On the way home from work today, I was listening to Marketplace on NPR and heard a story about line-drying clothes. I was rather horrified to hear someone from near Baltimore saying that she didn't like clothes lines because they look low class! I couldn't believe my ears. Doesn't she realize that about 90% of the world's population has never even seen a tumble drier?
Neither of the houses where I lived in the UK had clothes driers, and it was hard for me to get used to air dried clothes, but eventually I did. The boarding school where I worked had large airing rooms for the students to dry their clothes. The castle up the road from school, where friends lived, had an area near the kitchen garden for the clothes line.
Parisians send their heirloom linen table clothes and napkins to special fields to be air- and sun-dried. The chlorophyll imparts a special whiteness to the fabrics. When you air dry linens, they won't need to be starched, as the air drying will have done it.As a child, I remember playing in the sheets hanging in the fresh air to dry and making tents with my sisters. At my old house in Baltimore, I had a great clothesline, and some of the neighbouring houses even had old pulley and post systems, so the women could stand at the back door and pull the line in and out. I wish I had a clothes line here, but there's no place to anchor it.
What do you think of this debate? Should neighbourhood associations be allowed to dictate whether people can line dry their clothes? Do you use a tumble drier or hang your clothes outside?