I have never used this beautifully embroidered vintage peg bag apron
for its allotted purpose.
My rather scruffy pegs would sully it.
Its pristine condition suggests that no one else thought their pegs good enough for it either.
It set me thinking about the ideal washing line scenario-
and on the subject of drying clothes I can do no better than to quote Cheryl Mendelson from her book Home Comforts.
'When I was a girl, hanging out the clothes was an art widely understood in the countryside...the rules were so clear that I remember one elderly lady stifling unseemly giggles when she saw the work of a novice. If those days ever come back the instructions below will save you from social humiliation.'
'If you are line drying indoors, be sure to shake out the clothes vigorously before hanging them. This is necessary to reduce wrinkling and helps them to dry less stiffly since you have no breezes to soften them.'
'My suburban friends tell me that you still need a private backyard to line-dry your laundry unembarrassedly because many people think that their neighbor's laundry flapping in the breeze ruins the appearance of the neighborhood and will complain when they see it.'
'Line drying outdoors produces appealingly fresh-smelling clothes and linen,
and sunlight is a natural sanitizing and bleaching agent.'
'Make sure that your line and clothes-pins are clean. Wash the line, if necessary, with some ordinary detergent in water or household cleaner. Make sure it is sufficiently taut, strong and secure that there is no danger that the clothes will drag or drop.'
'The best weather for line drying, if you have the choice, is warm dry, and sunny with a moderate breeze. You need some wind to billow wrinkles out of the fabric and hasten drying. Line drying can seem interminable on a humid, airless day.'
'But avoid extremely windy days.
The flapping is wearing on the clothes; the wind is hard to work in and sometimes blows clothes off the line.'
'Remember that clothes dry at very different rates.
If you are short on line space, run out to check on the clothes periodically to see whether some are dry. Sheets dry very quickly in the breeze and take up lots of line. You'll soon be able to take them down and hang up other things.'
'Sheets: Fold the sheet hem to hem, then fold three to four inches of one hem over the line and pin at both ends. Pin the corners of the other hem a few inches inside the other two. The sheet should open toward the wind so it blows out like a sail.
Run your hands down the selvage edges to smooth them and make sure that the sheet is hanging square and even.'
How not to do it.