloths, underwear and nighties. After that the larger light colored things: towels, tablecloths and blouses.
Finally the dark things: Levis, dark teeshirts, sweat shirts - well I’m sure you get the idea. The only thing is they were all hung with clothespins at the side seams of the garments.
To this day, that is how I hang our clothes but our next door neighbor, my mother’s closest friend, did just the opposite. Our yards were joined as one and her lines were right next to ours.
She told her maid to hang the clothes the quickest way possible, so she just draped them over the lines willy nilly - colors mixed with whites, heavy things with light-weight things and clothespins in available corners.
When my husband and I lived in our first apartment, we shared a laundry room with the other tenants. I remember one very arty, young woman also tossed her clothes on the lines any which way but as she said, “They eventually dried and some of the wrinkles were so interesting,” so who’s to judge.
Now that I’m back from China, I wonder who taught the women there how to hang clothes. Funny thing is they all do it the same way so maybe it’s one of those strange inborn traits.
They hang a teeshirt, for example, folded over the line and put a clothespin right in the center. That means when you wear it you will have a bump on your chest and back from where the pin was.
Jeans or pants they fold over the line and put a clothespin in each leg, right above the knee, so when you put them on that bump would also show unless one had bony knees.
A jacket they fold in half and let it hang down on both sides and put a clothespin at the collar edge in the center of the back and also at the bottom edge so when one wore it, the middle back clothespin indentation showed.
They don’t usually have irons so I people just went around with bumps here and there from where clothespins were.
Not having been to other countries, except for short visits I have no idea about their laundry hanging habits but I think I’ll try to follow up on them. If you have any interesting facts on the subject let me know so I can complete my survey quicker.
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