Monday, June 8, 2009

Object: Clothespins

Timeless object?

or antiquated item?

Do you have one, or more, of them? Maybe their original use is coming back into fashion with the green movement. Growing up, we had a clothesline and of course, clothespins . . . and a clothespin bag. My mom made the bag. In fact, I think we wore one out and she made another. The one I remember was made of durable denim and she had appliqu├ęd the word “Clothespins” on it along with laundry hanging on a clothesline.

The kind of clothespins we used were the wooden kind with a spring in the middle. She would wash a load of laundry and then we were sent to hang it on the line. Sometimes we had just a small amount that would only take up one of our three lines. Other times we could spend a good bit of time filling up all three lines with sheets and pillowcases and wondering if we would have enough clothespins to do the job.

It’s funny what you remember. I remember handing clothespins to my mother or sister when I was too little to hang the clothes myself. When I got old enough to hang out the laundry myself, I remember being taught that you could overlap one item with another and they could share a clothespin. That way you wouldn’t need as many. Sh-h-h-h. I’ll tell you another clothesline secret. You hang bed sheets on those outer lines and then your unmentionables on the middle one and the neighbors cannot see your rose-printed, lace-adorned cotton you-know-whats.

Nowadays, some suburban neighborhoods have rules limiting clotheslines but the clothespin still gets around . . . on chip bags, bread bags, and in the closet. Probably a few other places as well. Back then I wasn’t a big fan of hanging laundry out to dry, but I do remember days when we had some out there and it would begin to threaten rain. My mom would call out, “Get the clothes in! It’s going to rain!” And my sister and I would dash outside jerking the clothes off the line as the summer rain started to fall. We would be laughing all the time trying to beat the rain. Sometimes we made it and sometimes we didn’t.


  1. Ah we must have lived inthe same neighborhood. What wonderful good memories. And the smell of air dried sun kissed sheets. I love haning sheets out when I have the time. Sharon

  2. I, too, like to hang my sheets out all year round to have that sweet fresh air smell ... I try to wash them every 4 days just to enjoy. I still use wooden pins. TTFN ~ Marydon

  3. I just ordered some of those old style cloth pins - awaiting them in the mail everyday now.

  4. Ohhh Ginger, thank you for bringing back some sweet memories...cloth pins are cool but the cloth pins bags some of them were way tooo cute...have a honey of a night - sweet dreams! grace & peace 2 "U" Marlene

  5. oh,i remember whe i was child,and help to my mother with the clothe carring the clothespins bag. in my natal country they call to the clotherpins = dogs, and here in spain they call it Pins.Now is my daughter who help me with the bag os clotherpins, they not only hang clothe, always join different generations ;D
    have a great week!.

  6. Erm, Here in the UK many of us peg out all year round, and I have a peg bag like you mention! I use plastic pegs now though, wooden ones stay wet for too long and go icky. (We get a lot of rain!)

  7. Funny you should post this today. My husband just put up a "solar dryer" for me. I have two vintage clothespin bags full of clothespins. I can't wait to use them, but it looks like rain today :(

    Your bears are darling. I used to make them and had a few in Teddy Bear Review's special miniature editions. I have a couple of them pictured here:

  8. Don't know how you could live with out clothes pins! We even find uses for them at the animal hospital. They are great for holding on to slides that are being stained!
    We use them for everything at the house and oh yeah, for hanging clothes on the line!
    Hugs, Lisa


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